Garlic – Love it or Hate it

Fresh Garlic

Fresh Garlic

It is known as Natures own Antibiotic. It is closely related to the onion and has been widely used through out centuries as a culinary spice, plague repellent, embalming agent and even used as currency by the Egyptians when building the pyramids. Its antibiotic properties were utilised during WWII, when soldiers had their wounds dressed with sphagnum moss poultices soaked in garlic juice to prevent infection.

Of the Liliaceae family, it has a perennial bulb, divided into several cloves which are covered in membranous coats. Some gardeners follow the tradition of planting garlic on the shortest day of the year and harvesting on the longest day. The cloves are usually planted in late autumn to mid winter due to the need to have a period of cold (but not frost) before it starts to sprout its characteristic silvery green strappy leaves. Once harvested, bulbs can be left to dry in the sun for a few days, and then your crop can be plaited together and stored in a cool dark place until they are required.

Medicinal Marvels of Garlic

The sulphur compound known as Alliin is responsible for its odour – and its many medicinal properties. Not all Garlic Preparations are the Same.

The enzyme allinase is required for the active constituent of alliin to be bio transformed in the body. Some garlic preparations may not have this enzyme, thereby compromising the therapeutic effect of the alliin of garlic.

Fresh garlic and dried garlic powder contain both alliin and the enzyme. Other pharmaceuticals may not have these 2 substances in sufficient quantity, so it is always important if using supplements to check with your Naturopath or qualified health practitioner to ensure you are having a therapeutic dose.

Medicinal Uses of Garlic

  • It has potent anti oxidant activity.
  • It can be used as an antibiotic, antifungal anti viral, and is effective against Staph aureus, Candida, Aspergillus, and Helicobacter pyloris.
  • It can be used as a Vulnerary (ie it will treat intestinal parasites) .
  • It improves immune function by helping to stimulate T cells of the immune system.
  • It has potent cardiovascular properties and is anti hypertensive (600-900 mgs daily).
  • It is protective against cancer by reducing the formation of cancerous cells by blocking cancer causing compounds from forming and also slows tumour growth.

The ajone compounds can thin the blood. It raises the good HDL cholesterol and prevents LDL from adhering to arteries so helping in the prevention of cardio vascular disease.

It is used as a blood cleanser.

Cough Remedies using Garlic

Cough Syrup

Garlic combined with Onion makes an inexpensive home remedy cough syrup.

  • Slice a large onion onto a saucer or plate
  • Peel and de-skin 6 garlic cloves and squash with the back of a knife
  • Cover both onion and garlic with a quantity of good natural local honey
  • Leave overnight
  • Drain/ strain off liquor into a jar or bottle
  • Take dose of cough medicine from a spoon every couple of hours

The Antibiotic & immune stimulant properties of these herbs will help alleviate cough and cold symptoms.

Garlic Cough Syrup for Soles of the Feet

Another useful remedy for coughs is to squash 6-8 garlic cloves Place 3-4 on each of the soles of your feet and cover your feet with socks. This can be done prior to going to bed at night. It will ease the coughing as the garlic will be absorbed via the soles of the feet and excreted via the lungs. You will even notice that your breath smells of garlic in the morning!

Try it, it works.


Garlic Snacks

If you are a real garlic lover, you can roast whole bulbs of garlic in the oven. No preparation is really needed as the whole bulb, skin and all, is placed in a roasting dish with a slight spray of olive oil and cooked in a moderate oven until the bulbs soften, which takes about 20- 30 minutes depending upon the number being roasted.

The bulbs can then be taken out and served on a mezza plate with other snacks such as carrot sticks, hummus, olives and crackers. The smooth soft creamy garlic can be easily coaxed from its own skin like container, to enjoy with your nibbly food.

Love your Garlic and it will Love You back!

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