Why Garlic is Your New BFF

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac, AP

How do I even begin to describe the wonders and deliciousness of garlic? Let me put it this way. I love garlic. Sometimes inappropriately. When a recipe calls for 4 cloves, I use 8. Garlic makes everything better, and the great thing about it that it has more healing properties than you could imagine. So lets look at garlic and why it is going to be your new BFF.

Garlic is a member of the onion family and is one of the few herbs that have has been recognized around the globe for its many medicinal properties, and its daily usage protects and supports the body in a way that no other herb does. It is one of the most antimicrobial plants known, acting on bacteria, viruses and parasites acquired from consuming unclean food and water. The oil is where many of garlics healing properties lie and is extracted largely via the lungs making it extremely affective to treat respiratory infections like chronic bronchitis, catarrh, recurring colds and influenza. Garlic is used preventatively for many infectious conditions, both digestive and respiratory. In the digestive tract, garlic will support the growth of good bacteria as well as killing pathogenic organisms. It reduces high blood pressure, and taken over an extended period of time, will lower blood cholesterol.

garlic as medicine

Garlic's Medicinal Properties

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Commonly used to treat infections of the upper respiratory tract
  • Taken preventatively for infectious conditions, both digestive and respiratory
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces blood cholesterol
  • Used to treat worms (ringworm and threadworm)
  • Promotes circulation
  • Promotes sweating
  • Eliminates yeasts, including Candida albicans
  • Inhibits viruses and other micro-organisms associated with degenerative diseases like cancer
  • Eliminates toxins from the body, including poisonous metals like cadmium and lead
  • A drop of garlic oil in the ear canal once a day relieves ear infections
  • A poultice made of garlic draws out swelling from boils
  • Eliminates worms
  • Used for dysentery, snake bites, warts, hepatitis, asthma, tuberculosis, hay fever, asthma and diarrhea
  • When travelling eating a clove of raw garlic before suspected food or water will protect against dysentery
  • Eating a clove of raw garlic a day will protect against colds and flu
  • Garlic tea relieves poison ivy, poison oak and nettle stings
  • Promotes the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria

Preparation & Dosage

There are many ways to use garlic depending on what condition you are treating. Most of garlic's medicinal properties are in the oil, so any cooking or using capsules that are "odourless" are of little medicinal value. Garlic can be eaten raw; the entire clove with the paper or crushed and swallowed, but for some, this might be too intense as there is a significant burn going down. To remove some of garlics strong flavour and odour, it can be steamed - although some of its potency will be lost. Eating a few sprigs of parsley or other cereal glasses which are very cooling is a good way to neutralize the burning sensation in the digestive tract after eating garlic raw. Also drinking something cooling directly after taking garlic will help with the intense aftertaste.

As you can see garlic is an amazing herb with a huge list of healing properties, so next time you aren't feeling well and reach for the advil or think you might need antibiotics, consider reaching for the garlic instead. Because, for all of the reasons above, garlic should be your new BFF.

Garlic InfoGraphic

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Thank you to the people at Stedas Dizajn for this lovely infographic. 

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Why Garlic is Your New BFF : Chinese Medicine Living