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Herbs > Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is a very well known herb, most noted for its culinary uses, which are very broad. A little garlic will enhance the taste of almost any meal. Garlic has a long history of association with the supernatural - it is said to ward off vampires, and in Mohammedan legend, it is said to have sprung from the footprints of Satan. This is perhaps due to its potent aroma. Despite these unsavoury connections, garlic is a highly useful healing herb with a wide range of applications.

Healing uses:
Garlic is a powerful antibiotic and anti-fungal herb. It can open blood vessels and reduce hypertension, eliminate intestinal parasites, lower cholesterol and reduce susceptibility to allergies. It will boost immunity to colds and flu, and hasten recovery from these if it is too late for prevention. A perfectly acceptable way to take garlic for these purposes is to simply add plenty of fresh garlic to meals. Any amount will be beneficial, and it is virtually impossible to overdose on garlic. Simply add according to taste. However, it should be noted that the pungent aroma of garlic can linger for days in the form of bad breath and body odour, so be aware of this when adding garlic to food. For those who wish to avoid this possibility, or who simply dislike the taste of garlic, there are odourless tasteless garlic capsules available from health shops. These contain all the active ingredients of garlic, without the pungency.

Garlic oil applied directly to boils, blisters and sores will hasten the healing process and kill any bacteria growing on them. The oil can be bought from a health shop, but it is very easy to make at home. Blend 1/2 cup of fresh minced garlic and 1/2 cup of olive oil thoroughly, then add another 1/4 cup of olive oil. Place in a glass jar and leave in a sunny place for 10 days, shaking the mixture 3 times a day. After the tenth day, strain the oil through a cloth and bottle. Store in the refrigerator. The garlic pulp which is left over can be used for cooking. This oil is also useful for earaches, dropped into the ear with a dropper.

For fungal growth on the skin or nails, apply a clove of garlic which has been smashed or crushed. Hold in place with a band-aid and leave overnight. This may have to repeated several times a week, but even persistent fungal infections will heal with this treatment.

Taking garlic supplements can be beneficial to diabetics. While it won’t cure the diabetes completely, it can reduce the amount of insulin which must be taken, and improve the general well-being of diabetics.

Garlic is effective at easing toothache. Peel and crush one clove, and spread this on a small square of bread which has some peanut butter smeared on it. Apply the section of bread to the affected tooth, garlic side down. Leave in place for several hours, and repeat as needed.

Burns can heal much faster with garlic applied to them. This is effective for both minor and major burns. Peel and mince the garlic so it becomes a thick, wet pulp. Apply directly to the burn and cover with a gauze dressing. Change the garlic and the dressing every 10 hours.

An effective cough syrup which will also act as an antibiotic and an expectorant can be made from garlic, onions and honey. Cover 1 cup of chopped raw onions with honey and simmer gently. After 20-30 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add 4 teaspoons of powdered garlic or 6-8 cloves of crushed fresh garlic. Cover and allow to steep (do not return to the heat) until the mixture reaches room temperature. Use in 1 teaspoon doses as needed.

Cautions:
Raw garlic juice can cause sensitive skin to blister. This can be avoided by wrapping the garlic in gauze and dabbing a little petroleum jelly on the area before applying.

Other uses:
Growing garlic in the garden will effectively deter pests from nearby plants. However, it is detrimental to the growth and flavour of legumes, so keep them well separated.

A rope of garlic - whole dried plants with their foliage braided together - is said to provide protection and health when hung in the kitchen. It also looks attractive, and is a convenient way of storing garlic.

For a milder taste when cooking with garlic, it can be roasted or poached. To roast garlic, place a whole bulb in the oven at a medium heat until the outer skin browns. This will produce garlic a nutty taste, which is entirely edible by itself or usable as an ingredient. To poach, simmer very gently in water over a low heat until it becomes soft. The garlic will become sweet and very mild. This is a good method to use to consume large quantities of garlic (perhaps to boost immunity during the cold and flu season).

Growing garlic:
Garlic can be propagated from individual cloves of the bulb, planted at a depth of 2.5-5cm, which should be planted in late autumn in warm climates, or in early autumn in cooler climates. Mulch with straw over Winter. The plants will mature in 10-12 months, and can be harvested in late Summer to early Autumn - when the foliage begins to yellow. The bulbs should be allowed to dry, preferably in the sun, before storage.

Garlic and Ayurveda




Index
Quick Reference
Alfalfa
Aloe Vera
Arnica
Asafoetida
Betel Leaves
Bishop’s Weed
Blessed Thistle
Burcock
Cascara Sagrada
Cardamom
Chamomile
Chaparral
Chicory
Cinnamon
Comfrey
Coriander
Curry Leaves
Dandelion
Damiana
Echinacea
Euphrasia
Fenugreek
Garlic
Ayurvedic Garlic
Ginger
Aurvedic Ginger
Ginko Biloba
Ginseng
Gotu Kola
Guarana
Henna
Holy Basil
Hoodia Gordonii
Horny Goat Weed
Hyssop
Isapghula
Kalonji
Kava
Lavender
Liquorice
Mullien
Sage
Sandalwood
Sarsaparilla
St Johns Wort
Tee Tree
Thyme
Tribulus
Turmeric

 
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Disclaimer:
All Information is provided for educational purposes only and not intended
to be used for any therapeutic purpose, neither is it intended to diagnose,
prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please consult a health care
professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
While attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information,
The Health Information Network does not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.

ęCopyright 2014 The Health Information Network