Garlic has many medicinal functions:
- Anti-bacterial- kills pathogenic bacteria
- Anti-viral- prevents viruses
- Anti-fungal- great for yeast infections such as athlete's foot
- Anti-flatulant- by decreasing bacteria that causes gas
- Lowers atherosclerotic plaques- protects the heart and blood vessels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Anti-coagulant (prevents blood clots)
- Protective from hyperlipidemia (high lipids and cholesterol)
- Helps balance blood sugars, especially useful in Diabetics
- High in minerals like Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Aluminum, Selenium
- Aphrodesiac- never hurts
If you live on the west coast, now is the time to plant garlic bulbs. Get them in the ground before the frost. Then in the spring they will sprout just like your other spring flower bulbs. My favorite part of growing garlic is harvesting the “scapes,” or the green stem that curls up and over. The scapes have a mild garlic flavor that can be eaten without preparation. The bulbs can be harvested in early summer when half of the leaves die back.
Fun growing tip- you can tell how many cloves will be in the garlic bulb by counting the leaves.
Garlic as Food:
I often peel and mince garlic when cooking. Important tip- garlic needs moisture when heated so ensure there is plenty of oil or cooking liquid in the pan before adding it. I often add garlic toward the end of cooking. Another delicious way of preparing garlic is to peel and roast as whole cloves in the oven along with other root vegetables. Again, make sure to drizzle plenty of oil over them.
Garlic as Medicine:
Garlic (Allicin) can be taken as a pill, in ear drops, as a topical preparation, or as a “medible.” Here are a few garlic treatments I recommend regularly:
1. GARLIC SOCKS for colds, flu, chest congestion
You will need-
- cotton socks
- 3 cloves of garlic (1.5 per foot)
- olive oil (or any oil or petroleum)
- plastic wrap or bags
2. Apply Topically (minced) for skin infections, acne, athlete's foot, eczema, warts
- In cases of infection, it is useful to mix powdered charcoal with minced garlic- apply to skin and cover with bandage for 4-6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400'F
- Peel away outer layers of garlic skin
- Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb, exposing a bit of each clove
- Put on a pan, drizzling a little olive oil over the top (1-2 tsp over each)
- Cover with aluminum foil (or use a garlic cooker)
- Cook for 35-40 min- it will be done when each clove is soft
- Squeeze out of skin and enjoy!