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Allium sativum

Garlic is one of the most accessible, delicious and healing herbs there is out there. I love garlic because everyone knows what it is, and most know it has some antibiotic and healing properties, so when I say “Go eat some garlic” they usually don’t scoff too much. It is rumored to chase away devils and vampires and repel evil as well. Most people also know it is good for cardiovascular issues but what else does this wonderfully delicious herb do?

Garlic is one of the most researched herbs with over 1,000 published and peer-reviewed articles about it as well as having been traditionally used for tens of thousands of years.

Garlic is a perennial herb with log, green, flat leaves growing from an un-branched stem in the middle of the bulb. The bulb, a tight papery sheath enclosing numerous cloves, is the most beneficial part of the plant for culinary and medicinal purposes.

It is antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, blood thinner, used to treat upper respiratory infection and cough, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, supports beneficial intestinal flora. It is commonly used to prevent colds and flu.

Add garlic to savory dishes like meat, fish, vegetables, soups, stews, salad, salad dressing and vinegar right before you are done cooking (3 minutes or less) to preserve its medicinal effects.

  • Take to treat respiratory infection to relieve congestion, loosen and remove mucous. It is a great expectorant.  It will also increase perspiration to reduce fever.
  • Garlic stimulates bile production, tones the digestive system, relieves cramps, spasms and gas in the intestines, and helps soothe the stomach after overeating.
  • It stimulates the kidneys and is diuretic in nature.
  • Garlic prevents and destroys fungal infections. The oil can be dabbed on ringworm, spots or pimples to clear the fungal infection. It can also be used on toe nails to combat athletes foot along with Melaleuca Essential Oil.
  • We also use garlic to treat ear infections.
  • It repels insects like ants, fleas and ticks.
  • It is known to treat physical impotence and has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.

Why is Garlic such a potent medication?

There are over 60 active constituents of garlic that are very similar to penicillin according to “Botanical Medicines” by Stephen Harrord Buhner. When the bulb is bruised, crushed or cut garlic produces a compound called allicin. This is an amino acid that contains sulfur and causes garlic’s strong odor. Allicin and several other compounds have all shown antibiotic activity. This is a broad spectrum antibiotic activity killing both gram positive and negative bacteria.

“Clinical studies… have repeatedly shown that garlic is active against strains of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics.” “Botanical medicines” Stephen Buhner

Garlic has also been extensively studied to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, improved blood circulation, high cholesterol, cancer, stress, fatigue and aging. Taken long-term, garlic helps prevent narrowing of the arteries, thins the blood, and supports better cholesterol levels.

For stimulating immune function, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, garlic works raw, cooked, or encapsulated. If you are treating an active bacterial infection it should be consumed uncooked whole form or in juice. I either crush fresh garlic onto my food after it is done cooking, or take a whole clove like a pill. Be sure the pill is not “scent free” or “without that garlic aftertaste” since that means they have removed the allicin and it will be void of the medicinal benefits.


Garlic can interact with certain medications that can cause detrimental health effects. These medications are blood thinners, anti-coagulants, and protease inhibitors. Garlic is safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding as long as you have no other medical conditions.

Before taking any natural supplements be sure to consult your natural health care provider, herbalist, acupuncturist or other holistic practioner. This is not intended as medical advice but for informational purposes only.

Be sure you get your herbs from a trusted source. I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs (an affiliate) and can not tell you how happy I am with the quality of their herbs.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

This blog shared on: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Healthy2Day, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Super Linky Party, Green Article and Give Away Link Up, Natural Living Link Up, Your Green Resource

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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17 Responses to Garlic: An Herbal Primer

  1. Yvette says:

    If umeatmenough, garlic can also repel mosquitos!

  2. Yvette says:

    That’s what happens when I try to type before I’m completely awake. If you eat enough garlic ( lots and lots) you can repel Mosquitos too!

  3. Just added my #inlinkz link: here: via @inlinkz

  4. I LOVE garlic.
    It’s my cure-all.
    There would be sheer panic if ever ran out of it! lol
    Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! 🙂

  5. Mandi says:

    Thank you for sharing all the wonderful things about Garlic. I love garlic and this makes me want to eat it more. Yum! Great article!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks so much for coming by! I LOVE garlic too. I seriously ate a whole head of garlic the day I wrote this post lol.

  6. Garlic has broad spectrum #antibiotic properties and kills #drugresistantbacteria Check it out #herbs #naturalhealing

  7. Tamara says:

    Mmmm I love garlic! We grew about 45 bulbs of it this past year. Persian Star and Chesnok Red. This year we’re going with those two again and we’re also adding German White.
    Let me know if anyone wants a few bulbs for planting! I can share some!

  8. Lori Morton says:

    We use lots of garlic! Love it!! Even planted some in the garden this year! Woohooo! 🙂

  9. Ashley Myers says:

    I love garlic. A lot of times I will roast an entire bulb and eat the whole things fresh out of the oven. It’s so good!

  10. Caitlin Lane says:

    I love all of the great benefits of garlic. I’m still learning more and more about this awesome food. Luckily, we’ve been garlic lovers in our house for a long time.

  11. Hannah Avery says:

    My midwife even told me that if I have a yeast infection while pregnant, I could put a garlic capsule inside my vagina, and it would help it. I thought that was very interesting. I had friends who took garlic when in a foreign country, and it really helped them not to get sick.

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