Garlic is a tremendously powerful herb that most of us have a steady

access to. It is always found at the local grocery store and, with the increasing

popularity of farmer’s markets, heirloom varieties can often be bought locally,

which results in even more medicinal qualities.

Garlic is another herb whose use can be dated back to the Ancient

Egyptians and has been used extensively since then. The Romans used it

abundantly and Italy today is still well known for its garlic loving recipes.

Hippocrates used it for a variety of ailments and in medieval Europe it was

used as a charm to keep bad spirits at bay.

Today it is one of the most researched and most used herbs in our

kitchens and herbal apothecary. It has a variety of actions, making it a great

ally for a variety of health disturbances.

Raw garlic can be taken liberally at the first sign of a cold or flu to

ward off the illness or to lessen the symptoms. I like to do this by dipping

bread in olive oil with lots of minced garlic. Raw garlic is an emetic, so it’s a

good idea to approach it slowly and back off if nausea occurs.

Herbalist Stephen Buhner reports in his book Herbal Antibiotics that

garlic is effective against Staphyloccus aureas, Candida albicans, Escherichia

coli, Streptococcus spp., Salmonella spp., herpes simplex, and more. He

recommends eating the fresh juice for best results. To do this without

immediately experiencing its strong emetic qualities, Buhner recommends

starting with a ¼ teaspoon in a glass of tomato juice and slowly working up

your tolerance.

For fungal infections garlic can be used externally as well as internally.

It is quite strong and could burn sensitive areas, so it can be diluted by

soaking it in oil for a ½ hour to several hours, straining and then applying to

the area.

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