The Many Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is a broad spectrum antibiotic, killing a wide variety of bacteria. Battlefield doctors in both world wars used garlic to disinfect wounds. [1] It is sometimes known as ‘Russian penicillin’ because Russian physicians used it for a long time.  In 1858, Louis Pasteur wrote that garlic killed bacteria and was effective even against some bacteria resistant to other factors. Dr. Tariq Abdullah stated in the August 1987 issue of Prevention: “Garlic has the broadest spectrum of any antimicrobial substance that we know of — it is antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan and antiviral.” [2] Garlic appears to have antibiotic activity whether taken internally or applied topically.  It is effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, while being harmless to our native gut flora, unlike modern broad spectrum antibiotics which wipe everything out. [3]

 

CAUTION:

This is not offered as a treatment for coronavirus, but taking preventative measures cannot do any harm, unless you do them in excess. Garlic is considered safe for most people, though it can cause bad breath, heartburn and gas.  It should not be applied in high concentrations to the skin as it may cause a burning sensation. To be on the safe side, it should not be taken in medicinal amounts when pregnant or breastfeeding or by young children. Avoid large amounts if you are on blood thinning medications such as warfarin and for two weeks before surgery. As garlic can lower blood pressure and blood sugar, treat with caution or you are on blood pressure medication or are diabetic. Garlic can decrease the effectiveness of some HIV/AIDS medications and oral contraceptives.

 

Garlic Electuary

1 head of garlic

230 gm honey

Peel and crush the garlic. Put in a jar and cover with the honey. Stir well and seal. This makes a good antibiotic cough ‘syrup’, or it can be applied directly to cuts and scrapes.

 

Garlic Tea

2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed

300 ml hot water

Infuse together for 5 minutes. Strain and drink.

 

Garlic Anti-Viral Tincture

4 cloves garlic

1 onion

2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root

4 tsp fresh chillies

Cider vinegar

Chop the fruits and vegetables and pack into a jar. Cover with cider vinegar and put on a sunny windowsill for two weeks, shaking daily. Strain through a fine cloth into a clean jar and label. Make this in advance of the winter, and take two teaspoons up to five times a day when you have an infection.

 

©Anna Franklin. Condensed extract from The Hearth Witch’s Kitchen Herbal, Llewellyn 2019

Garlic Anti-Viral Tincture

4 cloves garlic

1 onion

2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root

4 tsp fresh chillies

Cider vinegar

Chop the fruits and vegetables and pack into a jar. Cover with cider vinegar and put on a sunny windowsill for two weeks, shaking daily. Strain through a fine cloth into a clean jar and label. Make this in advance of the winter, and take two teaspoons up to five times a day when you have an infection.

 

[1] Rachel Warren Chadd (ed.), 1001 Home Remedies, Readers Digest, London, 2005

[2] Paul Bergner, Allium sativum: Antibiotic and Immune Properties,  Medical Herbalism: Journal for the Clinical Practitioner, 1995.

[3] Julie Brunton-Seal & Matthew Seal, Kitchen Medicine, Merlin Unwin Books Ltd, London, 2010

 

Author: annafranklinblog

Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles, a working coven, and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the popular Pagan Ways Tarot, Sacred Circle Tarot, The Fairy Ring, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, Personal Power, A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch, The Path of the Shaman and The Hearth Witch’s Compendium. Anna’s books have been translated into nine languages.

3 thoughts on “The Many Benefits of Garlic”

  1. Good article. Garlic is one of my favorite spices for taste and medicine. I am that person you will see doing the Slav Squat while peeling garlic cloves in front of the trash can sneaking a bight of that raw yumness here and there. 😀

    Like

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