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Medicinal uses of garlic

Updated on January 30, 2014

History of Garlic

This tiny, potent bulb has been treasured since antiquity for its culinary and therapeutic uses. The ancient Greeks and Romans used garlic medicinally but also believed it protected them in times of war and strife. Egyptians slaves working on the pyramids ate garlic to increase their stamina. The Chinese value garlic for its ability to improve circulation and strengthen the heart. In the middle ages, people believed garlic protected against the plague, and in central Europe it was used to repel vampires.

Uses of Garlic

A relative of the onion, garlic is a natural antibiotic. When garlic is crushed, the antibiotic allicin is formed. Allicin is equal in strength to 1% penicillin, and while it probably won't work as quickly as penicillin, it does appear to have a broad-spectrum effectiveness in fighting infections. Garlic is also an effective antiseptic, anti fungal, and antimicrobial treatment. Garlic juice or crushed garlic placed on a would could: promote healing, reduce pain and irritation, soothe burns, and treat acne.

Experts believed that drinking garlic juice straight or steeped in milk may be helpful in ridding the intestines of yeasts or parasites.Garlic contains antioxidants that may provide protection against stomach and other cancers. it is potentially helpful in regulating blood sugar levels, thus easing or helping to prevent late-onset diabetes.

Chomping down a clove a day could also kill off a cold, reduce a fever, or simply battle against allergies. Garlic has long been effective as an expectorant to help treat coughs and bronchitis.

Dangers of Garlic

Although generally safe, garlic isn't recommended for children under 3 years of age. In addition, it can cause heartburn or an upset stomach, especially in pregnant women. nursing mothers are generally advised not to take the therapeutic doses of garlic, as this may upset their babies.


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    • rob_allen profile image

      rob_allen 5 years ago from MNL, PH

      Garlic is really good for the heart. My mom used to take garlic mixed with honey to improve blood cardiac health. More than that, garlic is used in several Asian dishes especially in the Philippines. We use it as a basic ingredient in sauteing along with onions and tomatoes. :)

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 5 years ago

      Always knew garlic was good for health as well as tasty in small amounts, but you have taught me even more. We actually put garlic powder in our horses feed to help their breathing.