Allium sativum: Garlic
Garlic is an excellent addition to just about any form of food perhaps with the exception of cereal. This bulb is delicious, fragrant and packed full of goodness. If you're not thinking cooking when you immediately hear of this herb, then you're more than likely thinking of vampires - or warding off as the case may be. Theory as to why garlic is known to be a vampire-repellent is that vampires share characteristics with parasites in that they suck blood, and garlic is excellent for repelling mosquitoes and stomach parasites.
As a preventative, garlic is great for boosting the immune system, and helping the body ward off cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stomach parasites. All that is needed to to eat a raw clove a day (chewing parsley after can be effective against garlic breath). In sever cases of stomach disorders, any where from three to six cloves of smashed cloves can be quite effective.
Allium sativum is a huge supporter of the body, in ways that other herbs just cannot compete. As mentioned before, it will support and boost the immune system as a preventative for many things, and will aid the development of natural good bacterial flora while destroying that which would cause disease in the body. It can lower blood pressure, sugar levels and over time reduce blood cholesterol levels as well.
Something to be weary of is that garlic is a heating herb. It can cause irritation of the intestinal mucosa in high doses which can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. While pregnant and lactating, using garlic therapeutically can cause issues with digestion and can put the baby off the taste of breast milk.
For acute infections, three cloves throughout the day is effective, or garlic oil capsules are good as well - one capsule a day if it is for a prophylactic or, as stated before, three capsules for infection. 2 gram garlic powder capsules can prevent further heart attacks after an initial heart attack, and taking them daily can also prevent thrush. For intestinal parasites, steeping a few cloves of garlic in water or milk over night to make a maceration is excellent. Garlic fresh is effective against acne, warts and verrucas when mashed.
When you are collecting your garlic from your garden, wait until the leaves of the plant begin to wither, usually during the first touches of fall.
The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody
The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies by David Hoffman
Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffman, FNIMH, AHG