Garlic: The Most Amazing Herb on the Planet

By Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards
October 30, 2015 Updated: January 5, 2016

By , Organic Lifestyle Magazine

If I were allowed only one herbal remedy to treat medical conditions, it would be raw, organic garlic.

Garlic is nature’s antibiotic and more. Garlic kills (removes, eliminates, reduces) bacteria, colds, flus, viruses, parasites, inflammation, warts, fungi, and plagues.

garlic-infographic

Things to Know When Using Garlic:

Garlic Breath

If you stink when taking garlic, this is only your body getting rid of toxins: garlic + toxin = stink.

When the toxins are all gone, so is the stink. It is very beneficial when your eyes water while cooking with garlic or onions. The properties that make your eyes water actually cleanse and kill eye infections. Garlic is great for just about every condition.

Chopping Garlic Before Eating

Two components of garlic, a sulfur-based compound called alliin, and the enzyme alliinase, are kept separate within garlic. But when the cells are ruptured these elements are released, allowing them to come in contact and form a powerful new compound called alliicin. This compound is responsible for many of the health benefits garlic is known for, along with it’s pungent smell and bite. The more the garlic is chopped (minced, pressed, etc.), the more allicin is produced. After cutting the garlic, let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the chemical process to take place.

Personally, I take a different approach to receive the same results. To maximize the effectiveness of garlic, try chewing it for at least one minute, while breathing in and out of your mouth. Chew for as long as you can, continuing to let the air in as you go.

How Cooking Affects Nutrients

Heating garlic without letting it sit has been found to deactivate the enzyme that is responsible for the formation of alliicin. However, if you have allowed your garlic to sit for 5-10 minutes, you can cook it on low or medium heat for a short period of time (up to 15 minutes) without destroying the alliicin. This is because letting it sit not only ensures the maximum synthesis of the alliicin, but also makes it more stable and resistant to the heat of cooking. – The Worlds Healthiest Foods

Cooking for:

  • 5-15 minutes — minimal loss of nutrients
  • 15-30 minutes — moderate loss of nutrients
  • 45+ minutes — substantial loss of nutrients

Garlic Burns

Yes, it can actually burn you. When using garlic topically, be cognizant of this and remove garlic when finished with treatment. Don’t leave raw garlic pieces on the skin too long. When using garlic to remove a splinter for instance (see below) you may want to check every 15 to 20 minutes to make sure the skin is not burning.

Garlic left on an open wound can burn within a few minutes.

( ratmaner/iStock)
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic and more. (ratmaner/iStock)

Growing Garlic

This amazing herb is easy to grow and is the best organic pest repellent you can have in your garden. Growing it interspersed throughout your yard will keep away unwanted visitors. In the fall, plant cloves with the tips pointing up, four inches deep, and six inches apart in direct sun. Watch them pop up in the spring and harvest when the tops start to turn brown. Hang them in bundles or braids in a dry place. Next year, plant the biggest cloves to keep improving the strain, and then eat the littler ones.

Companion Planting

Garlic, in close proximity, will benefit cabbage, cane fruit, fruit trees, roses, and tomatoes. Keep away from beans, peas, sage and asparagus.

When planting garlic around vegetable companions, scatter the onion and garlic plants to minimize infestation by onion/garlic pests such as onion maggots.

The Garlic Game

When everybody in the house is sniffling, coughing and blowing their noses constantly, its time to play the garlic game. First you get the game materials together. Every player needs: one large glass of water and a handful of peeled garlic cloves. Spin a clove to see who goes first. The first player puts one clove of garlic in their mouth and chews as fast as he or she can, then swallows it down with a sip of water. Player 2 does the same. The first one to refuse garlic loses and has to eat 3 cloves or stay sick as a penalty.

Who ever eats the most garlic wins. Anyone who eats an entire bulb is the ultimate winner. However, I do recommend you have some food in your stomach before playing this game, as raw garlic on an empty stomach can cause nausea and vomiting.

You may think that chewing raw garlic is intense and hard to do, but try it. It’s not as bad as you think, and it’s nowhere near as intense as our chili pepper contest.

(pixs4u/iStock)
You may think that chewing raw garlic is intense and hard to do, but try it. (pixs4u/iStock)

More Things Garlic Can Do:

This miracle herb has a few more tricks up its sleeve:

Treat Alopecia

Thanks to the allicin, garlic (and onions for that matter) have been shown to reduce hair loss and help regrow hair. Slice garlic and let it set for a couple of minutes to maximize the allicin. Take the sliced garlic and rub on the scalp, squeezing as you go for the most benefit. You can also infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp.

Remove a Splinter

Place a slice of garlic over the opening of the splinter entry and cover with a bandage.

Glass Repair

For cracked glass, rub some crushed garlic clove juice on the crack. Wipe away any excess.

Got Any Other Garlic Tricks?

It’s a powerful substance. Be careful, use common sense, and listen to your body when treating ailments and conditions with garlic. It’s an amazing herb and should be treated with the respect it deserves. If you know of anything else we should include in this garlic article, please let us know by leaving a comment.