Garlic (Allium sativum) may be best known for being one of the world's most popular culinary herbs thanks to its intense and distinct flavor, but that is not to say it doesn't have other uses outside of the kitchen. Garlic has formidable antibiotic and antiseptic properties - among others - that make it a versatile herb in ways that might be unexpected. Keep reading to discover how you can make use of the garlic cloves sitting in your kitchen cupboard in ways you had never thought of.
1. Cough Relief
When flu season strikes and coughs become prevalent, many people's first choice is to purchase of the many cough syrups available in the drugstore, although many of its side effects - dizziness, lack of concentration, lethargy - can quickly hinder daily activities. Furthermore, most commercial cough syrups limit themselves to relaxing the throat and vocal cords to prevent coughing, but do little to fight the underlying infection.
On the other, hand, using Garlic Syrup as a Cough Remedy instead can help soothe the throat when most needed, while at the same time providing immunity-boosting and antibiotic effects.
When vast quantities are consumed, garlic relaxes the blood vessels in the body to improve blood circulation, including in the genital area. Increased blood flow to the male genitals helps with arousal and makes sustaining an erection easier. This aphrodisiacal effect could be difficult - not to mention odorous - to achieve by consuming the herb as part of a meal and would be more easily achieved by using a garlic supplement.
3. Cold Sore Management
Cold sores - not to be confused with canker sores - are tiny blister-like lesions on the corners of the mouth or around the lips. For approximately 40 - 60% of the U.S. population, they represent a recurring nuisance that flares up after colds, periods of stress, or bouts of low immunity because of the herpes virus. While cold sores usually clear themselves in 10 days without any further help, they tend to be rather painful and can simple things like eating or talking difficult.
Fortunately, a couple of drops of our Garlic Tincture for Ear Infections can double as a cold sore treatment if applied every four to six hours, right after the first signs of the infection - redness, itching, or a tingly spot on one of the sides of the mouth - begin to appear. This effect is due to garlic's antiviral compounds, which can help with a number of skin infections.
4. Reducing Acne
Thanks to its antibacterial action, garlic can be applied topically to treat skin blemishes like pimples and cysts. Rubbing a clove of garlic on the affected area can make unwanted spots disappear. However, those with sensitive skin may experience "garlic burn," so it would be best to try to garlic on an unaffected patch of skin first.
5. Treating Athlete's Foot
The strong antifungal properties found in garlic can counter infections from Epidermophyton and Trichophyton fungi. When applied topically to the foot, garlic can therefore eradicate - or significantly reduce - the effects of athlete's foot. Simply peel four or five garlic cloves in two liters of warm water and place them in a small basin, before adding a couple of teaspoons of baking soda or zinc oxide. Soak you feet for 10 minutes in this bath twice a day, and the itch and discomfort should subside within three or four days - although for best, long-term results, treatment should be continued for two weeks.
Garlic has been prized since Before Common Era for its medicinal and chemical properties, and is still just as relevant today as an herb to boost your overall well-being and make your daily life easier. Affordable, easy to obtain, and extremely versatile, it is worth considering garlic not just for its tasty flavor, but also for the benefits it could offer your health and lifestyle.
Bauer Petrovska, B. & Cekovska, S. (2010). Extracts from the history and medical properties of garlic. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 4(7), 106-110. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.65321
Ehrlich, S.D. (2011). Garlic. University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/garlic
NYU Langone Medical Center. (2013). Garlic. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21729
Silva, D. (2011). Remedies from the Kitchen Cupboard: Garlic. Kaplan University. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from http://healthandwellness.kaplan.edu/articles/nutrition/Remedies%20from%20the%20Kitchen%20Cupboard%20-%20Garlic.html