Garlic Identification: Garlic plants are closely related to and similar to onions and they have a similar, but stronger odor. The leaves of garlic plants are neither inflated like onion leaves nor tubular like those of bunching onions. Instead, they are flat, with a crease down the middle and are held erect in two opposite ranks. Most varieties stand about 1-2 ft tall at maturity. Garlic plants produce an underground bulb that is usually divisible into 6 to 20
segments, called cloves.
Flowers: June – July.
Family: Alliaceae (Onion family)
Habitat: Waste ground, roadsides, railroads, fields, meadows, thickets, grassy areas. New York to Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri; north to Indiana. Alien. Native to Eurasia.
Parts Used: Bulb.
History: Garlic’s medical use traces back to 5,000 years ago in Asia where it was used by nomadic tribes to ward off evil spirits and improve health. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans praised and used garlic. Hippocrates recommended its use to combat constipation and as a diuretic. Aristotle suggested its use for a cure against rabies. It was believed to give strength to the men who built the pyramids, courage to the Roman armies, and fighting spirit to the English gamecocks. During the early 1900s and the outset of World War I, British army surgeons used garlic as a bactericide.
Constituents: Allicin and adenosine, enzymes (alliinase, myrosinase, peroxidase), vitamins, glucosilinates. High concentrations of trace minerals, particularly selenium and germanium. Mucilage, phytosterols, resin, and sulphur compounds.
Medicinal Properties: Internally – Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anthelmintic, antiseptic, antiviral, hypotensive-vasodilator, cholagogue, antispasmodic, decreases blood cholesterol, increases HDL, hypoglycemic, expectorant, diaphoretic, antioxidant, antitumor, antineoplastic, antimutagenic, diuretic, carminative, emmenagogue.
Topical Uses – Antimicrobial, antifungal, expectorant.
Uses: Peeled garlic cloves have been eaten or made into tea, syrup, or tincture to treat colds, fevers, coughs, earaches, bronchitis, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, headaches, stomachaches, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diarrhea, dysentery, gout, rheumatism, etc. For external uses, end of garlic clove is cut, then juice is applied to ringworm, acne (see warning below); folk cancer remedy. Cough syrup traditionally made by simmering 10 garlic cloves in 1 pint of milk, adding honey to taste; syrup taken in 1 tablespoon doses as needed. In China, garlic is used for digestive difficulties, diarrhea, dysentery, colds, whooping cough, pinworms, old ulcers, swellings, and snakebites. Experimentally, it lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol. Clinical studies suggest efficacy in gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, heart ailments, and arteriosclerosis. According to demographic studies, garlic is thought responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in parts of Italy and Spain where garlic consumption is heavy. Allicin, the substance responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor, is thought to be responsible for some of the plant’s pharmacological qualities. In experiments with mice, garlic extracts had an inhibitory effect on cancer cells. The presence of trace elements germanium and selenium may have normalized the utilization of oxygen and improved the immunity of the organism against the cancerous cells.
Warning: The essential oil extracted from the bulbs is extremely concentrated and can be irritating. Gastro-intestinal irritation may occur in high doses. Enteric coated capsules may reduce irritation. Garlic has anti-platlet, fibrinolytic and blood thinning capabilities and will interact with anticoagulant drugs. Physicians should be notified of use prior to entering surgical situations.
Preparation and Dosages: BULB. Fresh Juice, 1/4 to 1 teaspoon. Fresh Tincture [1:2] 15-40 drops.

Leave a Reply