From the November 1999 Idaho Observer:

The medicinal and healing properties of garlic

by Carol Geck

Garlic (allium sativum)....just the sound of the word or the aroma on somebody's breath can send some people running in the opposite direction. Little do they know how this culinary herb can be used medicinally.

Historically, garlic was first used in Central Asia where it spread throughout that area of the world. It was later introduced to the Mediterranean countries. It is believed that the Spanish brought garlic to the “New World” where it became an immediate favorite among the Native Americans. There are references to garlic in the Bible and the early Egyptians used it for both cooking and embalming. Homer and Herodotus also mention garlic in their writings. Today garlic is world-renowned as a home remedy in practically every culture. The antibacterial, antimycotic, and lipid-lowering effects of garlic have been proven in scientific literature.

Research by the allopathic medical community is showing that eating garlic everyday will help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Part of our immune system is our tonsils, spleen, appendix, and entire lymphatic system. There are approximately 45 pints of lymphatic fluid in the body. When the lymph nodes become congested with mucus and toxins, we are headed for trouble. Garlic helps to boost the immune system by helping the lymph system leach toxic metal poisons from the body.

In folk medicine, garlic has been utilized internally for arteriosclerosis (degenerative changes in the arteries which result in thickening of the walls, loss of elasticity and in some instances, calcium deposits), high blood pressure , colds, coughs, whooping cough, earaches (using garlic oil), and bronchitis. Garlic is also used for gastrointestinal ailments. This wonderful bulb stimulates the activity of the digestive organs and, therefore, relieves various problems associated with poor digestion. It even has a stimulating effect on the sexual glands. Now, if that doesn't get you to eating more garlic, nothing will -- just make sure your partner loves garlic too!

Since garlic is high in natural iodine, which explains how the old remedy of crushing it and applying it as a poultice over the throat area as an aid for goiters works. It also contains significant amounts of natural sulfur, which explains the favorable effect that it has on the whole body system. The body converts the garlic to an alkaline ash in the digestion process. Garlic is also helpful in regulating the action of the liver and gallbladder, is helpful in cases of intestinal infections, parasite infestations, and for problems due to putrefactive intestinal bacteria.

We have used garlic cloves and apple juice as a natural cold and cough remedy with excellent results. Don't worry -- This old-time remedy actually tastes good.

Another old remedy is to steep chopped garlic in a little peanut or safflower oil. This can be used as a poultice for chest colds and bronchial or pulmonary infections.

There is nothing worse than to be awakened in the middle of the night with an earache or have a child that is screaming with one. In the last 17 years I have used garlic oil with great success when it comes to an earache. I have found most earaches are caused by a fungal infection, with five percent being caused by a bacterial infection. Thankfully, garlic oil works well for both fungal and bacterial infections.

We generally eat at least 2 pounds of garlic a week. We keep a large quart jar with medium ground garlic covered with organic virgin olive oil in the kitchen at all times. Straining off some of the garlic oil for earaches or anyplace else it could be needed is an easy task.

With all of the antibiotics that mankind has taken in the last 80 years, our digestive enzymes and intestinal flora are basically gone. Without intestinal flora and digestive enzymes, people will eat and eat and become overweight and still be undernourished. They will not receive essential nutrients and will get sicker and sicker, becoming infected with a myriad of fungi, harmful bacteria, and viruses. Our immune systems have been destroyed and antibiotics are getting closer and closer to not working at all.

Our natural foods should be our medicines. Let fresh, raw garlic have it's chance to prove itself as a natural healer for your body.


Carol Geck, a healer based in Naples, Idaho can be reached at (208) 267-6606 (voice/fax).

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