Thursday, September 3, 2009

Natural Helps--Garlic!

I love garlic and eat it in everything! But did you know that aside from garlic's amazing flavor it can also be used as a natural cure to many ailments? Neither did I, but upon further research I was pleasantly surprised to find that something I always have in my kitchen could be used in such a variety of ways!

Garlic, by nature, is an effective antibiotic and can even fight off scary infections like staph, e-coli and tuberculosis! That's some healing power! Some cultures, particularly in India, Africa and parts of South America, where refridgeration is a rarity, add garlic to their food as an antiparasitic. It has also been effective in maintaining proper circulation and blood pressure, preventing flu severity and against the common cold.

Practical Ways to Use Garlic

Eat It--this is no problem for me, as I love the taste of garlic and can happily eat a whole clove! For those who find the flavor of garlic too strong, try chopping up a clove and mixing with 1 tbsp. of honey or chocolate or caramel ice cream topping (this sounds worse than eating it straight!) Note: garlic is most effective when consumed raw ( sorry, no garlic bread won't work)

Garlic Essential Oil--works best for ear and throat infections and athlete's foot. You will have to use a carrier oil, such as sweet almond or even olive oil. Warm the oil and add one clove of crushed garlic; let sit about half an hour and then strain the oil. You can use a medicine dropper to put about three drops in the ear (make sure it's warm but not too hot!). Place cotton balls in your ear to keep it from draining out and let sit in ear for at least ten minutes. For athlete's foot, apply directly to affected area--it's smelly, but let it sit until your next shower!

Other Helpful Tips

Don't apply fresh garlic directly to skin, as it can burn. Use carrier oils.

For a baby, try crushing garlic to make a salve of sorts. Apply it to the soles of the feet, as the skin will allow the garlic's medicinal properties to absorb into the bloodstream. Works well for kids who don't like the taste of garlic, too!

Use your garlic oil, salve or fresh garlic immediately, and make a new one each time.

It's most effective to use garlic the MINUTE you feel cold or flu symptoms coming on. Don't wait until you have a full-blown infection.

Resources --a wealth of information on natural remedies, including some on garlic --good source of information on the specific healing powers of garlic.

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