10 Uses For Garlic You Never Even Thought Of

By on July 8, 2014
The Benefits Of Garlic

Humans have been using garlic for over 7,000 years in both medicine and cooking, originating in central Asia and then spreading throughout the world. The bulbous plant is related to onions, leeks, shallots and chives and offers up a host of health benefits. Garlic  is good for so much more than cooking. Here are 10 things to use garlic for.

10. Mosquito Repellent

The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests swallowing whole slivers of garlic to ward off mosquito bites and the itchy aftermath. If you find the taste too overpowering, garlic tablets are touted as another option. For areas with serious swarms, some people crush the garlic in a press and apply it directly to the skin or rub it on clothing. Don’t worry, the smell washes off in the shower!

9. Natural Antimicrobial

In 2014, NYU published an article touting the antimicrobial properties of fresh garlic. Through direct contact, garlic kills fungus, viruses, bacteria and protozoa, making it excellent for topic treatment of some skin infections such as athlete’s foot and thrush. While studies to see if ingesting garlic compounds work the same way internally have yielded mixed results, there is also a widely-held belief that it can act as an antibiotic if swallowed.

8. Antiseptic Uses

During the First World War, garlic was used to prevent gangrene. Using a garlic mouthwash had also been proven to lower the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth. These antiseptic qualities have been exploited for over 5,000 years, having been noted in Sanskrit documents of the period.

7. Increased Antioxidant Levels

The National Institute of Health published to the National Library of Medicine that raw garlic is packed with powerful antioxidants. Oxidation damage to our cells has been linked to health issues ranging from premature aging to cancer. A diet rich in raw garlic or supplemented by garlic tablets is crucial to avoiding these health problems and keeping your cells from being damaged by oxidation.

6. Immune System Booster

In May of 2013, The University of Maryland Medical Center published findings that regular consumption of garlic during ‘cold season,’ which runs from November to April, lowered the instances and duration of cold symptoms. Those in the study who were receiving a placebo got colds more often and experiencing symptoms for more days per illness than their garlic-consuming counterparts.

5. An Anti-Spasmodic

The benefits of garlic to combat muscle spasms and cramps throughout the body has been documented for hundreds of years in the Romany culture, and was also used for this purpose by the Romans. Due to this anti-spasm effect, garlic is also used to help with high blood pressure, as it relaxes the contractions of the arteries.

4. Fight Heart Disease

A recent UCLA study shows that taking tablets of garlic extract as part of a healthy diet can reverse the effects of heart disease. The chemical makeup of the herb caused the plaque that clogs arteries to shrink and recede, allowing for better blood flow and a smaller chance of heart attacks and strokes. While more studies will be needed to prove this effect, the initial results are nothing short of flabbergasting.

3. Prevent and Fight Parasites (Anthelmintic Qualities)

The National Institute of Health used raw garlic to cure lab mice of intestinal worms. The results were on-par with that of Ivermectin, a common anti-parasite medication. In humans, garlic works with the immune system to rid the body of worms and flukes that can attack the digestive system. Protozoa, the cause of Montezuma’s Revenge, is also a parasite that can be overcome by consuming garlic.

2. Blood Pressure Control

Blood pressure is controlled by many factors. As previous discussed, battling heart disease and spasms with garlic already has a positive effect on blood pressure. The active ingredient, allicin, can reduce blood pressure by up to ten percent in just twelve weeks. It must be consumed raw or taken in tablet form in order to be effective.

1. Vitamins and Minerals

In addition to all of these excellent health benefits, garlic is also a nutritional powerhouse. It is packed with B6, magnesium, vitamin C and copper. It is also a good source of selenium, calcium and phosphorus. All of these components are needed for healthy function in all areas of the body, ranging from bone mass to sharp vision.

Garlic offers amazing health benefits for a wide variety of issues and diseases. Talk to your doctor about adding raw garlic, tablets or garlic oil to your diet and see what it has to offer.

About Dean Iodice