15 Clever and Surprising Uses for Garlic
When you think of garlic, you probably picture dicing and sautéing the aromatic cloves. Maybe the aroma comes back to you and makes your stomach rumble. Or perhaps you imagine wearing a garlic necklace to repel vampires. Lucky for you, your necklace will also repel parasites and mosquitos and the garlic you consume will treat colds, kill bacteria, and boost immunity. Garlic really is as incredible as all that.
Garlic is a crucial ally for natural health and useful for other purposes as well. Below are 15 clever and unconventional uses for garlic.
1. Kill Parasites
Raw garlic can be used to expel intestinal parasites. Consume about three cloves per day to help keep your digestive tract free of unwanted guests. To establish a thoroughly cleansing diet, incorporate lemon juice, raw honey, carrots, beets, and pumpkin seeds in addition to garlic.
2. Pesticide for the Garden
If you spent months planning and planting your garden, the last thing you want is for it to be dessimated by bugs. A simple garlic pesticide spray can ward off aphids, squash bugs, cabbage loopers and whiteflies. To make the spray, immerse three minced garlic cloves in two tablespoons of mineral oil for a full 24 hours. Strain the mixture and combine the mineral oil with a teaspoon of dish soap and 16 ounces of water. Mix and transfer to a spray bottle. Spray plants with nibbled leaves or other evidence of insect damage.
3. Mosquito repellent
Nobody wants to get mosquito bites. If you’re trying to stay away from DEET and other toxic chemicals, try garlic mosquito spray instead. Infuse minced garlic cloves in an ounce of mineral oil for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and combine the oil with one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and two cups of water. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and use as bug spray.
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4. Cure Colds
For centuries, garlic has been used to naturally prevent and cure colds. Researchers claim that allicin, a biologically active component of garlic, naturally impedes viral and bacterial infections. To cure or prevent infections, eat 3-4 garlic cloves each day. Raw garlic is more potent than cooked garlic. Try crushing the cloves and adding them to soups or salad dressings.
5. Weight Loss
Garlic contains weight loss properties. Research has found compounds in garlic that signal satiety. This signals to your brain that you are full and helps you feel satisfied sooner. Garlic also promotes metabolic function which helps you to burn calories.
6. Alleviate Psoriasis Symptoms
Garlic contains anti-inflammatory properties which alleviate discomfort associated with psoriasis. Psoriasis causes inflammation which leads to tightness and itching. The active compounds in garlic interact with an omega fatty acid in the skin called arachidonic acid which is linked to psoriasis. Try eating about 3 cloves per day to reduce inflammation in the body. Also rub garlic oil on affected areas to treat the arachidonic acid.
7. Cough Syrup
Make garlic broth by steeping raw, diced cloves in hot water for at least 5 minutes. Drink the liquid. Add honey to make it taste better or stir in miso paste to turn it into a soup. The garlic infused liquid functions as a cough syrup by helping to clear up excess mucus and reduce inflammation.
8. Ear infections
It might sound strange, but garlic has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for ear infections. The garlic works by killing the bacteria causing the ear infection. You can either buy garlic oil sold for this purpose or make your own at home. To make garlic oil, combine one crushed garlic clove with a teaspoon of hot olive oil. Wait 5 minutes, then strain. Once the oil has cooled, carefully place a few drops into your ear canal.
9. Skin cleanser
Use a paste of olive oil, minced garlic, sugar, and facial cleanser to eliminate acne and exfoliate the skin. Results vary, but some individuals swear that garlic tightens and brightens their skin while drying out acne. To see for yourself, simply massage the cleanser into your skin, then rinse.
10. Remove Splinters
Most splinters can be extracted almost immediately using tweezers, but for the ones that are buried deep under the skin, you usually have to endure the pain and inconvenience until they emerge in their own time. Alternatively, you can give this unusual trick a try. Place a sliver of garlic over the splinter. Hold it there with a band aid. The splinter should emerge within a few hours.
Apply raw, fresh garlic directly to affected areas to reduce or eliminate acne. This is a home remedy that might make you smell a little pungent, but the antibacterial properties of garlic are well worth it. Even deep acne cysts, which can be difficult to treat, benefit from raw garlic treatment.
12. Treat Cold Sores
Raw garlic can help to eliminate painful and unsightly cold sores. In fact, studies show that garlic may be just as effective as commercial medical treatments. Slice a garlic clove lengthwise and place the open end directly on the cold sore. Leave it there for 10 minutes, multiple times each day. The acidity in the garlic might cause initial discomfort. You can also try capsules of garlic supplements to accelerate healing.
13. Improve Digestion
Garlic should be consumed regularly to maintain intestinal health. Not only does garlic kill harmful intestinal bacteria, it also promotes beneficial flora, improving digestion overall.
14. Yeast infections
Another unusual use for garlic is to cure yeast infections. Women typically use sterile cheesecloth to wrap raw, peeled garlic cloves that have not been cut. They insert this garlic bundle using a tampon applicator or their fingers. Garlic has strong antifungal properties which fight off the yeast and keep the infection from developing.
15. Athlete’s foot
The same antifungal properties that make garlic a cure for yeast infections also make it effective at treating athlete’s foot. Simply make a foot bath using warm water and 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic. Soak for about 30 minutes.