The garlic amateur's corner

Medicinal and dietetic properties of garlic

As early as 850 years B.C., Homer claimed that garlic had medicinal properties. Hippocrates, Aristophanes and Aristotle also praised the health benefits of garlic, the symbol of physical strength. The truth is that garlic is a genuine medicinal food which combines therapeutic and nutritional properties.

Garlic has been considered a universal remedy ever since Antiquity. In fact, garlic offers a wide range of medicinal properties which have been scientifically verified: antiseptic, bactericidal, depurative, diuretic, worming, anticancer, antipyretic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, etc.

When fresh garlic is peeled and crushed it releases allicin which has antibiotic properties, and ajoene which has anticoagulant properties. This is why garlic was used as a prophylactic treatment for many infectious diseases: dysentery, typhoid fever, cholera, plague, diphtheria…

During the great plague of Marseille in 1762, four thieves - which had been arrested for looting - were granted pardon in exchange for revealing the secret of their immunity to the disease: a potion made with garlic, which became known as the ‘Vinaigre des 4 voleurs’ !

Garlic helps fight hypertension by dilating small capillaries. It also has anthelmintic properties, and gets rid of intestinal parasites. Finally, allicin inhibits tumours, hence its alleged anti-cancerous properties.

Four simple remedies

For a sore throat
Mix 30 cl of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of Carum Carvi (a herb) and a tablespoon of fennel seeds. Bring to a boil, add 50g chopped raw garlic and leave to cook on a low flame for 5 minutes.
Filter and mix with 250g of honey. Bring to a boil and leave to cook on a high flame for 5 minutes. Leave to go cool and pour into a bottle or flask.
For a sore throat and coughing: adult, 1 tablespoon every two hours. Children, 1 teaspoon every two hours.
For insect bites (mosquito bites, ants)
Cut a garlic clove in half and rub onto the bite/sting
For pain tied to rheumatism and sprains
Pour 25 cl of good quality oil (olive or wheat germ) into a bottle and add 4 crushed garlic cloves. Seal the bottle and store for a week in a warm place. Filter and rub the lotion once a day onto the painful area.
For a cold
Crush a garlic clove and inhale several times a day.

Please consult the following sites: Passeport Santé and Phytomania for more information on the therapeutic and health benefits of garlic…



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