Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor before using any of the herbs and/or remedies mentioned in this article.
If you could only grow one food as part of your emergency preps, which one would it be? If you ask me, it should most assuredly be garlic. This tiny little powerhouse of a crop not only improves the flavor of long-term storage meals, it also boasts potent medicinal and household uses.
Allicin is the compound contained in garlic that is primarily responsible or its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral prowess. The allicin in garlic is exceptionally helpful in treating oral problems and yeast infections.
Garlic, which is often regarded as a superfood, has been used as an herbal medicine ingredient for tens of thousands of years. Not only is garlic easy to grow, it can literally be grown indoors in any climate, even if you live in a tiny urban apartment.
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Garlic Medicinal Uses
There are at least 500 different types of bacteria that could be floating around inside your mouth at any given moment. Now, not all of the potential oral bacteria invaders pose a health threat – some actually aid the body. But, keeping both the good and the bad bacteria in check can help prevent painful gum disease and the tooth decay it can provoke.
The allicin in garlic can prevent the growth of bad bacteria and can help thwart tooth decay in the process. Using this natural gum disease fighter now, before an SHTF event, just might improve the health of your gums. Commercially manufactured products that claim to kill “99% of bacteria” inside your mouth would then, if the claim is accurate, be eliminating the good bacteria along with the bad.
You do not need to go the extreme route and scour the internet for garlic-flavored toothpaste to reap the benefits from allicin. You can purchase garlic in capsule form and consume it daily to weekly or add the veggie (yes, garlic really is classified as a vegetable and not an herb) to your meals on a regular basis.
Chewing on a garlic clove may also help eliminate the pain associated with a toothache. To treat a toothache with garlic, peel away the paper-like outer covering from the clove and then place the clove over the sore tooth. Crush the clove slowly and repeatedly over the tooth to release the garlic juice, pressing as firmly as you can each time.
After a few minutes, remove the remains of the clove and rinse with warm water. The garlic juice should offer relief from the pain in about 10 minutes or so. Repeat this process several times a day to relieve pain and attempt to eliminate the infection caused by an abscessed tooth.
Making a poultice using a ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and clove oil and applying it to the infected tooth several times a day may also prove successful at eliminating both pain and infection.
Making a natural mouthwash to both prevent and treat oral health issues is both incredibly quick and easy.
- Mix together ½ cup of warm water (distilled recommended) with 1 teaspoon of garlic juice.
- Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and stir thoroughly.
- Optional, add in ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and/or apple cider vinegar.
- Once the mixture cools, use as a typical mouthwash.
Garlic is also used to reduce the time we are forced to suffer from common cold symptoms. Study results vary, but the consumption of garlic could reduce the time you have a common cold by up to 70 percent.
When my husband was struggling with a cold and possible bronchial issues for weeks and just couldn’t kick it, I started him on garlic capsules and added a few pinches more of powdered garlic to our meals and he started feeling better in less than one week. Garlic, more specifically the allicin it is comprised of, is often regarded as having immune system boosting properties.
The anti-inflammatory antioxidants in garlic can help eliminate and soothe skin rashes – even psoriasis issues – when rubbed onto the problem areas regularly in oil form.
The antimicrobial properties contained in garlic could help thwart yeast infections. A research report by the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery determined that using a thyme and garlic based vaginal cream was just as successful as using the common commercially manufactured yeast infection cream that contains clotrimazole.
To help heal a cold sore, cut a single garlic clove in half and rub the pain area. Garlic should decrease both the discomfort and inflammation commonly associated with cold sores.
Cut a thin slice of garlic and put it over the area of the skin where the splinter is located. Wrap a piece of tape or a bandage over the splinter to hold the garlic in place. In about 30 to 60 minutes, the swelling and pain around the splinter should subside, exposing the splinter more readily so it can be pulled out of the skin completely with tweezers.
Cut several cloves of garlic and rub them onto acne breakouts to harness the antioxidant properties of garlic to kill the bacteria that caused the pimples. Ingesting more garlic may help prevent the formation of acne.
Soak your feet in warm water with about one tablespoon of crushed garlic for half an hour to treat athlete’s foot and similar fungal problems.
General Health Benefits
Eating garlic on a regular basis may help you lose weight and ward off cardiac issues.
Applying garlic oil or juice to the scalp may promote healthy hair and spark growth. The increased blood flow and bolstered circulation prompted by the garlic could strengthen the hair. Some folks opt to rub unwrapped cloves onto the scalp directly or consume garlic capsules to garner the same hair health and growth results.
Garlic Household Uses
Finely chop an entire head of garlic – using a blender or food processor is highly recommended. Place the garlic in a quart Mason jar with hot water and allow it to steep overnight. Then, strain the mixture using cheesecloth and use the remaining liquid to spray areas where pests have been spotted to keep them at bay.
Garlic not only has a plethora of healthy properties, it can also be used as a natural adhesive as well. To fix hairline cracks in both ceramic and glass objects, use garlic juice from a few to a handful of crushed cloves to fill in the crack and deter it from spreading.
How To Grow Garlic
Garlic should be planted in the early to middle of fall, depending upon your climate. I live in the Midwest and put my garlic into pots in late September for a June or July harvest. Garlic can be planted up to six or eight weeks before your first hard frost when growing outdoors in the fall.
- Garlic should be planted in rich soil that is well drained.
- Place your container pots in an area that gets full sun. Garlic needs six full hours of sun each day to grow.
- Garlic cloves must be planted root side down – the thin pointy side of the garlic clove is the root. Plant at least four up to six inches apart if using large pots or sowing directly into the ground. If planting in the ground, make sure the garlic is planted in rows that are a minimum of one and a half to two inches apart.
- Cover the garlic cloves with at least one but preferably two inches of rich fine soil.
Growing Hints and Tips
Garlic may also be planted in the spring for a fall harvest. If you live in a cold climate, add up to six inches of mulch if the garlic will be grown in the soil or outdoors in container pots over the winter.
Top 3 Ways To Preserve Garlic
- Freezing garlic is the simplest way to preserve it. Peel the cloves and put them in bags and simply place them in the freezer. You can open the bag and grate or chop the amount of garlic you want on an as-needed basis. Garlic that has been roasted or pureed in oil can be frozen in the same manner.
- Garlic can be dried by cutting the cloves in half in a lengthwise manner and dehydrating them in a machine, in the sun, or in the oven. If using a common household dehydrator machine, use the vegetable setting (about 135 degrees F) and keep them in the machine until they are completely crisp. If using an oven, bake at 140 degrees F for about 2 hours and then at 130 for another hour – or until crisp and dry.
- To make a garlic salt, use a food processor or a blend to finely chop a mixture created at a ratio of one part garlic to four parts sea salt. This mixture can be stored at room temperature in an airtight Mason jar for years.
You might not be able to survive on garlic alone, but this popular recipe ingredient can help you heal yourself, get rid of mice, and even fix a crack in your last remaining bowl, during a long-term disaster.
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