Garlic For Health, by Jen Gold

We’re in Scotland this week for a holiday. My in laws were looking after the children yesterday, so I spent some time at Archerfield Walled Garden having some exciting planning meetings for the Detox Health Beauty festival (11th May 2019). I went to see Jen Gold at her yurt afterwards for some sage advice and a massage. Jen is a good friend, is deeply knowledgable and works with massage, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, reiki, meditation, yoga and a combination of healing tools to help you to connect and listen to yourself with awareness - all powerful ways to encourage people to be healthy and happy. Jen has written about the superpowers of garlic, which might come in handy, especially at this time of year…

The stories tell us that garlic is one of the best ways to scare away vampires. Strange as it may seem, there is a sound truth to this! Garlic is a powerful medicine that has been used for thousands of years to fend off attacks in the physical and metaphysical realms, otherwise known to our ancestors as ‘vampires’. Garlic in our blood has the power to stop our bodies being invaded by illness, our life force being drained and in many cases can prolong life.  

The benefits of garlic are documented as early as 1500BC Egypt, where they were well known and given to slaves to keep them fit and healthy. We know how strong they were as they were the builders of the pyramids!  There are hundreds of indications for garlic in the Egyptian Medical Papyrus including for throat infections and physical weakness. There’s a whole library dedicated to the benefits of eating garlic from around the world, with even a well known account of it being taken to prevent the Black Death.

Garlic is a noted ingredient in Four Thieves Vinegar which was named after the naughty thieves who saved themselves from the plague by taking the medicine (which was a concoction of vinegar infused with herbs, spices and garlic).  More recently, it was used in both world wars to treat typhoid and TB and to clean septic wounds.  

So what is the best way to take this medicinal plant to benefit us in our everyday modern life?

Most of us think of adding garlic to our food such as bread, pasta sauces and curries but there are other ways to absorb it.  Applying garlic to the skin is an excellent way to get it into the body if eating it is not possible. I’ve mixed a few cloves of garlic with a bowl of porridge and applied it to the feet for treating a digestive infection when the stomach wasn’t able to keep it down. It can feel a bit squishy but the porridge acts as a medium and stops the garlic burning the skin. It doesn’t take long to be absorbed into the blood and after a few minutes it can be smelt on the breath, which is pretty impressive!

There’s no doubt it has a strong odour which attracts some and repels others (maybe human vampires too!) As a wise herbal teacher said “if your friends don’t like the smell of garlic, better get some new friends!” It is true if you’ve had garlic yourself it’s not so smelly to be around someone else who’s had some.

Garlic’s most potent form is fresh, organic, crushed and raw. When crushed, raw garlic activates it’s strong antimicrobial properties which have been shown to be as powerful as antibiotic drugs. Although antibiotics (as helpful as they are in the right situation) kill the whole flora of bacteria and fungus, garlic irradiates the nasty ones and supports the growth of our helpful ones. 

Recently, garlic pills have been popular as a preventative and treatment for cardio vascular disease.  Garlic is an extremely helpful medicine for its ability to reduce cholesterol, improve circulation and to treat high blood pressure. It’s known to reduce blood lipids and open up the blood vessels which promotes healthy circulation and over time can have miraculous results. A crushed clove or two of fresh, organic, raw garlic added to your food everyday is the best way to take it. It’s purest form has the most life force and I would recommend you stick to that and avoid standardised extracts of garlic which are nowhere near as effective. Garlic can  thin the blood, so be aware of this if you are already on other forms of blood thinning medication.

As well as preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, garlic also prevents and fights infections (bacterial, viral, fungal) and can support the immune system. It is excreted through our four areas of elimination (digestive, respiratory, urinary and skin) and disinfects these areas as it leaves.

Countries like India and China have garlic in their foods as a basic ingredient for this reason and it is wonderful to have in your diet throughout the winter months, when colds and flu are doing the rounds.

Now that you are aware of some of the great powers of this humble vegetable, you can make more use of it and enjoy the many health benefits it has to offer.  Vampires beware!

Sheena Skinner