Garlic – Herbs For Alternative Medicine


The garlic bulb has gained recognition as a medicinal remedy in Chinese and Western cultures and has been awarded the name “Wonder drug among all herbs”.

Garlic’s active ingredient allicin, destroys, or inhibits various bacteria and fungi and is also responsible for the herb’s pungent smell. When allicin is crushed it combines with the enzyme allinase, which then acts as an antibacterial. Garlic is reported to be more effective than penicillin against typhus disease, and works well against strep, staph bacteria, and the organisms responsible for cholera, dysentery and enteritis.

Garlic has also been found to inhibit tumor cell formation and is currently being studied by the National Cancer Institute.

Claims and Common Uses:

  • May be effective in lowering the risk of heart disease. Lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels while also increasing the good cholesterol, HDL.
  • Shown to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Protects the liver from damage induced by synthetic drugs and chemical pollutants
  • Aids in the treatment of digestive disorders, diarrhea, food poisoning from shellfish
  • Aids in the treatment of high blood pressure, bladder infection, flu, liver and gallbladder problems, sinusitis, ulcers, yeast infections, insomnia, colds, coughs, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma
  • Reduces blood sugar
  • Used for respiratory problems by opening up lungs and bronchial tubes
  • Used externally for hookworm, roundworm, ringworm of the body and scalp, carbuncles, swelling, pinworm, and athlete’s foot (Combine garlic with sesame oil)
  • Used topically as an antibiotic for skin infections and to reduce swelling

Part Used: Bulbs, separated into cloves


  • Garlic is available as cloves, powder and in tablet form
  • Heat and acid destroy ingredients responsible for cholesterol lowering, so enteric-coated products show best results
  • Odorless garlic supplements are available. Aged garlic extract (such as Kyolic) is the best
  • Garlic pills are most effective when coated to prevent breakdown in the stomach before they enter the small intestine
  • It can be eaten raw or cooked
  • Eating enough garlic to have possible medicinal value requires at least five or more cloves a day

Side Effects and Warnings of Garlic:

  • People allergic to garlic may develop a rash from touching or eating the herb
  • Consult your practitioner before using garlic if you are pregnant
  • Can inhibit blood clotting. If you have a blood-clotting disorder, consult an herbalist or a licensed healthcare professional
  • Reduces blood sugar so may effect blood glucose control
  • Avoid large amounts of garlic if you are taking aspirin or other drugs that thin the blood.
  • Produces bad breath, heartburn, and flatulence
  • Garlic is thought to function as an adjunct treatment for cardiovascular disease. Consult your practitioner before using it in this capacity
  • Eating 10 or more raw garlic cloves a day can be toxic and in some cases can trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Do not take if you are breast-feeding because it can pass into the breast-milk and cause colic in infants.