Garlic is not just about cooking and keeping away the vampires. Read these surprising tips ranging from healing cold sores to repelling mosquito’s:
Garlic is part of the onion family and is also known as the ‘stinking rose’. It can be used to directly treat several health issues as well as having surprising uses around the house. You will never look at a humble bulb of garlic the same way again!
1. HEART AND LIVER BENEFITS: Eating one to two cloves a day has been shown to keep our hearts and livers healthy. Garlic also has well-documented anti-viral and anti-bacterial benefits; it boosts our immune systems. It is easy to add to our food or take organic garlic supplements (although the active medicinal ingredient ‘allicin’ is at a lesser strength in supplements).
2. COUGHS AND COLDS: Through the ages, it is apparent that garlic has been known as an aid for coughs and colds. It is a rich source of anti-oxidants. There is some modern research showing that garlic is actually very effective at easing or even warding off coughs and common colds. To make a natural cough syrup, mash a clove of garlic and let it stand in hot water for approximately 5 minutes. Strain out the garlic, add some local organic honey to sweeten and drink. If it is to your taste, you can also eat 3 raw cloves daily around cold and flu season to help prevent catching a bug.
3. ATHLETE’S FOOT: Fungus is not a fan of garlic so it is ideal to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Simply crush two or three cloves and add to warm water in a shallow footbath. Soak for half an hour and you should see it clear up over a short period of time.
4. COLD SORES: Cut a clove of garlic in half and apply this cut edge to the cold sore. Even though it will sting slightly, tests have shown that it is just as effective as the common pharmaceutical remedies due to garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties.
5. BANISH ACNE: Similar to cold sores, you need to rub the affected area with a cut clove of garlic. The natural anti-bacterial qualities will help clear your skin and return you to a radiant complexion.
6. MOSQUITO REPELLANT: If you rub garlic on your skin, mosquitos will avoid biting you and go suck somebody else’s blood. If this is a bit too smelly for you, then you can help keep them away by putting cloves in pot plants or areas where they are commonly found.
7. NATURAL PESTICIDE: Avoid nasty pesticides – homemade can be just as effective on some plants. You need to buy a liquid soap from a health food store (eg Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castills Soap) – do not confuse with detergents. Simply, put 2 gloves of garlic in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Steep overnight and then strain before pouring into a spray bottle with a couple of tablespoons of the liquid soap. It may have a short shelf life but you will find it works.
8. DISINFECTANT SURFACE CLEANER: Nearly fill a spray bottle up with white vinegar. Chop up 3 or 4 gloves of garlic and add to the bottle along with a few drops of lemon oil. You will have freshly smelling disinfected worktops.
9. REPAIR OF GLASS CRACKS: This is only for slightly cracked glass or hairline cracks, and is mainly useful in preventing propagation of any damage. Garlic is a natural adhesive. Crush a clove and use the sticky juice that comes out. Rub this juice onto the crack and wipe away any excess.
10. DE-ICER: Garlic salt is an effective de-icer for your driveway and paths. Sprinkle liberally to have ice-free zones.
CAUTION: Do NOT feed you pets garlic. It has been said that it can repel ticks and fleas but according to the ASPCA, “an occasional small amount, such as that in most commercial pet foods and treats, may not cause a problem, but because of the risk, we generally recommend that you avoid feeding your pets products that contain more concentrated amounts of garlic.”
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