Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Garlic - The Ancient Wonder Drug

I raise a bed of garlic every year. I grow white hard-neck garlic, which cloves; and elephant garlic which is a single bulb. The elephant garlic grows like a weed. I have actually pulled elephant garlic while thinning the bed, and thrown it out in the woods. I now have patches of garlic growing in the woods where it has rooted, grown, and reproduced. The hard-neck garlic looks like what you buy at the store. For a new crop each year you just save three or four bulbs, separate them into cloves, and plant the cloves in the late fall. By the way, cultivated garlic is only vaguely like the wild garlic plants of the allium family. The original garlic plant has been selectively bred for about 5000 years until it now bares no resemblance to the original plant

Garlic is a great spice for cooking, but did you know that it is one of our most potent herbal medicines? Garlic is a natural antibiotic, and it has a very positive effect on the circulatory system. Garlic does its work best if it is consumed as part of the daily diet. It will help strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, and help keep the arteries free of plaque build up. One clove of garlic per day is the recommended dose, so plant a lot of garlic. If you can't stand the taste of garlic you can buy garlic capsules or coated garlic pills, but these won't be available if the economic and transportation structure falls apart.

Here is a partial list of the complaints for which garlic has been historically used to help prevent or cure:

Strengthen the immune system
Lower cholesterol and triglycerides
Fight infections
Reduce blood pressure
Prevent fungal skin infections
Help prevent intestinal parasites
Repel insects which may carry diseases like malaria, lyme disease, West Nile virus etc
Help prevent pneumonia
Help prevent strokes

During World War I (before the use of penicillin or sulfa) the British government bought tons of garlic for use in treating battle wounds. Garlic juice was squeezed directly into wounds to help prevent infection. If the skin became irritated from direct contact with the garlic, the cloves were mashed, placed in gauze, and used as a poultice.

Of course there is no replacement for professional medical care; but if you are in a survival situation, and medical help is not available, you might want to consider garlic as an alternative treatment. In modern, everyday life, garlic will certainly do you no harm; and it could help prevent many medical complaints.

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