Garlic (Allium sativum)

Family: Liliaceae

Parts commonly used: Bulb (cloves).

Properties/energetics: Universally renowned panacean home remedy, alterative, tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypotensive, amphoteric, antispasmodic, antifungal, antimicrobial, nutrient, nervine, cholagogue, carminative, and vulnerary/Hot; spicy.

Systems predominantly affected:  Respiratory, cardiovascular, immune.

Uses: Garlic’s most important effects are on the circulatory system. It reduces blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and plaque in vessels while also increasing the ratio of HDL cholesterol to LDL cholesterol. Garlic also inhibits platelet aggregation and helps break down fibrin, both activities that help prevent atherosclerosis. Finally, with respect to the circulatory system, Garlic, when used regularly, has been shown to decrease blood pressure in those in which it is elevated and, at the same time, is quite beneficial for those registering low blood pressure. Regular use of Garlic is an excellent nutritional preventative for most respiratory and digestive infectious conditions. It is appropriate for all lung ailments, particularly chronic bronchitis, respiratory inflammation, recurrent colds, influenza, and whooping cough. Garlic, when taken raw, is antimicrobial and antifungal. Acting on viruses, bacteria, and alimentary invaders, Garlic treats infections and rids the body of parasites. Insert an oiled, peeled clove of Garlic (making sure it is not nicked in any way whatsoever, so as not to burn any sensitive tissues) in the rectum at night to eliminate intestinal worms, particularly pinworms and hookworms. Purple-skinned Garlic has a stronger effect against parasites than other types.

Combinations: Combines well with Coltsfoot and Lobelia for treating bronchitis and asthma and with Echinacea, Wild Indigo, and Goldenseal for treating conditions associated with microbial activity. Onion has similar characteristics and is frequently used in combination with, or in place of, Garlic.

 Affects on specific body types: For use as a tonic, it is most appropriately used for Monarch circulatory systems due to its warming effect. Probably too irritating for long-term use in the Warrior and Seer constitutions. The Warrior is probably better off using cooling liver remedies such as Dandelion root and Artichoke leaf to clear cholesterol.

 Precautions: Garlic is a strong herb and should not be used in high doses by individuals experiencing stomach irritation or those who are pregnant or nursing. Culinary usage is no problem for these people.

 Preparations/dosage: Can be taken as a tonic in the diet as a raw or cooked food (13 cloves daily); chop up or mash raw Garlic and place in a saucer of olive oil as an appetizer. It is best not to boil or cook Garlic when using it for a medicine. Tincture: 15 to 40 drops in water three times a day.

By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008

For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal, 2nd Edition