You can either love it or hate it, but you simply can’t ignore it.

A native of Central Asia, garlic has been used for thousands of years both as a cooking seasoning and in traditional medicine because of its strong antibiotic properties. It was even referred to as ‘Russian penicillin’ during World War II, as the Russian government used it to treat its soldiers when they ran out of antibiotics.

The pungent garlic derives its ‘cure-all’ properties from the compound allicin, which is released when garlic cloves are crushed. Garlic is also rich in sulfur, zinc, calcium, and selenium that are beneficial for your health.

Learn how to use garlic for health
Learn how to use garlic for health

Read on to learn how you can use garlic as a home treatment for 14 common health issues, from baldness to a urinary tract infection to athlete’s foot and more.

Caution: Do not use garlic remedies if you are on blood thinners or are lined up for a surgery. 

Method 1: Ear Infection

An ear infection is most commonly caused by a bacteria or fungus. One of the health benefits of garlic is that it can work as a broad-spectrum antibiotic to treat the ear infection and also bring immediate relief from the pain.

A 2015 study published in the Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology supports the use of fresh garlic extract to protect against infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Single-Step Treatment: Put garlic oil in the infected ear

Use garlic for health-to treat ear infection
Use garlic oil to treat ear infection
  • Lie down on your side with the infected ear facing up.
  • Put 2 drops of garlic oil in the affected ear.
  • Stay in the position for a few minutes before tilting your head down to allow the oil to drain out.

Use it 3 times daily for 1 week to clear up the infection completely.

You can follow this remedy with a warm compress to relieve pain.

Method 2: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is usually caused by E. coli bacteria entering the bladder via the urethra. While doctors generally prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition, over time these antibiotics can make the bacteria resistant to medication.

Allicin found in garlic can work naturally, even against the most drug-resistant strains of bacteria, without hampering the natural flora of your gut.

Single-Step Treatment: Drink garlic tea every day to cure a UTI

Use garlic for health-to cure a UTI
Brew and drink garlic tea twice daily for 1 week to cure a UTI
  • Add 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic to 1 cup of hot water.
  • Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain out the infused water and drink it.

Consume this drink twice daily for 1 week to get rid of a UTI completely.

Method 3: Bronchitis

An inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tubes caused by a viral or bacterial infection is known as bronchitis. The strong antiviral and antibacterial properties of garlic make it an excellent remedy for bronchitis. Garlic along with honey will help reduce the inflammation and bring relief from the incessant coughing. Honey will also form a protective coating on your irritated throat.

Things you’ll need:

things needed to use garlic for health-bronchitis

  • Garlic, minced (antimicrobial) – 1 tablespoon
  • Honey (soothes throat) – 1 tablespoon

Single-Step Treatment: Mix garlic and honey & consume daily

Use garlic for health-to treat bronchitis
Consume a mixture of garlic and honey to treat bronchitis
  • Put 1 tablespoon each of minced garlic and honey in a bowl.
  • Mix well to form a paste.

Consume 1 teaspoon of this paste twice daily until your bronchitis symptoms subside.

Method 4: Yeast Infection & Bladder Infection

The antimicrobial garlic can also be used to treat a yeast infection, medically known as candidiasis. The infection is caused by the candida albicans fungus. While it mostly affects the vaginal area, it may also develop on the lower abdomen, under the breasts, around dentures, and in the nail beds.

Applying crushed garlic on the affected skin will release its antibiotic allicin that will kill the infection completely. Crushed garlic, when applied around the vaginal area, can also cure a bladder infection.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply crushed garlic to the affected area

Use garlic for health- to treat a yeast or bladder infection
Apply crushed garlic to eliminate a yeast or bladder infection
  • Crush 3 or 4 garlic cloves thoroughly to get a fine paste.
  • Apply the paste to the affected skin and leave it on for 30 minutes. For a bladder infection, women may apply the paste to the vaginal area.
  • Rinse it off with water and pat dry your skin.

Apply the garlic paste once daily until the infection clears up.

Additionally, you can consume 2 or 3 garlic cloves every day to cure a yeast infection from within.

Note: Since garlic can irritate the skin, protect the surrounding healthy skin by coating it with a layer of petroleum jelly.

Method 5: Bacterial Vaginosis

When the bad bacteria in the vagina outnumber the good bacteria, it gives way to a vaginal infection, also known as bacterial vaginosis. The infection can lead to itching and a burning sensation in the vagina, and also cause a white or yellow, foul-smelling discharge. The strong antibiotic properties of allicin found in garlic will kill the invading pathogens and treat the infection.

Single-Step Treatment: Insert a garlic clove into your vagina

Use garlic for health-to treat bacterial vaginosis
Insert and leave a peeled garlic clove inside your vagina overnight to treat bacterial vaginosis
  • Remove the skin from a garlic clove. You can make small slits in the clove to release the allicin quickly.
  • Insert the clove into your vagina and leave it in overnight. You can tie a thin thread around the clove to take it out easily the next morning.

Garlic will bring you symptom relief in just one night. Continue this remedy for 1 week to treat bacterial vaginosis completely.

Method 6: Cholesterol

One of the health benefits of garlic is that it can also bring down the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or ‘bad’ cholesterol level in your blood. It prevents the cholesterol from sticking to the artery walls, thus preventing arterial blockage. Garlic also works as a natural blood thinner to prevent blood clots and reduce your blood pressure.

Single-Step Treatment: Consume fresh garlic every day

Use garlic for health-to lower your bad cholesterol
Consume 2 to 4 cloves of garlic daily to lower your bad cholesterol
  • If you can tolerate the pungent taste, eat 2 to 4 garlic cloves every day.
  • If not, you can use 5 to 7 garlic cloves in cooking to make the consumption easier. You can either use them as a seasoning or add them to soups and stir-fries.
  • Alternatively, you can consult your doctor about taking garlic supplements.

Continue using this remedy for at least 1 to 2 months. Then, see your doctor for a test to determine if your LDL level has dropped sufficiently. 

Method 7: Diabetes

One of the health benefits of garlic is that it contains compounds like allicin, allyl propyl disulfide, and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide that can improve insulin production in your body and thereby better regulate blood glucose levels.

A 2006 clinical trial published in The Journal of Nutrition states that high doses of garlic extracts, when administered to rats, significantly lowered their blood glucose levels.

Hence, garlic can have the same effect in humans when taken in the right quantity. Garlic can be consumed raw or taken in the form of supplements after consulting your doctor.

Single-Step Treatment: Consume fresh garlic or garlic supplements daily

Use garlic for health-to regulate your blood glucose levels
Consume garlic to regulate your blood glucose levels
  • If consuming raw garlic, eat 1 garlic clove with your meal 3 times daily.
  • For supplements, take 600 to 1,200 mg a day, divided into multiple doses. These are approximate values. Consult your doctor for the right dosage based on your weight and health condition.

Method 8: Food Poisoning

Garlic is a natural antibiotic that can also be used to cure food poisoning. It will not only kill the troubling bacteria but also cure the related symptoms, such as a stomach ache and diarrhea.

Single-Step Treatment: Gulp down a garlic clove with water

Use garlic for health-to get relief from food poisoning
Use garlic to get relief from food poisoning
  • Peel 1 garlic clove and swallow it whole with a glass of water. You should feel relief after a few hours.
  • Alternatively, you can mix 1 teaspoon each of garlic and soybean oil, and rub it on your stomach to relieve the pain and discomfort.

Consume 1 garlic clove daily for 2 or 3 days until your stomach is back to normal functioning.

Method 9: Asthma

Garlic milk is an age-old remedy for asthma. Garlic contains an element called quercetin, which works as an antihistamine (anti-allergic) to prevent asthma attacks due to allergens. Garlic also works as an anti-inflammatory agent to dilate the bronchi and facilitate easier breathing.

Regular garlic consumption can help strengthen your immune system and protect you from the common cold and flu that can sometimes trigger asthma attacks. The warm milk used in this remedy will soothe the respiratory system and reduce inflammation.

Things you’ll need:

things needed to use garlic for health-asthma

  • Garlic, peeled and crushed (antihistamine) – 1 tablespoon
  • Milk (anti-inflammatory) – ¼ cup

Step 1. Boil the crushed garlic and milk

Boil crushed garlic in milk to use garlic for health-asthma
Boil crushed garlic in milk
  • Pour a ¼ cup of milk into a pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of peeled and crushed raw garlic.
  • Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Step 2. Strain the garlic milk and drink it

Use garlic for health-to get relief from asthma
Strain and drink to get relief from asthma
  • Strain the garlic-infused milk into a glass.
  • Allow the milk to cool down until it is comfortable to drink.
  • Drink the garlic milk as is or add in some honey for taste.

Drink garlic milk once daily to get relief from severe asthma symptoms and also to prevent attacks.

Method 10: Blood Pressure

Consuming a concoction of garlic and lemon juice daily can help lower your blood pressure. Garlic stimulates the production of nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide that help relax blood vessels. Lemon further helps keep the blood vessels soft and flexible. The high vitamin C content in the lemon juice also helps curb free-radical damage and keep the heart healthy.

Things you’ll need:

things needed to use garlic for health-to lower blood presure

  • Garlic, minced (relaxes blood vessels) – 2 teaspoons
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed (rich in antioxidants) – 1 tablespoon

Single-Step Treatment: Combine lemon and garlic & consume only the liquid

Use garlic for health-to lower your blood pressure
Mix crushed garlic and lemon juice together; consume only the infused liquid to lower your blood pressure
  • Mix 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a jar.
  • Stir well and let the mixture sit for 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Consume only the infused liquid, not the garlic.
  • Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of the liquid 3 times a day. Follow it with a glass of water. Store the remaining liquid in the refrigerator.

Use this remedy regularly to keep high blood pressure in check.

Method 11: Cold

Catching a cold is inevitable during the winter. Drinking this healthy an immunity-boosting drink made with garlic, lemon, and black pepper can keep you safe during the cold season.

The antiviral and anti-inflammatory garlic helps kill the virus and soothe your nasal passages. The lemon gives you a vitamin C boost to improve your body’s resistance to infections. Black pepper helps alleviate chest congestion.

Things you’ll need:

things needed to use garlic for health-cold

  • Water – 1 cup
  • Black pepper (fights congestion) – ½ teaspoon
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed (boosts immunity) – 1 lemon
  • Garlic, chopped (antiviral) – ½ tablespoon

Step 1. Add the ingredients to a pan with water

Combine water, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and peppercorns to use garlic for health
Combine water, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and peppercorns in a pan
  • Pour 1 cup of water into a pan.
  • Add ½ tablespoon of chopped garlic.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of black pepper as well.
  • Finally, add the juice of 1 lemon.

Step 2. Boil it, strain the liquid and drink it

Use garlic for health-to cure a cold
Bring to boil, simmer, and strain to cure your cold
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Cover the pan with a lid, and let it simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain out the liquid and let it cool down a bit, then drink it.

Prepare and drink this concoction daily to treat or prevent a cold.

Method 12: Fibroids

Garlic is rich in antioxidants that can help shrink and prevent the growth of fibroids. The vitamins present in garlic, such as vitamin C and B6, help regulate female hormones that are one of the causes of fibroids in the uterus. Garlic also boosts your immune system by providing antioxidants to prevent the growth of benign tumors.

Single-Step Treatment: Consume garlic cloves every day

Use garlic for health-to shrink your uterine fibroids
Consume garlic cloves to shrink your uterine fibroids
  • Consume 3 or 4 garlic cloves every day. You can also take them with milk, which works as an anti-inflammatory and reduces pain due to fibroids.
  • If you have large fibroids, you can consult your doctor about taking larger doses of garlic in the form of supplements.

Continue taking the raw garlic or supplements until your fibroids heal completely.

Method 13: Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones are calcified lumps of debris and bacteria that collect in the grooves of your tonsils, causing them to swell up and giving you bad breath. Garlic is one of the most effective remedies to get rid of tonsil stones naturally. Chewing garlic cloves will release allicin in your mouth that will kill the bacteria in the tonsil stones and discourage further formation as well.

Single-Step Treatment: Chew on a garlic clove 3 or 4 times daily

Use garlic for health-to get rid of tonsil stones
Chew on garlic cloves to get rid of tonsil stones
  • Chew on a peeled garlic clove to release its juice into your mouth.
  • Hold it as long as you can, then swallow it.
  • Drink a glass of water to flush out the bacteria.

Use this remedy 3 or 4 times daily until you get rid of the pain and discomfort in your throat.

Method 14: Bloating

Garlic can relieve bloating by stimulating the digestive system and relieving gas in the intestines. It also helps flush toxins out of the body that can lead to gas.

Single-Step Treatment: Drink garlic tea several times a day

Use garlic for health-to get rid of gas and bloating
Brew and drink garlic tea to get rid of gas and bloating
  • Put 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves in 1 cup of hot water.
  • Place a lid on the cup and let it steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain out the infused water and drink it.

You should get relief after just a few minutes of drinking this garlic tea. Prepare and drink this tea whenever you feel bloated.

Tips

  • Always use fresh garlic for home remedies, as dried garlic may not be as effective.
  • To check for freshness, slice a garlic clove in half lengthwise and look for a sprout. If the sprout is yellow or green, it means your garlic is good to use. If it has shriveled up and turned brown, discard the garlic clove.
  • Always consult your doctor before starting any kind of supplements.
  • Using these remedies can leave you with garlic breath. Learn some easy ways to get rid of garlic breath.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458355/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2318745