Is Garlic good for you? Let me count the ways…

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I absolutely love Garlic!  Do you?? There are so many reasons to include this pungent member of the Lily family in your daily meals, anytime but especially now.  There is a glossary* to help with herbal terms but, please contact me if the properties below are not clear.

The huge list, below, primarily extols the virtues of raw garlic. I tend to add it at the very end of whatever I am cooking, to enable the maximum healing powers to be present in my food. Sometimes, for added flavour, I will  sauté onions and add garlic after the onions are translucent but will make sure to save MORE garlic to add just before serving to ensure garlic’s goodness is present.

  • Garlic is a strong cardiac tonic and is used for any conditions of the cardiovascular system.
  • It decreases inflammation in the arteries and protects them.
  • Garlic decreases blood fats and cholesterol
  • It is a strong circulatory stimulant. It improves heart function and circulation in general.
  • Garlic is an immune stimulant.
  • Excellent expectorant, so can help to expel mucus from a productive cough.
  • Garlic is an excellent ‘fighter of infection’ of every kind
  • Garlic is anti-parasitic which means it’s very effective against ‘worms’ and ‘parasites’

Garlic is an excellent digestive herb. Important ally for infections & inflammation of digestive system.

*Here’s the list of  properties ~ go to “GLOSSARY” under articles(top right) for any new terms.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Primary Properties: Anthelmintic (pinworms, threadworms), , antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antispasmodic, antithrombotic,  antiviral, blood pressure normalizer, carminative, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, digestive stimulant, expectorant febrifuge, hepatoprotective, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, pancreatic

Secondary Properties: Analgesic, adrenal tonic, antiallergenic, antiarrhythmic, , antineoplastic, cardiac, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, uterine stimulant, vascular tonic.

Garlic Syrup
Slice several bulbs of garlic.
Put the garlic into a clean canning jar.
Add raw honey to cover the garlic.
Place tight-fitting lid on the jar.
In the next 48 hours, the juice from the garlic will mix with the honey.
Take 1-2 teaspoonfuls of this syrup every 30 minutes for congestion in the lungs and to relieve cough spasms or a sore throat.

Pickled Garlic  ~ plan ahead!


It’s been 20 years since my dear friend and mentor Rosemary Gladstar taught me how to pickle garlic three ways. I honestly can’t tell you which I prefer, because I enjoy each, but will include all here. Make them both and YOU decide!

They will be either salty-sweet or tart-sweet. The degree of sweetness can also be adjusted, so as with many adventures with herbs, the recipes are more of a guide than a recipe.  Use your imagination!

  • garlic bulbs, amount will vary
  • tamari OR apple cider vinegar
  • honey
  • glass jar (I tend to use a canning jar)

Peel several heads of garlic. Try not to nick the cloves, as this will make them turn black or brown. (This doesn’t affect the result or the taste, but cloves in their original color look more appetizing.) Place the cloves in a glass jar. Choose the size of jar carefully; the idea is to have the garlic cloves piled in the jar and topped with liquid so that there’s not a lot of air space.
Cover the garlic cloves with tamari or apple cider vinegar* and allow to steep in a warm area (ideally a warm cupboard) for 4-8 weeks. Sometimes air bubbles will form, but this is a part of the process. Ensure that the cloves are always covered with liquid.

After 4 – 8 weeks, strain the liquid into a bowl or another jar. Pour ½ to 1 cup of the liquid into a measuring cup. Add an equal amount of honey. Mix together and pour the sweetened mixture back into the original jar, over the garlic cloves.

The remaining unused portion of the liquid makes a delicious addition to sauces, stews, salad dressings.

Put a tight-fitting lid onto the jar with the garlic and allow to sit another 4 -8 weeks.

The result yields a tasty, raw garlic condiment with all of the power of garlic’s goodness. It can be taken daily as a preventative or used with salads or many main dish meals.

*Use tamari, apple cider vinegar, or both! If time permits, I like to make all three. If not? I make the version with both tamari and apple cider vinegar. Tamari is a fermented Japanese version of the common “soy sauce”. It offers a deeper, richer flavor and is available ‘gluten free’.


Pickled Garlic

 easy Garlic-infused Vinegar

Peel, chop and crush an entire bulb of garlic.
Put it in a quart of apple cider vinegar.
Allow to ‘marry’ for a week or two.
Strain through fine cheese cloth or a fine stainless steel strainer.
Note: I have used white wine, red wine and rice wine vinegars but prefer apple cider, personally.

Use it cooked in meals. For more complete range of healing constituents, it’s best to add it at the end of cooking for best results, as I mentioned above OR you can enjoy pickled garlic (still raw, uncooked) OR do what hard-core garlic
lovers do .. Cut cloves in half and swallow with a big gulp of H2O, as one might take a pill!!


 Whatever way you can ingest garlic, DO IT!  I have some great garlic recipe ideas and will post in the next few weeks. Meantime ?

What do you do with garlic ?       It IS nature’s TOP PERFORMER !!

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  • I have been using garlic to treat an infected cat bite. It works wonders, but I find that I have to use fresh, raw garlic, and LOTS OF IT. If I try to switch to the scent – free garlic capsules for sale in the health food store, the infection flares up and I have to switch back quickly to the “real” stuff to keep it from getting out of hand. And I have to use LOTS – one or two cloves per day will not do the trick. To effecively fight a serious infection that would put most people in the hospital, I find that it is necessare to use up to 10 cloves at a time – 3 or 4 times per day. It is hard on the stomach to use this much, but it is easier if I juice the cloves with celery and cucumber to dilute the garlic. For garlic to be useful as serious medicine, you have to use LOTS of fresh, crushed or juiced cloves. In my opinion, anything less is culinary and not a true medicinal dose.

    • Hello Linda.
      I trust that the cat bite has healed now. I agree that there is a definite difference between a tasty bite and a therapeutic dose. The same goes for all of herbal medicine, really, including amount of herbal tea needed to make a significant impact. Some of my clients have good luck with chopped raw garlic and honey or chopped raw garlic with pureed parsley and other herbs like in a sort of pesto! Thanks for your comment. Hope you are very well these days.

  • I love garlic,I use it everyday. I use it in a drink before going for my daily run. Sometimes I’ll eat the garlic after the drink. Has helped me lose weight and give me more energy I believe. I sweat better,cleaner if you know what I mean. Its my wonder “drug”!

  • Great article! We use garlic in almost everything! I always have fermented garlic on hand and for general well being we eat one every week or so (we use so much garlic in our daily meals that I use the fermented ones as a boost). When someone gets the sniffles or just isn’t feeling “right” then it’s two a day until they feel better – usually only a couple of days are needed. In addition, I also have them take a shot of Master Tonic every day as well. Thanks for the great info!

  • While breastfeeding, I’ve treated mastitis twice and other breast feeding related problems with raw organic garlic. 2-3 cloves every 2 hours for about a day or as long as you can stomach it. Chopping or crushing the cloves and letting them sit for 5-10 minutes is important for medicinal/antibiotic properties. Something with the chemical allicin being activated & 5-10 minutes is when its at its peak strength…? Either way, using garlic as an antibiotic has been extemely successful & MUCH quicker working than prescribed antibiotics for me! Not to mention healthy instead of damaging to my body.

    • Thanks Lauren, for sharing this info. Others will benefit from your post.
      Studies abound re when is the best time for garlic’s ultimate potency but I have heard,
      as well, this idea of chopping/mincing garlic and allowing some ‘air time’ before ingesting.
      Keep healthy!

  • Your herbal remedies are wonderful ! I take them a step further and only use organically grown heritage varieties that I grow myself. They are reputed to me far more nutricious than just organic grown veggies.

    How do you feel about that?


    • Heritage varieties are a wonderful option if possible. Organic as well. Both together? The best! Good for you!

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