No matter what name you give it (or what animal you name it after), we're now full swing into the flu season. Michael's written on the great benefits of onion poultice; how can I pass up touting one of my favorite flu/lung/cough herbs '" garlic? So while you're plastering your chest with an onion poultice, eat or drink some form of garlic as well.
Garlic is said to be a cure for every ailment but the one it causes: bad breath! Its delightful fragrance comes from the presence of sulfur compounds, nature's own antibiotic (but if you eat parsley after the garlic, much of its undesirable odor is eliminated). Garlic is a rejuvenating herb because it both stimulates metabolism and detoxifies. In fact, the body absorbs it so quickly that if you were to rub a clove on your feet, you would be able to taste it within seconds!
Garlic is one of the very best herbs for respiratory conditions, colds, flu, sore throats, infections and earaches. Because it so powerfully heals lung ailments, I recommend it to most all patients with coughs or mucus (especially white or clear mucus).
I have found two methods to be particularly effective for lung ailments: garlic juice or garlic appetizer.
Once when I visited my parents I developed walking pneumonia (and didn't know it). I tried a variety of different herbs but had no results. Finally, I purchased a bottle of garlic juice at a chain grocery store and drank one teaspoonful every two to three hours. Within the first day I was well on the road to recovery and by the end of the third day, completely healed.
Another time I had a terrible debilitating cough on Mother's Day. My son and husband wanted to take me out to lunch to celebrate and since I didn't want to disappoint them, I went along thinking I would keep them company but not eat. Luckily we found an Italian restaurant where, as we waited to order, a large appetizer of bread with raw garlic in olive oil sat on our table. Knowing garlic would help me, I coated several pieces of the bread with masses of the raw garlic dipped in olive oil and ate them with relish. By the time our meals had arrived, my cough was nearly gone and the next day I had fully recovered. I have seen had many a patient experience similar results using garlic juice or appetizer.
Of course, garlic has TONS of other great medicinal uses. It's a specific for regulating blood pressure, both high and low, and lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and plaque in vessels, thus treating atherosclerosis. The deodorized garlic capsules work well in this case, which is a blessing, for it is quite convenient and of course, odorless (in fact, the aged garlic may be superior for these actions).
As well, raw garlic effectively improves weak digestion, stimulates circulation and treats arthritis, rheumatism, lower back and joint pains, genito-urinary diseases, nervous disorders, cramps and spasms and heart weakness. For any of these eat the raw cloves, or drink the juice or syrup. It may also be used in food poisoning due to shellfish.
The Chinese use garlic as a preventative and treatment for parasites and intestinal worms, particularly hookworms, pinworms and ringworm of the scalp. Either insert an oiled garlic clove in the rectum, use garlic enemas (made from garlic tea), eat 3-5 raw cloves of garlic, 3-6 times daily, apply the paste (mashed garlic in sesame or olive oil) topically for ringworm, and in general, use heavy doses for these indications.
Garlic is also good for amoebic dysentery, and an effective antibiotic for staphylococcus, streptococcus and bacteria resistant to standard antibiotic drugs. It is effective for vaginitis and leukorrhea (coat cloves in oil, wrap in muslin, saturate in olive oil and directly insert into vagina) and anti-fungal for the treatment of Candida albicans and yeast infections.
Allium sativum; Liliaceae; da suan; Sanskrit: lasunam
Part Used: bulb
Energy, taste: hot; spicy
Organs affected: Lung, Spleen, Large Intestine, Stomach
Actions: expels parasites
Properties: stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, hypotensive, alterative, digestant, carminative, expectorant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, parasiticide, antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, anticoagulant, lowers cholesterol
Biochemical constituents: volatile oil (about 0.2%) including allicin and aliin, B Vitamins, minerals
Dose: 6-15 gm; Since the volatile oils hold its active ingredients, garlic must be taken fresh for acute ailments rather than deodorized in capsules. For acute conditions, take 1 tsp. every hour of syrup, oil or juice; 3-5 cloves, raw, toasted or as paste/day; 30-60 drops tincture, 1-4 times/day
Precautions: avoid in high doses during pregnancy; do not use with Excess Heat or Yin Deficiency with Heat signs, acute inflammations, or take with problems of the mouth, tongue or throat; prolonged direct contact to the skin of fresh garlic can cause irritation; excessive use can irritate the stomach
Other: purple-skinned garlic has a stronger effect against parasites; eat with food as a preventative
Indications: respiratory conditions, colds, flu, sore throats, infections, earaches, cough, high and low blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, atherosclerosis, weak digestion, poor circulation, arthritis, rheumatism, lower back and joint pains, genito-urinary diseases, nervous disorders, cramps, spasms, heart weakness, parasites, intestinal worms (particularly hookworms), pinworms, ringworm of the scalp, amoebic dysentery, staphylococcus, streptococcus, vaginitis, leukorrhea, Candida, yeast infections