Garlic: Man's Best Friend in a Toxic World
Garlic has been known for centuries to function as a natural antibiotic. It destroys the unnecessary and harmful bacteria throughout the human system. It emulsifies cholesterol and loosens it from arterial walls. It is effective in arresting intestinal putrefaction; it is used against contagious diseases, high blood pressure, fevers, parasites, worms, nicotine poisoning, colic, and yeast infections. (Concern, April 1977, p. 7)
The brilliant Dr. Edward Shook, herbalist, pharmacist and one of our illustrious teachers, began his lectures on garlic with the phrase of the Gentle Shepherd, "Consider the Lilies. . . " Garlic is a member of the Liliaceae family which also includes the onion. This is Dr. Shook's botanical description of garlic:
Allium Sativum. Natural order. Liliaceae.
Common Names Garlic, poor man's treacle.
Part used. Bulb.
Description. The leaves are long, narrow, and much like grass.
The bulb (the only part used) is compound, consisting of numerous bulblets, commonly called "cloves," grouped together between the membrane scales, and enclosed within a whitish skin which holds them as in a sac. The whitish flowers are located at the end of stalks growing directly out of the bulb. They are grouped together in globular umbels with spathes surrounding them.
It will pay us handsomely to consider this lily because it is one of nature's great masterpieces as a safe and certain remedy for many of man's serious and devastating diseases.
This wonderful herb has been used from very ancient times both as food and medicine.
Theophrastus, the Greek philosopher (born 372 BC) relates that garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on piles of stone at the crossroads as a feast for Hecate (literally a feast for the gods.)
Virgil, the Roman poet (70 BC) in his eclogues states that garlic was part of the entertainment served by Nestor to his guest Machaon. He also tells us that it was owing to the virtues of garlic that Ulysses owed his escape from being changed by Circe into a pig like each of his companions.
Galen speaks very highly of it, eulogizing it as the "theriac" or "heal all."
Chaucer calls it "theriac" as do several old English botanists and herbalists.
Pliny gives an exceedingly long list of complaints in which it was considered beneficial.
The name garlic is of very ancient Anglo-Saxon origin being derived from gar (a spear) and lac (a plant) in reference to the shape of its leaves. It is one of the oldest medicinal remedies known to man, which has been cultivated and used from time immemorial in the treatment of many diseases. Both its romantic history and its very remarkable curative virtues are vastly interesting and educational to all earnest and honest physicians, and it is notable that it stands out today as one of our greatest and most important therapeutic agents.
It is alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, antispasmodic, antiasthmatic, stimulant, antiseptic, disinfectant, tonic, nervine, antiphthisic, germicide, and vermicide. Chemical Constituents: Volatile oil (25 percent), mucilage (35 percent), albumen, sugar, starch, fibrin, and 50 percent water. The oil is a rather complex substance, of a strong, intensely penetrating odor and consists of allyl compounds of sulfur. It will be seen that this remarkable herb is heavily laden with organic sulfur, but no oxygen is found in the oil. Yet, it is the action of oxygen when the skin is taken off the cloves that releases the sulfur by combining with an allyl group to form allyloxide, which is also a pungent liquid having a sulfur odor.
Many marvelous effects and healing powers have been claimed for garlic. It is probable that none of them were exaggerated. I, myself, have seen it cure tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, several skin diseases, stomach ulcers, leg ulcers, athletes foot, furunculosis, abscesses, epilepsy, and special affinity for the respiratory tract, lungs, bronchi, and so forth, though it diffuses itself through the whole system and wherever there is pus, it is a certain and safe remedy. The use of garlic in the World War as an antiseptic was most sensational. In 1916, the British government asked for tons of the bulbs offering one shilling a pound for as much as could be produced. A great quantity of it was used for the control of suppuration in wounds. The raw juice was expressed, diluted with water, and put on swabs of sterilized sphagnum moss which was applied to the wounds. Where this treatment was given, it has been proved that there has never been one single case of sepsis of septic results. Consequently, the lives of tens of thousands have been saved by this one miraculous herb. That was nearly many years ago, and still we do not find garlic as an official remedy in the United States Pharmacopeia. This is one of the most disgraceful facts connected with the so-called regular practice of medicine, and proves beyond all doubt that their practice is neither ethical, moral, or even humane; otherwise, such a miracle of healing power would never have been discarded as it was.
In olden days, garlic was employed as a specific for leprosy, psoriasis and several forms of exanthematous skin diseases. It was also believed to have most beneficial results in smallpox applied to the soles of the feet in a linen cloth renewed daily.
Those unacquainted with garlic might think this was merely superstition; but, as a matter of fact, it is quite true. If chopped or minced fresh garlic is placed on the soles of the feet and allowed to remain there for some time, it will not be long before the odor of garlic can be detected on the breath; and cases of purulent disease in different parts of the body have been reported completely cured by simply keeping an application of garlic to the soles of the feet, and renewing it once or twice a day.
We positively know that organic sulfur is a universal antiseptic, whether taken internally or applied outwardly to any part of the body. It has been authoritatively reported that tuberculosis has been successfully treated by inhalation of the freshly expressed juice of garlic, diluted with equal quantities of water.
Garlic was the principal ingredient in the famous Four Thieves Vinegar which was adapted so successfully at Marseilles for protection against the plague when it prevailed there in 1772. This originated, it is said, with four thieves who confessed that, while protected by the liberal use of aromatic garlic vinegar during the plague, they plundered the dead bodies of the victims with complete safety. It is stated that during an outbreak of infectious fever in certain poor quarters of London early in the last century, the French priests who constantly used garlic in all their dishes visited the very worst cases with impunity, while the English clergy caught the infection, and in many instances, fell victims to the disease. Another instance of the remarkable penetrating power of garlic is the fact that the expressed juice of fresh garlic mixed with olive oil and rubbed on the chest, throat, and between the shoulder blades gives great relief in whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis and dyspnea, according to an English physician who has used it with success for many years. It also has a reputation for safely reducing high blood pressure, and in this relation we have an exceedingly valuable formula.
Boiling garlic reduces its active virtues considerably. Vinegar and water both extract its curative principles, though vinegar alone seems to be more effective for that purpose. Expressed fresh juice of garlic contains all of its many virtues. The following priceless formulas will cover its therapeutic applications completely for asthma, bronchitis, catarrhal conditions of the mucous membranes, phthisis, tuberculosis, coughs, dyspnea, heart weakness, internal ulcerations, and so forth.
Peel 1 pound of fresh garlic, then chop or mince. Put into a wide mouthed jar and add equal parts of vinegar and distilled water to just cover the garlic. Close tightly, shake well, then let stand in a cool place for four days, thoroughly shaking once or twice a day. Now, add one pint of glycerine, shake well, and let stand another day. Strain with pressure, then filter liquid through a muslin or linen cloth. Add three pounds of pure honey, and stir till thoroughly blended. Put into jars, seal tightly, and store in a cool place.
In order to cover the pungent odor of the garlic, in case it is objectionable, do the following:
In place of macerating the garlic in equal parts of vinegar and distilled water, as directed above, use 1 quart of vinegar in which 3 ounces of powdered caraway seed and 3 ounces of sweet fennel seed have been slowly boiled for 15 minutes, while closely covered. Strain and when cold, add 1 pint of glycerine. Use this in the above formula instead of the vinegar and distilled water mixture.
This is much more acceptable to those who have an antipathy to the smell and taste of garlic. Of course, the 3 pounds of honey are also added after the filtering process. The deviation in no way affects the curative properties of the garlic, while it helps materially to disperse gas and flatus. We use aromatic vinegar in our own preparation of this formula, which is one of the most meritorious and useful remedies to have on hand. It is harmless, and very effective in the above mentioned cases, and will please and astonish both you and the patient.
Dose: For asthma and coughs: 1 teaspoonful with or without water every 15 minutes until spasm is controlled; then 1 teaspoonful every 2 or 3 hours for the rest of the day. After that, 1 teaspoonful 3 or 4 times a day is usually sufficient.
For tuberculosis, cardiac asthma and dyspnea: 1 dessertspoonful to a tablespoonful 3 or 4 times a day between meals.
Children: (8 to 15 years) one half of the above dose; (5 to 8 years) one quarter dose; (1 to 4 years) one eighth in a little water or honey
Garlic has also been used successfully in dropsy. The above formula may be used with benefit, but the following will be found to be much more prompt and effective, especially where the heart is much involved.
Dropsy with Heart Involvement
Boil 8 ounces lily of the valley root (cut) (Convallaria majalis) in 3 pints of distilled water for 20 minutes. Strain then boil slowly till reduced to 1 pint. Set aside to cool, and while still warm, add 8 ounces of expressed garlic juice, 8 ounces of brown cane sugar, and 1 pint of glycerine. When cold, bottle and keep in a coot place.
This is one of the most potent remedies for dropsy and heart disease ever devised.
Dose: 1 teaspoonful to a dessertspoonful in water, as required. The dose should be regulated and given every 3 hours to bring about diuresis. Also, a slowing of the heart action, and an increase in the tone of its contraction. After this effect has been produced, administer 1 teaspoonful in water 3 or 4 times a day.
Garlic for outward application: For eczema, pityriasis, psoriasis, ulcers, cancers, swollen glands, tubercular joints, necrosis and all purulent conditions that are accessible, we recommend the following formula:
These garlic formulas we have given you are priceless. It will pay you to study them, and utilize them with confidence whenever occasion arises."
--(Shook, 1978; reprint. pp. 69-73)
Dioscorides, a second century physician and herbalist who traveled with the army of Alexander the Great, has the following to say on the subject of garlic. Dioscorides was translated into middle English by a scholar of the middle ages:
SKORODON Allium Sativum
LEUKOSKORODON Allium Ampeloprasum
OPHIOSKORODON Allium Scorodoprasum
ELAPHOSKORODON Allium subhirsutum
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