What if there were a fabulous product that worked well for humans and animals alike to combat infection, boost immune function, and just all around promote good health? There is, and it is a God-given product—and you probably have it in your house right at this moment. It’s garlic!
Garlic is a fabulous superfood that is used in cooking, as well as in herbal medicine. It’s properties rival many other herbs as it can be used in treatment of illness as well as disease prevention in humans and animals. Garlic has a measurable amount of germanium, which is an immune boosting mineral, and is a fabulous antioxidant.
Garlic is one of my favorite herbs to grow because it is so easy. It’s ‘plant-it-and-forget-it’ quality is what makes garlic a must-have on our homestead every year.
Sow garlic cloves when appropriate for your planting zone 2″ below the surface of the soil with the pointed end up. Cloves should be spaced 6″ apart in full sun. Water a few times per week (daily is fine, just not for a long period of time) and keep garlic bed weeded, as it doesn’t not compete well with weeds.
Harvesting should take place in late summer when the bottom 2 or 3 leaves of your stiff-necked garlic have turned yellow, or if your soft-neck/elephant garlic tops fall over. Loosen soil with a garden fork and gently pull the bulbs.
Make sure to peel the outer leaves of your garlic back and break them off at the roots, leaving clean heads. Cure them in the sun for 2-3 weeks, or until the leaves, stems and roots are completely dry. Cover with a tarp if your climate is prone to damp nights. After cured, trim the roots and stems, and store in a mesh bag in a cool dry place (40F or 4C).
Garlic is used to flavor many culinary dishes, and rightfully so–it has a fabulous flavor and amps up many dishes in a way that tantalizes the tastebuds. It is often minced and added to pasta sauces, soups, and many other internationally flavored dishes.
Used medicinally, garlic can be effective in treating colds, viruses, and throat infections, as well as internal parasites, arthritis, fungal infections, and many other issues. It has been known to improve circulation, repel mosquitoes, and even fight off cancer-causing agents. Garlic is a truly wondrous plant!
Add Garlic to Your Materia Medica
I’ve made up an herb info sheet for you to add to your materia medica (herbal notebook). It is in PDF format, and free for you to download and refer to when you are find need to use garlic medicinally.
The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason N.D.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith
The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs (Reader’s Digest)
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of herbs, click over to the Herbal Academy of New England and sign up for their Intermediate Herbal Course (click course photo below). It’s been fabulous for me, and I’ve learned quite a lot in the past months. I highly recommend it! Also, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any of my new Herbal Primer series, where I will be sharing all about the herbs, and recipes you can make with them.
NOTE: The Herbal Course link is an affiliate link, and if you click on it and purchase the course for yourself, I make a few dollars from it, all of which go to the production of this blog and its content. Thank you in advance for your support.
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