Prized for at least 5,000 years, garlic has long been known to reduce blood cholesterol levels. It is also an immune stimulant and anti-biotic.

The strong odour of garlic is due to sulphur containing compounds, which are responsible for most medicinal properties.

Latin Botanical: Allium sativum

Common Name(s): Garlic

Family: Liliaceae

Part(s) Used: Bulb

Qualities: Hot (Holmes) Dry & Pungent (Ody)


  • Volatile oil – containing alliin: when the plant’s tissues are crushed this comes in contact with an enzyme called allicinase that converts it to allicin, which then forms the odorous volatile diallyl disulphide  (Mills, 1991 p 414)
  • Hormone type substances
  • Glucokinins
  • Germanium
  • Mucilage
  • Contains B vitamins & Minerals
  • Flavonoids

“…in men oppressed by melancholy it will…send up… many strange visions to the head: therefore, inwardly, let it be taken with great moderation” – Nicholas Culpeper, 1653


  • Antipathogenic (esp respiratory & digestive tract) – “Russian penicillin” (Mills)
    • antiviral
    • antibacterial
    • antiseptic
  • Hypocholesterolaemic & hypolipidaemic
  • Reduces clotting of blood platelets
  • Vasodilatory
  • Expectorant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antihistamine?
  • Anthelmintic


  • Ulcerous sores
  • Prophylactic for infectious diseases
  • Pathogenic organisms in the GIT (without little effect on beneficial flora) – dysentery, typhoid, cholera, bacterial food poisoning
  • Worms
  • Bronchial infections
  • Oral thrush, dental infections, throat infections tonsillitis – crush clove in mouth
  • Enhance immune defences
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood sugar dysregulation
  • Anti-tumour


  • Cloves used mainly for infections – especially of the respiratory & digestive system.
  • Used for fungal conditions – such as thrush
  • Good long-term remedy for cardiovascular problems
  • Helps regulate blood-sugar levels – use in type 2 diabetes
  • Used topically for skin infections and acne


None known

  • VERY HEATING and can irritate the stomach
  • DO NOT take therapeutic doses during pregnancy/lactation – can cause digestive upset and heartburn. Babies may also dislike taste in breastmilk


1 clove tds (Hoffmann) – acute One clove per day – chronic

Combinations: With echinacea for microbial infections


  • FRESH CLOVE: Rub on acne or mash & use on warts & verrucas or to draw corns
  • Eat crushed cloves (crushing activates) 3-6 daily for acute conditions. Useful for severe digestive disorders and infections
  • JUICE: Drink for GIT disorders or CV conditions
  • MACERATION: Steep 3 to 4 cloves in water or milk overnight and drink liquid next day – to treat worms/parasites
  • CAPSULES: any ‘deodorised’ pills/capsules will be less effective


Antioxidant Capacity of Garlic – 2012 Article

Allium -FP

Garlic – ABC Guide


Ody, Penelope (1998). The Herb Society’s Complete Medicinal Herbal. Milan: Dorling Kindersley

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