Fun fact: Garlic is considered both a vegetable and an herb. It is also part of the onion family.
And that’s a good thing for garlic lovers because the onion family helps promote body purification and blood circulation. It also helps make up for an unbalanced diet (not that any of us have that!) by controlling the growth of yeast and viruses caused by poor food choices.
So why does it have to give you garlic breath? Well, the very process of chopping or chewing garlic is what breaks down the cell walls, which produces the strong odor. This process also activities the sulfur compounds that create allicin, which is excellent for medicinal purposes.
Of course, garlic packs its strongest punch when eaten raw. But if raw is too strong, you can steam the garlic. That will reduce the odor and make it easier to digest with only a little loss of potency.
Garlic can help keep away a lot more than vampires. In Chinese medicine garlic is prescribed in doses and is used to treat everything from the common cold and hay fever to snake bites. Below are a few remedies from the book Healing with Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford:
Poison Ivy: Garlic Tea applied with a cool cloth directly to the skin helps relieve poison ivy. The tea can be made by chopping up 4 cloves of garlic, mixing with one cup of water and then simmering for about 20 minutes.
Common cold and sinus headaches: Hold garlic clove in you mouth for 15 minutes and then eat it.
Mosquitoes: Ward off pesky mosquitoes by eating one clove a day! — Jasmine Baxter