Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
Garlic is one of the most versatile and commonly used ingredients in cooking. However, you might not know that garlic is also a potent medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments.
But you may be surprised to know that garlic also has many other uses beyond culinary and medicinal purposes. That’s right – it’s not just for making the world’s best tomato sauce.
In this post, we’re going to explore 25 exciting and unique uses for garlic that you probably never knew.
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1. As a DIY Cough Remedy
When you’re feeling under the weather, a cough is one of the worst symptoms that you can experience.
But did you know that garlic can help soothe a cough? Garlic has a natural expectorant property that can help loosen up phlegm and relieve congestion.
To make a DIY cough syrup, crush a few cloves of garlic and mix them with honey. Take one teaspoon of this mixture three times a day to help soothe your cough. Just make sure to brush your teeth afterward – it doesn’t smell the best, as you might expect!
2. Deworming Livestock
Garlic has been used as a natural de-wormer for livestock for thousands of years. The sulfur compounds found in garlic can help kill various types of parasites that live in the digestive tract of animals. It’s a great option for all kinds of animals, from cattle to sheep and even chickens.
To use garlic as a dewormer, simply add chopped garlic to the animal’s food or water. This is a natural and effective way to keep your livestock healthy.
3. Improving Cognitive Performance and Memory
Studies have shown that consuming garlic can help improve cognitive performance and memory.
This is because garlic contains compounds that can boost the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in learning and memory (it’s even been shown to play a role in dementia prevention and reduction of symptoms).
4. Acne Fighting
Garlic can even be used topically to help fight acne. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of garlic can help kill the bacteria that cause acne, preventing new breakouts from occurring.
To use garlic as an acne treatment, chop a garlic clove and rub it on the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Pro tip – you may want to do this one before you shower so that you don’t have to go around smelling like garlic the rest of the day!
5. Treating Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It’s uncomfortable, to say the very least, and tough to get rid of.
While there are OTC medications you can turn to in order to relieve the itch, you may not need to look further than your own pantry. Garlic can be used to treat this condition because it has antifungal properties that can help kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
To use garlic as a treatment for an athlete’s foot, crush a few cloves of garlic and mix them with olive oil. Rub the mixture on the affected area twice a day for one week.
6. Removing Splinters
Ditch the tweezers and try garlic instead! Garlic has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help extract stubborn splinters painlessly.
To use, chop a clove in half and place it over the affected area, secure it with a bandage, and leave it for a while. The warm and moist flesh of the garlic will help draw out the splinter, and you’ll forget the splinter issue in no time.
7. Nail Care
If you’re dealing with brittle, yellowing nails, garlic can be your savior! Garlic contains an organosulfur compound that has antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it an excellent natural remedy to keep your nails healthy and shiny.
Just crush some garlic cloves and apply the juice to your nails and the surrounding skin. Leave it for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Repeat the process twice a week for optimal results.
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8. Keeping Flies Away
It’s not just vampires that garlic repels! Apart from bloodsuckers, garlic can also keep pests away from your garden.
Garlic bulb extract can act as an effective natural pesticide that can keep flies at bay.
To make this natural pesticide, blend a few garlic cloves and chili peppers in water. Strain the liquid, dilute with water, and spray generously wherever flies are a problem for you.
9. Promoting Hair Growth
Garlic is packed with important minerals vital for faster and healthy hair growth.
Applying garlic juice to your hair and scalp can boost blood circulation and stimulate hair follicles, leading to thicker and stronger locks.
To make a hair mask, crush some garlic cloves and blend them with coconut oil or honey. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp, leave for 30 minutes, and wash off with mild shampoo. Repeat once a week for maximum benefits.
10. Eliminating Cold Sores
Garlic’s antiviral properties can help get rid of unsightly cold sores. A clove of garlic can be cut in half lengthwise, and applied to the affected area for an hour or so. The cold sore will start to reduce in size and redness.
Remember that garlic can be irritating to the skin, so it’s wise to use a petroleum-based product like Vaseline to cover the garlic clove before placing it on the sore.
11. DIY Glue Recipe
Garlic’s clingy texture makes it an excellent ingredient for making glue. You can make garlic glue by boiling peeled cloves of garlic, mashing them into a paste, and then adding boiled linseed oil.
After the mixture cools for a few hours, you’ll have a strong and eco-friendly glue that can be used for various DIY projects.
12. Treating Yeast Infections
Though not scientifically proven, some women believe that inserting a peeled clove of garlic in the vagina helps treat yeast infections. The antifungal properties in garlic might aid in controlling the overgrowth of yeast in the body.
Always check with your doctor before you use this, though, especially if you’re sensitive. In some cases, they may recommend against using garlic for this purpose, as it can cause irritation and inflammation in the tender genital tissues. That said, some women swear by this remedy!
13. Fixing Glass
In a pinch, you can use garlic as a temporary adhesive for broken glass.
Rub peeled garlic onto the broken edges of the glass, and then press the pieces together. The garlic enzymes will aid in holding the glass together until you can get it professionally repaired.
14. Repelling Mosquitoes
Garlic’s pungent odor can make it an excellent natural mosquito repellent. Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix them in water before spraying the solution around the yard. Mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of garlic and will likely stay away.
Just note that while this method may not be as effective as other chemical mosquito repellents on the market, it’s an all-natural and safe alternative that you can use in combination with other treatments.
15. Getting Rid of Ear Infections
If you’ve ever had an ear infection, then you know just how painful it can be. Luckily, garlic can help provide some relief.
All you need to do is mix a clove of crushed garlic with some warm olive oil, then place a few drops of the mixture in your ear. Cover your ear with a towel for five minutes, then allow the mixture to drain from your ear. The antimicrobial properties of garlic help fight off the bacteria that cause ear infections, leaving you feeling better in no time.
16. Improving the Growth of Other Plants
Garlic can also be used to improve the growth and yield of other plants. When planted near roses or other flowering plants, garlic can help repel aphids and other pests while simultaneously improving the soil’s nutrient content.
Not only that, but garlic can be planted near fruit trees to help repel borers and other destructive insects.
17. Preventing Gas and Indigestion
Do you suffer from gas and indigestion after eating certain foods? Garlic can help! It contains sulfur compounds that aid in breaking down food and promoting healthy digestion.
Simply add one or two cloves of garlic to your meals to experience relief from bloating and gas.
18. Relieving a Toothache
A toothache can be unbearable, but garlic can help provide some relief. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and pain. Simply crush a clove of garlic, mix it with a pinch of salt, and apply it to the affected area of your tooth for instant relief.
19. De-Icing Your Car
During winter, ice can accumulate on your car windows, and it can be challenging to remove it all. Garlic can make this task easier.
All you need to do is rub a cut clove of garlic on your car windows, and you’ll see the ice disappear almost instantly. This DIY remedy works because garlic contains allicin, a compound that lowers the freezing point of water.
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20. Making Fish Bait
Garlic can also come in handy when fishing. Garlic-scented bait is attractive to fish, and it’s easy to make at home.
Just mix some minced garlic with melted butter and spread it on your bait. The scent of garlic will attract fish and increase your chances of a good catch.
21. DIY Surface Cleaner
Garlic has antifungal and antibacterial properties that make it an excellent ingredient for making a DIY surface cleaner.
To make your own all-natural cleaner, finely chop two cloves of garlic and mix them with a cup of water. Let the garlic infuse in the water for a few hours, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Use it to clean your kitchen and bathroom surfaces for a fresh, chemical-free clean.
22. Preventing a Cold or Flu
To benefit from garlic’s healing properties, crush one or two cloves and let them sit for 15 minutes to activate the sulfur enzymes. Then, mix the garlic with a spoonful of honey and swallow it like a pill.
23. Repelling Pests in the Garden
Spray the mixture on your plants’ leaves every few days to keep them safe and healthy.
24. Boosting Bone Health
Garlic contains high levels of sulfur, which is essential for healthy bones. Eating garlic regularly can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
To benefit from garlic’s bone-strengthening properties, add it to your diet as a seasoning or take garlic supplements.
25. Preventing Food Poisoning
Garlic’s antibacterial properties can kill the bacteria that lead to food poisoning, including Salmonella and E.coli. You may find it helpful to rub your cutting boards with a cut garlic clove before you start food prep.
With that in mind, it’s important to note that garlic should not be used as a substitute for proper food sanitation and handling – to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, always wash your hands, food, and surfaces thoroughly before cooking and consuming.
Garlic has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes, but the many uses for garlic don’t stop there.
From warding off mosquitoes to treating ear pain, garlic seems to have an answer to almost everything. This powerful herb is a must-have in every household.
So, go ahead – try out these exciting uses of garlic and reap its many benefits today.
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