Seasonal Medicine

Garlic

Allium sativum

 

Fall is underway, and with it comes one of my favorite times in the garden, the time to plant garlic. This savory medicinal herb is not only a tried and true staple in the kitchen but a powerhouse in the medicine chest as well. Come fall, it’s time to pull out summer’s crops, work the soil, and sow garlic for spring harvest.

Known for its antimicrobial activity and strong action on the immune system, this herb is one of my go-to plants when cold and flu season arrive. You can eat it raw or pickled, but taken daily garlic is an wonderful natural remedy for preventative health.

Known for its affinity for the respiratory system, it is thought that the volatile oils in garlic that are partially responsible for its medicinal value, are released through the lungs, helping the body to fight off congestion, inflammation, and infection in the lungs. [1]

Historically eaten by the Romans before a battle, this super plant was even thought to promote energy levels amongst warriors [2]. Having eaten garlic on a daily basis before myself, I can attest that the tale has some validity. I found that eating a garlic clove in the morning not only boosted my energy levels but offered an excellent kick start to my immune system.

It should be noted that taking garlic on an empty stomach is not advised and can create some discomfort. I always eat my garlic after eating breakfast.

Whether you have it pickled, raw, in food, in pills – garlic is one mighty medicinal food and autumn is the perfect time to begin exploring the benefits that this super bulb holds.

Note: The information on this site has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and  is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.

 

[1] Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: the Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2003.

 

[2] Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal: the Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic, and Economic Properties, Cultivation, and Folklore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses: Complete Volume. Stone Basin Books, 2016.

© 2018 East Bay Herbals

Martinez, California

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