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Garlic: A Powerfully Effective Herbal Remedy You Don’t Want to be Without

Avatar for Chris Thompson Chris Thompson  |  Updated: October 4, 2021
Garlic: A Powerfully Effective Herbal Remedy You Don’t Want to be Without

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We all know that there are medicinal herbs that can be used at home to take care of medical challenges which will occur with some regularity in our lives. We’re hearing more and more about herbs and we may actually use some that have been passed down through our parents or grandparents. Most of us want to learn more about how to use herbal remedies on a wider scale so we can take care of many of our own ailments without making a trip to a medical professional. There are, of course, times when that doctor or hospital visit is necessary but what will you be able to do if that option has vanished? Our current medical options could disappear in an instant.

In this article, we will focus on the humble but glorious garlic. Lest you think garlic is “only garlic”, read on, the results of scientific studies may surprise you!

New Direction In Medicine

In recent years researches have been doing something new, and that is to scientifically prove that specific herbs are effective healers of specific diseases.
They are verifying what ancient and modern herbalists have known, namely, that herbs can save a life or reduce symptoms of disease. Medicinal herbs can relieve pain, soothe an irritable bowel, detoxify organs, heal a broken bone, ease COPD symptoms, strengthen the heart, normalize blood pressure, soothe anxiety, cure or prevent infections and the list and research data could go on for pages. I’m encouraged by the resurgent interest in herbal medicine.

Why Are We Getting Sicker?

Gradually, over the past 100+ years, we have lost the art of using the life-saving natural plants that literally surround us. We have become doctor and drug dependent and have overused drugs to the point that antibiotics (often life-saving) are quickly becoming ineffective and bio-filmed superbugs have developed which no drug is able to penetrate. I think the count of superbugs is up to seven now and continues to increase making more antibiotics completely ineffective.

One reason we are getting sicker is that large drug companies send medical reps to assure doctors that oxycodone is safe. “There’s nothing behind the curtain,” they say, when all along big pharma actually was aware that their lies were killing people daily. Hence the “opioid crisis”.

The creation of new “amazing” drugs is being developed on the fast-track to “help” with every problem……. then why do we seem to be sicker and more anxious? Why are there increasing cancer rates, sky-rocketing auto-immune diseases, heart disease, depression and other illnesses? There are many causes, of course, but drugs for these illnesses have heavy side-effects and when we take them and develop bad side- effects we are told it’s okay, we can just take another drug to take care of those negative side-effects of the first drug.

What are we to do? If you are like me your first thought is, “This is crazy.” But what other options do we have?

There Are Other Options

Will we always have access to professional medical care? Maybe not.

What happens if we have neither doctor nor modern drugs? That is a very plausible scenario for our future. We can stock up on our current drugs as we are able. That can be a good thing short term. It’s the longer term that is concerning, so here are a few ideas to consider.
I would suggest that we all seriously start to re-learn the old ways to add to the knowledge that we have developed over this past century. Hey, I’m a registered nurse and I know that drugs have their place and purpose and many people, including one dearest to me, would surely die sooner without them.

But that doesn’t change the reality that we need to be as medically self-reliant as is humanly possible. One of the best ways to be well prepared is to know how to use the natural herbs that surround us, for food as well as for life-saving medicine and then understand what works for us and what methods will perhaps see us through difficult times.

Be Diligent, Be Safe

As with any claim made within the health community, whether over-the-counter, by prescription or natural herbal medicine, please, I urge you to do your own research!

Look up the resources and scientific trials that are available on sites such as in, or That is why I include published research in my herbal articles. The promise of “Do No Harm” is often ignored for profit so each of us must search carefully for ourselves. Knowledge truly is power!
Of course, herbs don’t come with drug warnings on the planting container or when they are foraged.

I’ve never yet found a little sign while foraging that tells me, i.e.: “Don’t take if pregnant or nursing”, “Avoid being in direct sunlight for 12 hours after taking this product”, “Avoid if you are taking blood thinners”, or “I’m deadly poison” etc. Nor do OTC and prescription drug warnings tell you the whole story! So, it is our own personal responsibility to be vigilant and research them to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Natural can have side- effects too. If you don’t have an herbalist handy usually it is your pharmacist who may have answers rather than your MD. It’s important to bring a list of any herbal or vitamin supplements you take plus how often and how much you take them, to your healthcare provider.

Important Resource for Determining Drug/Supplement Interactions:

Below is a free online resource to assist in discovering important incompatibilities between patented drugs and supplements/herbs. There are other drug/supplement interaction sites but most charge a fee for each question of around $13. This is information that your local pharmacist would be able to provide as a free service.

Did you know that it was the town pharmacist who prescribed medicines, usually herbals, for hundreds of years? My experience is that the small independent pharmacies spend more time with you. Several times our pharmacist, John, has been a reference source for my BDS articles. We’ve been dealing with the same small-town pharmacy for the past 29 years. The pharmacist knows our family and I feel that he has our back. Yes, I know, kind of Mayberry, but we like it.
Multi-Drug Interaction Checker: Look up prescription or OTC drugs, and herbal supplements. Enter a full drug regimen and view interactions.

Universal Concerns Over Misuse, Overuse and Untoward Side-Effects

Sadly, during the past 100 years or so we have lost much of our native natural plant knowledge………….but now, with the known dangers and sometimes deadly side effects of pharmaceuticals more and more people are concerned with the generally deteriorating health of the western world and are searching for what can be done to help them achieve their own optimal health and wellness more naturally. Hence the explosive-awakening and inquiry into natural healing and prevention of disease using essential oils, herbal remedies, foraged medicine that surrounds us, clean whole-foods, Infrared saunas, relaxation and meditation, exercise, body detoxing, massage therapy among many other natural health approaches. We are tired of being tired, sluggish, foggy brained, or achy as well as a list of other discomforts that seem to plague even young people. The flood gates of natural healing are opened for our health and the health of those around us, if we will take advantage of it. This is true wherever you are on the health continuum.

Herbal Resources

You may grow many of your own herbs but for a steady year-round supply of a wide scope of medicinal herbs there are excellent online options. Here are two:

Mountain Rose Herbs

They carry a huge selection of high-quality bulk, certified organic, non-GMO herbs, spices and essential oils. The company is located in Eugene Oregon and they use locally sourced farms. Their website provides some impressive farm and DIY videos. You can purchase in as small as ¼ lb. packages. MRH also sells other herbal premade products such as herbal cough medicines, lozenges, extracts, tinctures and tonics and more. If you are searching for ingredients to make your own salves, lotions or body products they have it all. There site offers some DIY video’s that are well done and fun.

Frontier Co-op

They sell to retail businesses as a co-op venture for resale. However, individuals may purchase as well. The good thing about this company is that there is no postage after you purchase $49 of product (with MRH the postage has no top limit). The downside with Frontier: Each herb must be purchased in pound packages. Sometimes I need only ¼ lb.

‎A True Story Of Being Herbally Prepared:

I remember one evening at about 9 p.m. I received a call from a friend. She was getting ready to leave for a long vacation the next morning. The doctor’s office was closed and she felt that she coming down with the flu. Did I have anything to help? I told her to come on over and I’d give her some garlic tincture and hopefully, that would help nip this “nasty” in the bud and she could go on and enjoy her vacation. While the first friend was on her way to our house, I got a second call from another friend., “I feel terrible, do you have any of that herb you gave me last year? That mullein stuff you made really helped.”

They arrived and sat on opposite ends of my island counter, one sipping a mullein infused tea and the other a garlic tincture in some warm water. Both looked miserable. I sent them home with some herbals, hoping it would be helpful. The first friend felt much better the next morning, continued with the garlic tincture and enjoyed her vacation as planned. The second one avoided her usual lung flare-up trip to the hospital. She makes her own infused tea now but I keep her supplied in mullein.

A Home Apothecary

Over time you can create your own apothecary. Medical preparedness helps to develop the ability to take care of many complains such as aches, pains, wounds, sprains, fevers, high blood pressure, detoxing. A home apothecary along with herbal knowledge will assist in taking care of higher stress levels, depression, home births, panic, stomach upset, dehydration, burns and chest congestion. Herbs can literally affect every system of the body from the heart to the brain!
Using herbs doesn’t really have to be complicated or intimidating. One way to keep it simple at first is to use herbs as a part of your regular diet. An example might be to add more garlic, onions, oregano or thyme to your food. You can do as much or as little as you want. I just encourage you to do something to increase your ability to take care of yourself and your family.

When you begin to understand how one herb works and you are feeling comfortable using it, then add a few more. Becoming more fit and knowledgeable is at the heart of becoming medically prepared! Even small things can, in the end, save a life or stop an infection or heal a wound now and in chaotic, unsettled times.

Garlic: A Well-Researched Herb

Over 1,000 research articles have been published on the positive benefits of garlic. Garlic has moved out of old-time remedies and into a well-studied protocol, often used by herbalists and other alternative medical practitioners for a large array of health challenges. Here are a few rather easy ideas that involve using easily obtained herbs.

These are not simply foods, they really are strong, safe medicines!

If you haven’t planted garlic this Spring then now might be the time to relax and research whether you’d like to plant hard or soft neck garlic in mid-Fall before the first frost.

According to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, a compound in garlic named diallyl disulfide is 100 times more powerful than two common types of antibiotics for fighting the bacteria Campylobacter.

The garlic compound was able to destroy the bacteria in just a fraction of the time taken by the antibiotics.

Below is a good link briefly discussing the importance of knowing how to use garlic if you want it to be an effective medicinal tool. RAW is the secret! There are some great tips in this article.

Garlic (allium sativum)

Parts Used: Bulb

Garlic’s Key Actions: They truly cover a vast array of diseases. Each of the illnesses mentioned below and their relationship to garlic have been well researched. Why then are they seldom if ever used as a treatment or co-treatment in these serious illnesses?

–Antibiotic, an exceptionally powerful one! It’s the raw allicin and diallyl disulfide constituents in garlic that provides the strong antibiotic effect.

–Antiviral —Cancer fighter

–Fights flu and colds
–Decreases blood pressure —Immunostimulant
–Reduces blood clotting: Be careful and work with your health professional if you are taking blood thinners.!
–Expels parasitic worms (guess they can’t stand the garlic odor)
Antibacterial research shows that garlic as an antibiotic is much more potent than most other antibiotics when used properly!

Garlic is easy to cultivate in your own little herb garden. It can save money, and keep you prepared as superbugs continue to make more antibiotics ineffective. Get well acquainted with this simple but powerful little herb! It takes 6 weeks to make an alcohol tincture or glycerin extract so if you want to be “winter-ready” begin in August.

How to Make an Earache Garlic Infused Oil

Wonderful and gentle but extremely powerful for treating ear infections. Just put one small to medium, peeled and well-crushed garlic clove, then let to sit for 10 minutes to allow the allicin to develop, in 60 cc’s of extra virgin olive oil in a small covered glass jar and allow the drawing out of medicinal properties for about 5 days. Next, drain out the oil, discard garlic clove, put infused oil into two 30cc or one 60cc dark dropper bottles, store in the fridge to avoid rancidity. Share the extra bottle with a friend. Make this little herbal remedy early to have it on-hand. You’ll be so glad you did. It will save a lot of pain, money and the various negative side effects of seven days of pharmaceutical antibiotics.

How We Use Garlic Infused Oil (Instructions)

The good news is that the common ear infection is not usually dangerous or contagious and is most often self-limiting, meaning that they will go away eventually on their own. However, you can speed up recovery time and decrease pain almost instantly by using this natural herbal remedy.

  1. When an earache starts have patient lie comfortably on the unaffected side.
  2. Place 1-2 drops of slightly warmed garlic-infused oil into the painful ear. Even moderately high heat destroys the active ingredient (allium) in garlic.
  3. Place a small piece of cotton on or barely in ear canal and cover area with a warm cloth. Rewarm cloth a few times or place a low set heating pad over the cloth. The pain usually stops within minutes and the patient falls asleep.

I’ve had a lot of experience with using this on one of my children and my husband. They always seemed to get those nasty earaches at the same time. Neither of them ever had to make a visit to the doctor or take an antibiotic for an earache. This remedy works quickly and well, especially if you do it as soon as ear pain starts.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly those whimpers stop and the patient relaxes. This procedure seldom has to be repeated. If the pain does not stop there may be something going on that requires a doctor taking a peek in the ear. There could be an eardrum rupture. This is a condition that the body will usually heal on its own. Remember, generally speaking, an antibiotic is not always needed to relieve an earache.

Making A Garlic Tincture is Easy

Allicin, which is a potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent, is present only a short period after garlic is crushed and before it is heated.(There is no heat used here) So, garlic is macerated in alcohol, or glycerin (called a menstruum) to preserve the potent chemicals and make what is known as antibiotic garlic tincture.

Making and Using Raw Garlic Tincture is Easy

This is not to be dropped into the ear!

  • Fill glass jar 1/2 full of peeled well-crushed garlic cloves. Whatever size jar you choose, the proportions are the same.
  • Then pour at least 80 proof vodka over the garlic to within 1” of the top of the jar.
  • Cover tightly with a plastic lid and label. Include the current date and ending date which for this would be 5-6 weeks forward, and store in a dark place.
  • Shake it lightly every day or so to assure that there are no air pockets where microbes might grow.
  • At the end of the 5-6 weeks simply strain out the garlic through a few layers of cheesecloth.
  • Place the oil in a clean jar with a snugly fitting lid. I store our bottle in a dark kitchen cabinet, away from heat.
  • Now you’re all set for whatever comes along be it viral or bacterial.
  • At the first signs of a cold or flu take garlic in any of the following ways.
    Tincture of raw garlic cloves: 3-5 drops 1X per day is all that is needed for a teen or adult.
  • For my younger children, I used a glycerin extract 3 drops once a day. Glycerin is a bit sweet tasting, so there’s usually no problem getting children to take it. Now getting over the smell may be a different story.
  • A glycerin garlic extract/tincture is made in the same manner as the alcohol tincture.
  • Keep it in the fridge, in a well-sealed dropper bottle, on the top shelf away from little hands
  • The alcohol tincture keeps for a long time (several years) and is shelf-stable so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It is also a little more potent than the glycerin method because alcohol’s drawing power is stronger.
  • Since this herbal medicine kills bacteria, you should be aware that, like prescription antibiotics, it will also kill the good bacteria in your gut. To off-set this and replace the good gut bacteria, taking live-culture yogurt, any form of fermented food like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha etc.

Disclaimer: Garlic is a very strong herb and there are certain persons who should not take tinctured garlic at all. The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be understood to be personal medical advice.


  • Garlic tincture is not recommended for those suffering from anti-coagulation disorders.
  • This tincture is not recommended for people on blood-thinning medications
  • You may experience dizziness, nausea, and sweating after excessive intake of garlic tincture. Follow dosage instructions
  • Garlic tincture may cause menstrual changes.

Using the Tincture
For an adult 3-5 drops 3X a day for 4 to 5 days usually gets the job done.

Terms That Should Be Familiar When Using Any Herbal Remedy

• Antiviral – Cytomegalovirus: a kind of herpes virus which usually produces very mild symptoms in an infected person but may cause severe neurological damage in people with weakened immune systems and in the newborn. Garlic extract demonstrates a powerful effect against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Here is a brief abstract of human study. Diseases associated with this virus include mononucleosis and pneumonia.
• Vasodilator – substances that make your blood vessels get wider are called vasodilators. They’re used to treat heart failure and control high blood pressure because they cause blood vessels to relax so blood can flow more easily through the body. Check with a knowledgeable doctor or herbalist if you are taking prescription meds. Check out this study that evaluated the effects of garlic on blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension.

• Immunostimulant – a drug or nutrient which stimulates the body’s immune system. This is especially effective during the cold and flu season but start early eating one or two garlic cloves per day. Slice and bruise the garlic then lightly and slowly sauté. Eat it with other foods or alone. You can prepare a day’s worth of garlic to have on hand. Make fresh daily as needed.
This article suggests 300° in one recipe. Personally, I’d cook it at a lower temperature so as not to kill the enzymes and other healing properties found in each pure garlic clove.

• Anti-hyperlipidemia – Garlic reduces the level of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. (LDL -the bad portion of cholesterol)

As you can see garlic is a serious herb. It is an excellent, far-reaching natural substance that can be of great worth to each of now and in case of emergency. My hope is that we’ve all been inspired to dig a little deeper, learn a little more and plant some garlic this Fall. Do you already use garlic medicinally? I’d absolutely love to hear your story; what you’re doing or what you plan to do with herbs.

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8 Responses to “Garlic: A Powerfully Effective Herbal Remedy You Don’t Want to be Without”

  1. I don’t agree with this extremely low dosage. The amish say 2 cloves of garlic equal a medical dose. To me that equals 20-25 drops 3-4x/daily. If you are sensative to garlic, start low at 5 drops and work your way up to 25 drops. Duration is 10 or more days depending on nature of illness. The Tibetan Garlic remedy is taken for 6 months!

    The Amish state: DOSE: 40 to 80 drops after meals, or four times per day for more serious conditions. For cleansing antibiotic garlic enemas, 40 drops per cup of water is excellent.

  2. Another great article Donna. I always save them for future reference because they are filled with information that I can really use. Thanks for the garlic tincture and earache recipes. I’ve have already started brewing a garlic tincture to use this winter. I used Ever Clear as the liquid. How long will it last without spoiling?

  3. Hi Alice,
    I’m so glad that this article was informative for you. Knowledge is a great resource in every area of life, right!

  4. Another wonderful article! As you recommended, I’m going to start making a garlic tincture this month to be ready for this winter’s cold and flu season 🙂

    • Dear Zabeth, That’s what I love to hear! Being medically prepared is just as important as food storage or any other preparedness area. I appreciate that you let me know that you are taking action to conquer this cold and flu season! ACTION: That’s what Backdoor Survival is all about!

  5. Thank you Grammyprepper! I appreciate your comment and agree whole-heartedly with your suggestions. It truly is amazing what can be done with herbs. I should have also mentioned that when making a garlic tincture there is often a color change. I have tried to discover the real reason this happens and the one that makes the most sense to be is that garlic contains sulfur (which is one of the reasons it is such a powerful herb) and this reacts with minute amounts of copper when exposed to other substances, forming a mild copper sulfate (not harmful). Actually it is very pretty. Thank you for taking time to comment!

  6. Donna, as always, a wonderfully well researched article! May I add that any time you are using garlic, whether culinary or medicinally, cut/chop/smash and let sit 5-15 minutes to let those allicins (sp) develop. If using in cooking, add to your recipe towards the end of cooking time to preserve as much of the good properties as possible!

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