For thousands of years, people have grown garlic for food to cure wounds, ear infections and leprosy, restore virility, ward off vampires, and keep scorpions at bay. In fact, ancient Egyptians found garlic so special they even worshiped it. The following are eight unusual uses for garlic you may not have heard of before:
- As Treatment for Acne: Tired of your tea-tree oil solution that seems to cause more acne? Try garlic. It has blood cleansing and antibiotic properties that can be effective against acne and other skin ailments. Some people say that you can get rid of persistent pimples by rubbing raw garlic cloves on your face. You may also crush garlic cloves and extract their juices. Dip a piece of gauze into the garlic juice and apply it on your acne.
- As Mosquito Repellent: The notion that vampires are afraid of garlic may have come from the fact that mosquitoes are repelled by garlic. It’s not clear why they can’t stand it but it is said that the plant’s compounds are harmful to mosquitoes, so they have evolved to avoid them. You’ll be warding off more than mosquitoes however, if you use garlic as a mosquito repellent at daytime. You can use it to repel nighttime mosquitoes by placing cloves where there are mosquitoes, or by applying extracts on exposed parts of your skin.
- As Protection for Your Pets: Garlic not only repels mosquitoes, but it also repels ticks, fleas and other parasites. Some brands of pet food contain dehydrated garlic to repel parasites that feed on pets. Horse owners even rub their horses with a garlic mixture to keep harmful insects away. While you can’t do the same for your pooch, always make sure that it has a constant amount of garlic in its diet to keep it protected from insects.
- As Garden Pesticide: Many commercial pesticides are harmful to the environment. Garlic though is all-natural but it can be as effective as any of these commercial variants. Simply mix garlic cloves and extracts with pepper and a bit of soap to make your own garlic pesticide. Some gardeners even use garlic mixtures to keep animals such as rabbits, deers, and groundhogs away from their vegetables.
- As Antibiotic: It’s not advisable to substitute garlic for commercial antibiotics, but there are times when it may come in handy. When accidents happen, medical professionals are usually not around to administer first aid to patients. If you or someone else gets wounded and there are no antibiotics around, try looking for garlic cloves. Crushed raw garlic is a powerful antibiotic that can kill strains of staph bacteria. Gently apply the garlic on the wound to prevent it from getting infected.
- As Fish Bait: Put a bunch of small marshmallows in a bowl of garlic powder or crushed garlic, and make sure that they are well covered. Use the marshmallows as bait, and toss them into the water. You can catch bass, trout, and other kinds of fish this way.
- As Glue: If you don’t have a bottle of adhesive or glue in your house, don’t fret. As long as you have a bunch of garlic cloves in the fridge, then you can make instant glue. Take the cloves out and crush them. Garlic glue can be made by rubbing garlic juices on paper or glass. Adhesives made of garlic have been used to repair glass in China.
- As Cosmetics: You can also create homemade cosmetics from garlic. For example, you can concoct a face cleanser by mixing garlic and lemon extracts with water, cider vinegar, and lavender flowers. You can even make a scalp and hair lotion by combining garlic juices with water, vodka, and rosemary. Before applying garlic-based cosmetics on your body, try applying a diluted solution first on the inside of your arm to check if you have any irritation or sensitivity to garlic.
- As Cough Syrup: Garlic’s antibacterial properties are so potent, it can even help treat your sore throat if you have the flu. It can also ease your cough and help you recover faster. To make garlic cough syrup, boil a quarter pound of garlic cloves in a cup of water. Add honey and sugar to the formula to improve the taste. You can also make garlic tea by soaking a clove of garlic in a cup of water.
- As Aphrodisiac: Finally, the potency of garlic as an aphrodisiac has been confirmed by Aristotle and ancient Indian writings. The Talmud, a collection of Jewish laws, ethics, and customs, even instructs husbands to eat garlic before Sabbath and before making love to their wives. Many Hindus avoid garlic because they believe that it distracts them from reaching a high spiritual plane. If you’re going to have a romantic date, consider putting a little garlic on the menu, just enough to keep the passion flowing without the odor getting in the way.
We may see more surprises from garlic as science delves deeper into its secret properties. Get some garlic cloves and spice up your life!