Garlic – Alium sativum

Parts used: bulb

Traditional uses: “Diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant. Many marvellous effects and healing powers have been ascribed to Garlic. It possesses stimulant and stomachic properties in addition to its other virtues. As an antiseptic, its use has long been recognized. In the late war it was widely employed in the control of suppuration in wounds. The raw juice is expressed, diluted with water, and put on swabs of sterilized Sphagnum moss, which are applied to the wound. Where this treatment has been given, it has been proved that there have been no septic results, and the lives of thousands of men have been saved by its use. It is sometimes externally applied in ointments and lotions, and as an antiseptic, to disperse hard swellings, also pounded and employed as a poultice for scrofulous sores. It is said to prevent anthrax in cattle, being largely used for the purpose. In olden days, Garlic was employed as a specific for leprosy. It was also believed that it had most beneficial results in cases of smallpox, if cut small and applied to the soles of the feet in a linen cloth, renewed daily…Syrup of Garlic is an invaluable medicine for asthma, hoarseness, coughs, difficulty of breathing, and most other disorders of the lungs, being of particular virtue in chronic bronchitis, on account of its powers of promoting expectoration.” ~Grieve MH

Baked garlic taken for colds – “Baked garlic and brown sugar elixir for colds.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO

Taken for asthma – “Garlic and whiskey mixed together is good for asthma. Take some of the garlic bulbs. And drop into a pint of whiskey. Take a tablespoonful to relieve asthma.” ~Parler FBA II 1418

Tied in sock around neck for colds – “If you have a cold tie a sock of garlic around your neck and you will get well.” ~Parler FBA II 1825

For ringworm – “Garlic will cure Ringworm by putting it on the ringworm.” ~Parler FBA III 3056


Carter, Kay & Bonnie Krause Home Remedies of the Illinois Ozarks (HRIO)

Grieve, Margaret A Modern Herbal (MH)

Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany (NAE)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)