Garlic benefits have always been few and far between in my eyes. Sure, it tastes amazing, but when it comes to a social life, I’ve always thought it best to avoid the stinky member of the onion genus. However, perhaps it’s worth taking one for the team and reaping the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory rewards garlic offers, both for health and for practical reasons.
The following 7 common and clever garlic benefits give garlic a new face. Enjoy!
1. Boost Immunity
No matter what the season, it is important to protect your body from illness. Garlic is known to combat immune dysfunction. It scavenges free radicals and protects membranes from damage, ultimately maintaining cell integrity. Chop garlic and whisk it into a olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette for your salad or pop a clove into your juicer for a deeper taste and incredible health benefits. What better way to start the day than with a kick?
2. Fight Acne
Garlic’s active compound, allicin, bears a variety of antimicrobial activities. For this reason, garlic is a great remedy for acne. I recommend incorporating garlic into your diet. It will heal your skin from the inside out and keep your body and your pores free of acne-causing bacteria. Another way to benefit from garlic’s acne-fighting properties is to cut a clove in half and rub the flesh side across affected skin. After a few minutes, wash your face clean. Do this regularly and witness what garlic can do to your complexion!
3. Treat Athlete’s Foot
Paired with its anti-bacterial properties, garlic’s anti-inflammatory power makes it great for treating athlete’s foot. Soak feet in warm water that has been infused with garlic oil or chopped garlic cloves. You could also cup a garlic clove in half and rub it across your feet.
4. Repel Insects
If you tend to your own garden and are in constant struggle with pests, opt for garlic over pesticides. Garlic will prevent pests from damaging your plants and keep your garden free of toxins.
5. Repair Glass
Cut a garlic clove and rub its flesh onto the surface of damaged glass. Garlic acts as a natural adhesive, so it will help to ensure the glass doesn’t break further.
6. Treat Cold Sores
Cut a garlic clove in half and rub it over the cold sore in question. The garlic clove’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are known to help get rid of cold sores.
7. Disinfect Surfaces
Take garlic’s antibacterial properties beyond the diet by making your own DIY surface cleaner. Simply chop up 3-4 garlic cloves and add them to an empty spray bottle. Fill the bottle with white vinegar and add a few drops of lemon oil. Shake and use. The garlic will not overwhelm the aroma of the cleaner, so you are left with a clean and bacteria-free kitchen and bathroom surface.
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Photo Credit: David Goehring