We use a lot of garlic in this house. Naturally most of it goes to culinary use but there are a lot of uses for this member of the allium family you may not know. But garlic is for more than just cooking.
You know it’s great for warding off vampires but did you know that it was probably associated with this use because of rabies? Symptoms of rabies mimic some of the lore associated with vampires. Both victims of rabies and vampires both avoid sunlight, have often bloody foam around the mouth, and abhor garlic. While I wouldn’t suggest trying to ward off a rabid animal with garlic you may still want to keep some around for those pesky vampires. And speaking of vampires…
Repel mosquitoes by hanging garlic around your outdoor recreation areas (deck, swing set, campsite, etc.) or apply garlic extract to your skin. Eating a lot of garlic also seems to repel the little vampires. That’s probably because when you sweat the garlic scent is excreted. Of course you may end up repelling people as well as mosquitoes if you overdo eating it.
Being an old country gal I love fishing. I would spend from before dawn to well after dark with my fanny parked in a boat, rod in my hand, and never think about the hours. But even though I love fishing I don’t like touching worms. I confess I usually wear Nitrile gloves to bait my hook with a worm. But garlic is a bait I can use without protection.
Catch fish with garlic powder or minced garlic. Just put some mini marshmallows in a bowl with either form of garlic, cover the bowl, and allow the marshmallows to soak in that garlic aroma. Use the marshmallows as the bait to attract bass, trout, and various other pan fish.
I confess I haven’t tried this but, in a zombie apocalypse it’s good to know a cough won’t tip off the zombies to where I’m hiding.
Soothe a cough by making garlic tea. Soak a clove of garlic in a cup of water and then drink the liquid. I’d probably opt for a tastier cough syrup but, in a pinch, you may want to try this.
Another good zombie apocalypse use but also great if you’re camping or get a cut late at night and don’t have any antibiotic cream on hand.
Treat cuts and abrasions with a clove of smashed garlic. Just hit the garlic clove with the side of a knife or even your hand if you’re tough. Apply the bruised garlic to the cut or abrasion for up to 10 minutes. Of course if it stings, remove the garlic immediately. Garlic contains allicin which inhibit the growth of several types of bacteria and can protect against infection.
When I was younger I hated removing splinters with a needle. I’d holler, “Ow! Ow!” before the needle was even near my finger. And that was even when I was the one holding the needle. This is a much more appealing way to get rid of splinters.
Remove splinters with a thin slice of garlic placed over a splinter and held in place with a bandage. The splinter should work itself out within just a few hours with no digging with a needle.
Some of the old home remedies have been proven to have real science behind them. Now go call your grandmother and apologize for laughing at her garlic ear treatment. I’m serious. Go.
Treating ear infections with garlic is a trick your great-grandparents and even your grandparents probably knew. The anti-bacterial properties are excellent for this purpose. Crush a couple of cloves in a garlic press or really smash with the side of a knife. Put the crushed cloves in a few teaspoons of hot olive oil and let steep for about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic from the oil and allow the oil to cool. You want it warm but not hot or cool. Put a few drops in the affected ear for several minutes.
You may also owe Grandma an apology for laughing about this one.
Athlete’s foot is a fungus and garlic is a natural antifungal. Put several cloves of garlic in a warm foot bath and soak your feet for 30 minutes.
If my village did this the local pizzeria would be rolling in cash!
De-ice windows with garlic salt. You can use commercially prepared garlic salt to get rid of ice on car windows. In fact, in 2008 the town of Ankeny, Iowa used garlic salt on the roads. It was unfit for human consumption and donated by the spice manufacturer. The whole town must have smelled like an Italian restaurant!