Pungent and powerful garlic has dozens of health and household uses – some of which may seem pretty unusual. While garlic is an important ally for natural health (you may be familiar with the fact that garlic has the ability to increase immunity, banish colds and is a recognized broad-spectrum antibiotic), its functions extend beyond these common uses. Check out these 14 unusual and strange alternative uses for garlic.
1. A Great Aid for Athlete’s Foot
Being a potent, natural antifungal, garlic is ideal for treating fungal infections like irritating and itchy athlete’s foot. Just add a couple of crushed garlic cloves to warm water in a foot bath and soak the affected area for 30 minutes.
2. Helps in Preventing Gas
While for some, garlic causes uncomfortable stomach-distending gas, due to its high sulfur content, for others it can reportedly ease it. In order to maintain intestinal health though, you would need to consume it on a regular basis. Garlic can kill harmful intestinal bacteria, promoting the growth of beneficial flora, making digestion smoother.
3. Combats Hair Loss
Before resorting to a more drastic measure, if you are going bald, give garlic a shot. It is believed that massaging the scalp with garlic oil stimulates hair growth.
4. Apply it to Breakouts of Acne
Though it will make your skin smell, the antibacterial properties of garlic will help lessen the appearance of acne, including those deep acne cysts that can otherwise be difficult to treat. Just slice open a clove of raw, fresh garlic and apply it to breakouts.
5. Aids in Weight Loss
Though you cannot count on garlic to help you lose a lot of weight, research shows that garlic has potential for aiding weight loss. Compounds found in garlic send signals of satiety to your brain, which will actually help you to feel full faster. It also boosts metabolic function, enabling you to burn more calories.
6. Use it as a Natural Pesticide
An all-natural garlic pesticide spray can be used to ward off pests like whiteflies, aphids, cabbage loppers and squash bugs. All you need to do is mince three garlic cloves and let them sit in two tablespoons of mineral oil for 24 hours. Then, strain out the garlic and add the oil, along with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap, to a pint of water in a spray bottle and spray on infested plants.
7. Use it to Repel Mosquitoes
You need not use DEET and other potentially toxic chemicals to ward off mosquitoes, garlic can work wonders. To prepare a mosquito spray, let a few minced cloves of garlic infuse in an ounce of mineral oil for 24 hours. Strain and mix the garlic scented oil with two cups of water and one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. If necessary, strain again and pour into a spray bottle.
8. Use it as a Natural Adhesive to Repair Glass
Though it may not work on major jobs, garlic juice can be used to fill in hairline cracks in glass and hold them together. Simply crush a clove of garlic and rub its sticky, viscous juice in the cracks and wipe away the excess.
9. Kills Bacteria that Causes Ear Infections
This common folk remedy has been used for centuries. Simply crush a clove of garlic and place it in a teaspoon of hot olive oil for five minutes. Strain, allow to cool and drip a few drops at a time into your ear canal. Alternatively, you can purchase garlic oil from natural health food stores.
10. Helps Remove Splinters
Splinters are painful to remove and may at times dig a little too deep into the skin to pull out, but this odd trick can really work. Place a thin slice over the splinter, keeping it on with a bandage. The garlic should help the splinter work its way out of the skin within hours.
11. Use it to Relieve Psoriasis
Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties could ease or even prevent persistent tightness and itching of psoriasis. Active compounds in garlic interact with arachidonic acid, an omega fatty acid in the skin linked to psoriasis. You may also rub garlic oil on the affected areas once or twice per day.
12. Use it as a Cough Syrup
Garlic can be used as a cough syrup to ease inflammation in the throat and clear up excess mucus. Add raw, minced garlic in hot water, straining it after five minutes and drinking the liquid as tea. To make it more palatable, add ginger and honey.
13. Garlic makes for a Fantastic Road De-icer
Come winter, many towns de-ice their roads. Ankeny, Iowa smelled awfully savory in 2008 when winter transportation crews spread garlic salt on the streets in advance of snowstorms. The salt, donated by a local spice producer, was apparently deemed unfit for human consumption.
14. Kills Intestinal Parasites
Many alternative health practitioners advise using raw garlic to expel intestinal parasites. Consumed in quantities of about three cloves per day may help clear nasty organisms out of the digestive tract. It is recommended as part of a cleansing diet that also includes raw honey, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, carrots and beets.