Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Clove a Day

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? I mean, I see the point... eat well to avoid getting sick, right? But it would be more accurate to say:

A freshly crushed clove of raw garlic a day keeps the doctor away!

I know, it doesn't roll off the tongue the same or seem nearly as romantic, but there it is.

My midwife recommends all her mamas eat a clove or two of garlic each day. I started doing it mainly to see if I could kick a persistent yeast infection when nothing else seemed to work. And work, it did. I kept on taking it, mainly to prevent said yeast infection from returning. I was delighted that it also wiped out a crazy underarm rash (likely this) that developed due to shaving with a sharp razor and sweating too much. I was a quick convert to the wonders of garlic.

I got excited reading various abstracts from garlic studies on PubMed. There are thousands, and I only opened a couple dozen (like this and this...), but the descriptive adjectives impressed me:


So looks like we can all benefit! Not just another "thank-heavens-I'm-not-pregnant-so-I-don't-have-to-take-that" supplement. I'll tell my husband next time he gives me a pat on the back for dutifully taking my garlic...


In what form should I take it?
For optimal results, raw and fresh are crucial. Crushed is best. Whether it makes a little crunch sound is a good freshness indicator (experience speaking).

You mean, I just eat it?
I generally crush a clove onto a spoon and chase it down with something I need to drink (tea, cal-mag, etc.). Some people spread it on toast or drizzle honey atop.

Will it make my breath smell?
Not nearly as much as I anticipated. People still talk to me and Keenan still kisses me.

What's it like?
It burns ever-so-slightly going down, but it's not unpleasant. It doesn't settle well on an empty stomach (again from experience), especially the gigantic ones.

How often should I take it?
Daily is great. If you want to kick something big, eat a clove every two daylight hours for two days (according to Meredith's healthcare professionals).

How can I do this?
Get a garlic press and one of these to make it less daunting, and then be brave, be brave, be brave! As with most things, the first time takes the most courage.



  1. I eat a lot of garlic, but most of it's cooked. Do you know how much the health benefits decrease after it's cooked?

    1. When garlic is crushed or chopped, an enzymatic reaction occurs, creating a compound called allicin. From what I understand, allicin is what makes garlic several of those adjectives I listed (antibacterial, antifungal...). The compound is deactivated by heat and by age, which is why garlic as a remedy should be taken fresh, raw, and crushed.

      There are many other compounds and nutrients present in garlic, however, so it is by no means rendered useless when cooked! I'm sure we still reap rich benefits of other kinds when we cook it.

  2. Replies
    1. Antivampiric! Another addition to the list.

  3. So, does it now smell like garlic when you sweat? That may be why the rash went away. :) I keep thinking of the little old man that smells like garlic.

    1. I've never smelled garlic radiating from me. Mostly I just worry about it.

      Who's the little old man that smells like garlic?

  4. I was able to kick two nasty infections with the help of garlic. It works!