Garlic: Herbal Remedies

Preparations and Warnings for Garlic

Like all herbs, there are some precautions you should take before using garlic medicinally.

Garlic Preparations and Dosage

Garlic is available fresh, dried, powdered, and tinctured. In health food stores, garlic appears primarily in capsule form or combined in tablets with other herbs. Since garlic's antibiotic properties depend on odorous allicin, deodorized garlic preparations are not effective for this use. The label of such products may identify them as having a particular "allicin content," but they remain ineffective as antibiotics.

Deodorized products are quite effective, however, for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Of course, the tastiest way to get your dose of garlic is to add it liberally to your diet. Brushing your teeth or nibbling on fresh parsley after eating garlic can help keep your breath socially acceptable.The following are some doseage suggestions:

  • Capsules: Take 800 mg a day.
  • Tincture: Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in a glass of water, two to four times daily.
  • Have a painful ear infection? Place 1 or 2 drops of warm garlic oil in the ear canal several times a day at the onset of ear pain.
  • Infusion for topical use: Crush a garlic bulb, and steep in 4 to 5 cups of hot water. Soak feet in the preparation for 15 to 20 minutes up to three times a day to treat athlete's foot.

To learn more about treating common medical conditions at home, try the following links:

Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.