By Noell Larsen M.S./M.H.           

I have heard it said that the Chinese refer to the alliums – garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, and chives – as the “Jewels among vegetables”… and I must agree. If there is one thing I have prized from my studies in the School of Natural Healing, it is the many ways in which I can use garlic to help the body’s immune system. I began my studies it feels only a short while ago, and since then I truly cannot begin to count the many times I have used garlic to help the body fight off all sorts of infection, for my son, husband, myself, extended family, friends, friend’s children, and more.

One night during my Master Herbalist Seminar, a good friend of mine called me in a panic explaining that her son was suffering from chills and a fever that was just not predictable and was not going away. Being that her son’s health history made him especially sensitive to febrile seizures, she was exhausted from everything she had done to keep the fever down (showers, baths, sponging, etc.) over the last 36 hours and did not know what else she could do. When I arrived at her door she was amazed that it was not 20 minutes later and her son was sound asleep in bed. I had given her a few children’s herbal tinctures (in glycerin) that we gave to him that night and for her to repeat every couple hours during the day, along with some raspberry leaf tea popsicles I had in my freezer and among a few other things, I showed her how to press fresh garlic, mix it in Vaseline and cover the bottoms of her son’s feet with the paste for the night. The next day she called me with deep gratitude for the sleep she and her son had gotten, said that her son had not had a fever all day and seemed to feel much better.

This worked well for my friend’s son who was the age of three at the time, but if you are in a rush or have a young infant, from experience I have found that prepared garlic-oil on the bottoms of the feet instead works really well – make sure to cover the feet with socks of course. Garlic-oil in the ear has shortened and abated many ear infections in our home as well as coughs or congestion by the oil or paste being applied to the chest.

To compliment the age-old use of garlic medicinally, modern medical science supports garlic’s ability to aid the body in fighting off illness. As well, M.D. Anderson’s Cancer Center has confirmed that epidemiological studies have shown that people who eat garlic and onions have lower risk of cancers of the GI tract, such as stomach and colon cancer. Modern medical science also states that garlic may also protect against heart disease and stroke by interfering with the formation of blood clots and by reducing cholesterol.

Using garlic has made a noticeable difference in warding off or the duration of sickness in my home and I know has contributed in many ways to improving the overall health of my family. There are so many ways in which to use garlic and I have only been able to mention a few.  Know there is much more to this stinky bulb than meets the eye, just ask the Chinese, MD Anderson Cancer Center or/and especially… any Master Herbalist graduate of Dr. Christopher’s School of Natural Healing, we would be happy to tell you more.