1. Maintain Good Health. With properties that are thought to help your heart and liver, boost your metabolism of iron, prevent cancer, and fight against bacteria and viruses, garlic is a vital component of a healthy diet. Try to eat one or two cloves every day!
2. Cure a Cold. For thousands of years, garlic has been known as a treatment for coughs and colds. And, while the science isn’t all there yet, limited research has suggested that garlic will help treat these wintertime ailments. Mince a clove of garlic and steep it in hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain out the garlic and drink. It’s a natural cough syrup! You can also try to eat 3 raw cloves a day around cold and flu season to prevent catching a bug.
3. Get Rid of Acne. Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub it over the affected area. Done regularly, the antibacterial properties found in garlic cloves will help to clear up your complexion.
4. Treat Cold Sores. Like in treating acne, cut a clove of garlic in half and apply it directly to the sore. It might sting a little, but it’s been shown to work just as effectively as commercial treatments for getting rid of those unsightly sores.
5. Treat Athlete’s Foot. If there’s anything garlic doesn’t like, it’s fungus, so treating your athlete’s foot with the stuff works wonders! Crush a couple of cloves and toss them in a foot bath filled with warm water. Soak for about half an hour.
5. Use as a Pesticide in your Garden. Skip those harmful commercial pesticides and use a natural, DIY method with garlic instead!
Note: Buy a liquid soap, NOT a detergent. Health food stores have liquid soaps, such as Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps.
Basic Soap Spray
1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap
1 quart water
Combine ingredients in a bucket, mix, then transfer to a spray bottle as needed.
1 to 2 heads garlic, chopped
Enough boiling water to cover
Put garlic in the bottom of a mason jar and cover with boiling water. Put lid on and allow to sit overnight, then strain and add garlic-water to the soap spray. This will decay, so be sure to freeze leftovers until ready to use again.
6. Repel Mosquitos & Other Insects. We all know the best way to kill a vampire — garlic. But do you know why? Well, one major theory is that, like vampires, blood-sucking mosquitoes are afraid of garlic. You can rub garlic on your skin to ward off mosquitoes, if you like, but you can also leave out cloves of garlic in areas where mosquitoes flock.
7. Warning: Don’t Feed Your Pets Garlic. There’s a school of thought out there that garlic will help protect your dogs and cats for fleas, ticks, and other pesky critters. While this is true, garlic can be very toxic for animals. As the ASPCA notes, “An occasional small amount, such as that in most commercial pet foods and treats, may not cause a problem, but because of the risk, we generally recommend that you avoid feeding your pets products that contain more concentrated amounts of garlic.”
Other Great Uses
9. Repair Glass. Think of this as a quick fix for mildly-damaged glass — rub the sticky juice of a crushed clove of garlic onto the hairline cracks, wiping away an excess liquid. Garlic is a natural adhesive, so it’ll help the glass to stay together and prevent any further damage.
10. Use as a Glue. On the same note, you can use garlic in place of glue for other things, such as paper crafts.
11. De-Ice Surfaces. In a pinch, garlic salt works wonders in de-icing roads, sidewalks, and other surfaces.
12. Make a DIY Surface Cleaner. Chop up a 3-4 cloves of garlic, and toss them in a spray bottle filled with white vinegar. Add a couple drops of lemon oil and voila — you have yourself a DIY disinfectant spray!
Did you know that one clove or bulb of garlic, when planted, can produce up to an additional twenty cloves? So instead of tossing out your garlic that’s started to sprout, plant it instead!
Simply plant garlic cloves individually. If they’ve started to sprout, even better! Otherwise plant them with the pointy end up. Make sure they are in a sunny location and soil isn’t too damp. You can plant multiple cloves four inches apart either in your yard or in a pot. It will fair well even if planted among other flowers or vegetables.
Then just sit back and wait for your garlic to grow. If it’s potted, water it occasionally but don’t drown it. As your garlic grows, it will sprout leaves. Once the leaves turn brown and die, it’s time to harvest your garlic. (Don’t harvest any earlier or your cloves will be too small!)