Herb Notes: The Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is the medicine of the people.

From its pungent aroma that fills our kitchens to its centuries-old reputation as a medicinal wonder, garlic holds a special place in both culinary and herbalism traditions. While many people think of garlic only as a tasty addition to their favorite meals, herbalists know that this humble bulbs boasts many benefits that extend far beyond its flavor profile.

So, let’s dive into 3 benefits of garlic…

1. Garlic Benefits: Garlic for Colds and Flu

Raw garlic acts as a strong antimicrobial herb that can not only help prevent you from getting sick but can also help shorten the duration of colds and flu. In addition to bolstering the immune system, this powerful herb can also address common cold and flu symptoms. Raw garlic honey can ease a sore throat, and this pungent herb can also break up mucus — thinning the mucus so that it becomes easier to expel.

2. Garlic Benefits: Garlic for Digestion

Along with supporting immune health, garlic can also support healthy digestion. Cooking with fresh garlic can help address symptoms of stagnant digestion, including gas, bloating, and a heavy feeling in the stomach. This pungent herb can also stimulate the appetite and overall encourages more warmth and movement in the digestive system.

The easiest way to enjoy the digestive benefits of garlic is to cook with it — you can make garlic bread, pesto with garlic, garlic honey, garlic vinegar, or simply add a few cloves of garlic to whatever recipe you’re cooking.

When incorporating more garlic into your cooking, it’s important to start slow. As Rosalee de la Forêt notes in her Garlic Plant Profile on HerbMentor, “Garlic is high in inulin which is a PREbiotic, meaning it helps to feed healthy gut flora. While small amounts of inulin are helpful for healthy digestion, eating too much garlic, especially roasted garlic, can cause excessive gas in sensitive individuals.”1

3. Garlic Benefits: Garlic as an Anti-Inflammatory Herb

Garlic has strong antioxidant activity, which can help modulate inflammation in the body. As a driver of many modern chronic health conditions, inflammation is an incredibly important factor to address when supporting overall health and wellness. Incorporating more garlic into your food can be one deliciously simple part of a holistic approach to vitality.

Want to learn more about the medicinal benefits of garlic?

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the health benefits of garlic, you might be wondering how you can learn more about the medicinal properties of this powerful plant.

Well, here’s the easy way to get more info about garlic: download a FREE deck of our top 12 Herb Notes here. You’ll learn all about the medicinal properties of garlic plus 11 other common herbs like echinacea, dandelion, and more.


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Special Considerations When Working with Garlic

As I noted above, when adding more garlic into your diet, it’s important to start slow because garlic can cause stomach distress in excess.

And if you are pre or post-op or if you’re taking blood thinners, please consult with an experienced practitioner before taking garlic since there are some concerns about garlic thinning the blood.

PS… And before I go, I couldn’t help but answer a few frequently asked questions about garlic…

What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Garlic?

As I noted above, there are so many deliciously healthy ways to eat garlic. The easiest way to start is to simply add a few cloves of garlic to whatever food you’re already cooking.

If you want specific recipes, you can check out our garlic honey, pesto with garlic, garlic bread, and garlic immune soup recipes.

What Does Garlic Do for the Body?

Like all herbs, garlic is a complex plant that offers many healing gifts. Garlic can support the immune system and digestive system, reduce overall inflammation, and do so much more!

Is Garlic Easy to Grow?

Garlic is a relatively easy crop to grow. In autumn you plant “seed garlic” from a nursery in your garden and then harvest your garlic in the summertime. Worried your soil might not be rich enough to grow herbs? Check out our guide to building soil.

How much fresh garlic is in a tablespoon?

Many common recipes call for a tablespoon of chopped garlic. This is equivalent to about three cloves of fresh garlic, but you can always double check by measuring out your three chopped cloves.

Can Garlic Cause Gas?

Yes, eating too much of this pungent, spicy herb can cause gas. This can be attributed not only to the heating quality of garlic but also to garlic’s rich inulin content. In small amounts inulin can support healthy digestion, but in excess it can cause gas and stomach upset.2

How Do I Get Rid of Bad Breath from Garlic?

When you have “garlic breath,” chewing on a sprig of fresh parsley or cilantro can help ease the smell.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. de la Forêt, Rosalee. “Garlic Monograph.” HerbMentor. Accessed August 1, 2023. https://herbmentor.learningherbs.com/herb/garlic/
  2. de la Forêt, Rosalee. “Garlic Monograph.” HerbMentor. Accessed August 1, 2023. https://herbmentor.learningherbs.com/herb/garlic/

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