Garlic: 11 Home Remedies, 13 Uses and Ayurvedic Health Benefits

Garlic is a plant with a bulb that we eat. The bulb is not a root but an underground stem. People call it both a vegetable and an herb because we eat its bulb, and it has many uses in cooking and medicine. Some believe that eating it raw on an empty stomach in the morning can make it even healthier. It might help make your immune system stronger, improve digestion, and help your body get rid of toxins. But it’s important to talk to a doctor before eating it regularly, especially if you have health problems.

Garlic In India

Garlic has many health benefits, acting as an antibiotic, antihistamine, antiparasitic, antithrombotic, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypotensive, and it can reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In ancient times, people used a method to get these benefits by placing fresh cloves in their shoes. When they walked, the cloves were crushed, and the oil, which kills worms, was absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream and carried to the intestines. People who don’t like the taste of this herb or can’t eat it, can try this method.

  • Scientific Binomial: Allium sativum
  • Common English: Garlic Cloves
  • Ayurvedic: Lashuna / Rasona / Yavaneshta / Ugragandha / Mahaushadh / Arishta
  • Unani: Seer
  • Sanskrit: Rasona
  • Hindi / Urdu: Lahsun / Lahsan / Lassan / Lehasun
  • Bengali: Rasun
  • Marathi: Lasun
  • Telugu: Velluli / Vellipai
  • Tamil: Acanam / Ullippoondu / Vellaippondu
  • Gujarati: Lehasan
  • Kannada: Belluli / Balloli
  • Malayalam: Vellulli
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri: Rohn
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

What Ayurveda Says?

In the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda, “Lasuna,” as it is called in Sanskrit, highly regards garlic for its therapeutic properties and culinary uses for thousands of years. Ayurveda, which means “knowledge of life,” emphasizes the holistic approach to health and wellness. The herb plays a significant role in Ayurveda due to its multifaceted nature and potential health benefits. Ayurveda categorizes foods and herbs based on their taste (rasa), energy (virya), and post-digestive effect (vipaka). Many believe that lehsun possesses the following Ayurvedic properties:

  • Rasa (Taste): Pungent (katu) and astringent (kashaya)
  • Virya (Energy): Heating (ushna)
  • Vipaka (Post-Digestive Effect): Pungent (katu)

Ayurvedic Uses

The pungent taste of lehsun is believed to stimulate Agni, the digestive fire, benefiting those with sluggish digestion. However, individuals with excessive body heat may find its heating nature unsuitable. Ayurveda often utilizes raw lehsun cloves, minced or crushed, to maintain its medicinal properties. It is commonly added to dishes like soups, dals, and stews. In Ayurvedic remedies, lehsun is frequently combined with honey or ghee to boost its effectiveness and reduce its pungency. Lehsun finds various Ayurvedic applications:

  • Digestion: People believe that lehsun enhances digestion by increasing Agni, making it useful for those with weak digestion or slow metabolism.
  • Detoxification: Many believe it helps remove toxins from the body and promotes overall detoxification.
  • Respiratory Health: Traditionally, lehsun is useful for respiratory issues like congestion, coughs, and colds due to its believed expectorant and antimicrobial properties.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Some Ayurvedic practitioners suggest lehsun for managing cholesterol levels and promoting heart health.
  • Immunity: Lehsun is popular for its immune-boosting properties, helping the body resist infections.
  • Parasite Removal: It is useful to expel parasites from the digestive system.

Home Remedies with Raw Garlic

1. Earache, Infections and Ear Pain

This herb contains compounds like allicin, which exhibit strong antimicrobial properties. These compounds can help combat bacterial or fungal infections that may be causing the earache. Also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the ear canal, providing relief from pain and discomfort. In some cases, earaches may be caused by impacted earwax. Garlic oil can help soften the earwax, making it easier to remove and relieving pressure on the eardrum. The oil may also have mild analgesic effects, helping to alleviate pain associated with earaches. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Prepare oil: Crush 2-3 fresh cloves and mix them with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. You can also use pre-made oil from health food stores.
  • Heat the oil: Gently warm the garlic-infused oil on low heat for a few minutes. Be careful not to overheat or burn the oil.
  • Strain the mixture: Once the oil is warm, strain out the solids using a fine sieve or cheesecloth to obtain pure oil.
  • Test the temperature: Make sure the oil is comfortably warm but not hot to the touch.
  • Apply the oil: Using a dropper, carefully place a few drops of the warm oil into the affected ear while lying on your side. Allow the oil to sit in the ear for a few minutes.
  • Repeat as needed: You can repeat this process 2-3 times a day as necessary until the earache improves.

2. Whooping Cough

Garlic can be used to treat whooping cough by making a syrup. To prepare the syrup, crush garlic cloves and mix them with honey. Take this syrup in small amounts, several times a day. Garlic contains compounds like allicin, which possess antimicrobial properties. These compounds can help fight the bacteria that cause whooping cough. Additionally, this herb has expectorant properties, which can help loosen mucus and ease coughing. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

3. Intestinal Worms

Eating raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach in the morning is believed to be effective against intestinal worms. Start with one clove per day and gradually increase the dosage if tolerated. You can also crush the fresh cloves and mix them with honey to make them more palatable. Garlic tea is also effective for expelling intestinal worms. Boil crushed cloves in water to make a tea. Let it steep for a few minutes, strain the liquid, and drink it while it’s warm. You can add honey or lemon juice to improve the taste. To use garlic oil for intestinal worms, administer a small amount of warmed infused oil orally daily. Start with a small dosage and gradually increase as tolerated.

4. Acne and Pimples

Crush a clove and mix it with a small amount of water to form a paste. Using clean hands or a cotton swab, apply the paste directly to the affected areas of the skin. Allow the paste to sit on the skin for about 10-15 minutes. After the allotted time, rinse the paste off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Apply a gentle, oil-free moisturizer to the skin to prevent dryness. You can repeat this process once or twice daily until the pimples or acne improve.

5. Vaginal Yeast Infection

Peel a fresh clove and wrap it in a piece of gauze or cheesecloth to form a suppository. Insert the garlic suppository into the vagina before going to bed. Ensure it is positioned comfortably and can be easily removed the next morning. Allow the garlic suppository to remain in the vagina overnight while you sleep. In the morning, remove the garlic suppository from the vagina. You can repeat this process nightly until the symptoms of the yeast infection improve. But most women will prefer using an anti-fungal cream, as the garlic can sting.

6. Common Cold

A mixture of garlic oil and onion juice, diluted with water and consumed several times a day, is highly effective in treating the common cold. It has antioxidant properties and improve circulation, so enjoy them freely in variety if recipes. It’s soup is an ancient remedy to reduce the severity of cold. The volatile oil in garlic flushes out the system of all toxins and thus helps bring down fever. For asthma, take daily cloves boiled in thirty grams of milk as a remedy for the early stage of asthma. Drinking ginger tea steamed with minced cloves in the morning and evening can also help keep the problem under control.

7. Athlete’s Foot

This herb contains compounds like allicin, which possess potent antifungal properties that can help kill the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot. Crush several cloves of garlic into a fine paste using a mortar and pestle or a garlic press. Wash and dry the affected area thoroughly, then apply the garlic paste directly to the affected skin. Once the garlic paste is applied, cover the affected area with a clean bandage or gauze to keep it in place. Allow the garlic paste to remain on the skin overnight while you sleep. In the morning, wash off the garlic paste with lukewarm water and pat the skin dry. You can repeat this process nightly until the symptoms of athlete’s foot improve. Another way is to treat athlete’s foot, apply a paste of apple cider vinegar and crushed cloves directly to area three times a day for one week.

8. Influenza

This herb is rich in antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds that can help boost the immune system, aiding in the body’s fight against the flu virus. Crush 3-4 cloves of garlic and add them to a pot of boiling water. Allow the garlic to simmer in the water for about 10-15 minutes. Once done, strain the garlic decoction to remove the solid pieces. To enhance taste and effectiveness, add a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice to the garlic decoction. Drink the garlic decoction while it’s warm, preferably 2-3 times a day. OR Mix a teaspoonful of turmeric powder in a cup of warm milk and take it three times a day. It will prevent complications arising from influenza and also activate the liver which becomes sluggish during the attack. You can also suck up the juice of garlic through the nose.

9. Dandruff Treatment

Crush several cloves of raw garlic into a fine paste using a mortar and pestle or a garlic press. Mix the garlic paste with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil. Use a ratio of approximately one part garlic paste to three parts carrier oil. Part your hair and apply the garlic-infused oil directly to your scalp. Ensure that the entire scalp is covered with the oil mixture. Gently massage the garlic-infused oil into your scalp using circular motions for 5-10 minutes to improve blood circulation and ensure absorption. Leave the garlic-infused oil on your scalp for at least 30 minutes to an hour, or preferably overnight for maximum effectiveness. After the designated time, wash your hair thoroughly with a mild shampoo to remove the garlic smell and residue. Rinse with lukewarm water. You can repeat this process 2-3 times a week until the dandruff improves.

10. UTI

This herb is believed to work for UTI relief due to its antibacterial properties. It contains compounds like allicin, which have potent antibacterial effects that can help kill the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections (UTIs). To make garlic tea for UTI relief, crush 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic and add them to a cup of boiling water. Let the garlic simmer for 5-10 minutes, then strain the tea to remove the garlic solids. Optionally, add honey or lemon juice for taste. Allow the tea to cool slightly before drinking. Consume this garlic tea 1-2 times a day until symptoms improve.

11. Skin Care

  • Insect Bite: For insect bites and stings, crush a clove and apply directly to the area for 20 minutes. After the allotted time, rinse the garlic paste off thoroughly with lukewarm water. You can repeat this process several times a day until the itching and swelling associated with the insect bite subside.
  • Scar Reduction: Garlic oil can be applied directly to scars or mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massaged into the skin. Regular application may help reduce the appearance of scars over time due to garlic’s ability to promote tissue regeneration and improve blood circulation.
  • Skin Lightening: Mix crushed garlic with lemon juice or cucumber juice to create a natural skin-lightening mask. Apply the mixture to dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may help lighten skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
  • Anti-aging Treatment: Garlic’s antioxidant properties can help protect the skin from free radical damage and reduce the signs of aging. Create a garlic-infused face mask by mixing crushed garlic with honey and yogurt. Apply the mask to the face and neck, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Regular use may help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How to use onion and garlic juice mixed together to regrow hair on bald patches?

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that mixing onion and garlic juice can regrow hair on bald patches. Various factors can cause hair loss, and it’s important to discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional or dermatologist for evidence-based solutions. If you still want to give a try here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare and use this mixture:

  1. Peel and chop the onion and cloves into smaller pieces to make them easier to blend.
  2. Place the chopped onion and garlic into a blender or food processor.
  3. Blend them until you get a smooth, thick paste.
  4. To extract the juice, place the paste in a fine sieve or wrap it in cheesecloth.
  5. Squeeze the sieve or cheesecloth to separate the juice from the pulp. You should have a clear juice.
  6. Before applying the juice to your scalp, do a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions. If you experience irritation, do not proceed.
  7. If the patch test is successful, take the juice and dip a cotton ball into it.
  8. Apply the juice directly to the bald patches on your scalp. Gently massage the area with your fingertips for a few minutes to ensure even distribution.
  9. Let the juice sit on your scalp for at least 30 minutes to an hour. You may choose to leave it on longer if you can tolerate the smell and sensation.
  10. Rinse your scalp with a mild shampoo and water to remove the juice.
  11. You can repeat this process 2-3 times a week.
  12. The smell of onion and garlic juice can be strong and may linger, so it’s important to be prepared for this.

Popular Garlic Types and Varieties

  • Hardneck: This variety is known for it’s robust, complex flavors that can range from mild to spicy. They often have a more nuanced taste compared to softneck varieties. Hardneck produces a central woody stalk called a scape, which curls as it matures. People often remove scapes to promote bulb growth. Some popular hardneck varieties, such as ‘Rocambole,’ ‘Purple Stripe,’ and ‘Porcelain,’ thrive in cooler climates.
  • Softneck: Softneck garlic, popular for its milder, slightly sweeter flavor compared to hardneck varieties. It is often preferred for its versatility in culinary uses. Unlike hardneck garlic, it lacks a central stalk and typically produces multiple layers of cloves around the central stem. Many opt for softneck garlic due to its longer storage life. Popular varieties such as ‘Artichoke’ and ‘Silverskin’ thrive in various growing conditions.
  • Elephant Garlic: Elephant garlic, although related to true garlic, has a much milder and slightly onion-like flavor. It proves useful when a milder taste is preferred. This type produces large, easy-to-peel cloves, and it can be a fun addition to the garden due to its size. While true garlic exhibits various named varieties, elephant garlic is typically marketed as a single type with minimal variation.
  • Creole: Creole varieties are popular for their rich, spicy flavor, often boasting a more robust, fiery taste compared to other garlic types. They are typically well-adapted to warmer climates and demonstrate good heat tolerance. ‘Creole Red’ and ‘Ajo Rojo’ are examples of Creole varieties, often associated with the southwestern United States.
  • Turban Garlic: It offers a unique, mild flavor with a spicy kick. It has a rich, complex taste that varies by variety. Turban garlic is recognizable by its appearance, featuring vibrant, colored wrappers and a turban-shaped bulb. ‘Shandong’ and ‘Thai Purple’ are popular varieties, each with its own distinct flavor and appearance.

Interesting Facts and Unconventional Uses

  1. Natural Pest Repellent: Garlic can be useful to deter garden pests. Create a spray by blending fresh cloves and water, then spray it on your plants to keep insects away. To create a natural pesticide for your garden combine minced garlic, mineral oil, and liquid soap with water, and spray it on plants to repel insects.
  2. Glue Alternative: In a pinch, garlic juice can act as a natural adhesive for minor household repairs. It works for small cracks or gaps in various materials.
  3. Fish Bait: Fish are often attracted to the scent of garlic. You can add minced clove to your bait or lures when fishing to potentially improve your chances of catching something.
  4. Silverware Polish: Use a garlic paste to clean and polish silverware. It can help remove tarnish and leave your silverware shining.
  5. Plant Fertilizer: The herb is rich in sulfur, which is essential for plant growth. You can crush clove and mix it into the soil to improve the soil’s sulfur content and promote plant health.
  6. Woodworm Treatment: Mix garlic with a carrier oil, like olive oil, and apply it to wooden surfaces to deter wood-boring insects such as woodworms.
  7. Homemade Fire Starter: Infused garlic oil can be used as a fire starter for kindling fires when camping or in your fireplace.
  8. Homemade Vinegar: Infuse vinegar with garlic to create a flavorful and aromatic vinegar. It can be used as a salad dressing or as a flavor enhancer for various dishes.
  9. All-Natural Cleaner: Make a natural all-purpose cleaner by mixing garlic, white vinegar, and water. It can be used to clean surfaces in your home.
  10. Stainless Steel Cleaner: Use it to clean stainless steel appliances or surfaces. The natural oils in garlic can help remove stains and leave a shiny finish.

Growing and Cultivation

  • Choosing the Right Variety: There are two main types of garlic: hardneck and softneck. Hardneck typically produces larger cloves and is better suited to colder climates. Softneck is more adaptable and often stores longer. Select the variety that suits your local climate and preferences.
  • Planting Time: Farmers typically plant garlic in the fall, a few weeks before the first hard frost. In milder climates, you can also plant in early spring. Ensure that you choose a location with well-draining soil and adequate sunlight.
  • Preparing the Soil: Garlic thrives in well-drained, loose soil with good organic matter. Before planting, amend your soil with compost or organic matter to improve fertility.
  • Separating Bulbs: Farmers grow garlic from individual cloves. Carefully separate the cloves from the bulb just before planting, making sure to keep the papery covering intact.
  • Planting Depth and Spacing: Plant each clove with the pointed end up, about 2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows. Space rows approximately 8-12 inches apart. Proper spacing allows the bulbs to grow to its full potential.
  • Mulching: Cover your garlic bed with a layer of mulch, such as straw or leaves, to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and insulate the soil during winter.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. The herb prefers a steady supply of moisture, especially during its early growth stages.
  • Harvesting: The herb is typically ready for harvest in late spring or early summer when the lower leaves start to turn yellow and wither. Gently dig up the bulbs and allow them to cure by drying them in a well-ventilated, shady area for a few weeks. Once cured, store bulbs in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Garlic will store for several months under proper conditions.
Garlic Production Worldwide

China is the world’s largest producer of garlic by a significant margin. China has consistently dominated the global garlic market for many years. The exact production figures may vary from year to year, but China typically accounts for a substantial portion of the world’s garlic output. Other countries that are significant producers include: India, South Korea, Egypt, Russia and The United States. Please note that production figures can fluctuate from year to year based on factors like weather conditions and market demand. For the most current and precise information on production, it’s advisable to consult recent agricultural reports or industry sources.


Q. How can I eat raw garlic without burning my mouth?

Eating raw garlic can be intense due to its strong flavor and potential for a burning sensation. To mellow the flavor, you can crush or mince it and mix it with other foods like yogurt, honey, or olive oil. Chewing parsley or drinking milk can also help alleviate the burning sensation.

Q. Why do some vegetarian diets forbid onion and garlic?

In some vegetarian diets, particularly in certain Indian traditions like Jainism, people consider onions and garlic “tamasic” foods. They believe these foods stimulate negative emotions and impede spiritual development. Therefore, followers of these diets choose to avoid them.

Q. is there any scientific reason behind some people not eating onions and garlic?

The reasons for not consuming onions and garlic in certain diets are primarily cultural and religious. Although there may be anecdotal health claims associated with avoiding these foods, limited scientific evidence supports these restrictions.

Q. What acid is present in garlic?

Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur-containing compound. When you crush or chop its clove, garlic forms allicin, which is responsible for both its distinctive odor and some of the health benefits.

Q. Does garlic burn fat?

It is not a fat-burning food in the sense that it directly causes weight loss. However, it is a low-calorie, flavor-enhancing ingredient that can be part of a balanced diet. Some studies suggest that garlic may have a minor influence on weight management due to its potential impact on metabolism, but it should not be relied upon as a sole solution for weight loss. A healthy diet and regular exercise remain the primary methods for managing body weight.

Q. How do I get rid of garlic breath?

To combat garlic breath, try eating foods like mint, parsley, or apples, which can help neutralize the odor. You can also brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or chew sugar-free gum. Drinking milk can also help reduce bad breath. Garlic breath can be relieved immediately by gargling with pineapple juice.

Q. How can you effectively get rid of garlic smell in your hands?

Rubbing your hands with stainless steel, like a stainless steel soap bar, can help remove odor. Alternatively, you can try washing your hands with lemon juice or a mixture of salt and vinegar. Follow up with soap and water.