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Garlic as a healing plant is not new to mankind

Built with Garlic

With a history of human use of over 7,000 years, going back to the Neolithic age, garlic is perhaps the oldest and historically the premier healing plant in human history.

What the ancients knew, modern man is only relearning.

The ancient Hindus valued the medicinal properties of garlic and thought it to be an aphrodisiac. Garlic was used in Ayurvedic medicine and held to increase virility and strength. The Charaka-Samhita recommends garlic for the treatment of heart disease and arthritis, 2,000 years ago.

In ancient Chinese medicine, garlic was prescribed to aid respiration and digestion, most importantly diarrhea and worm infestation.

Garlic was used to treat sadness or depression. Fatigue, headache and insomnia were treated with garlic. Garlic was used to treat male impotency or said another way to increase virility.

Garlic is mentioned in the hieroglyphs, and found in the graves of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Garlic formed part of the daily diet of the robust Egyptian slaves who strenuously built the Cheops pyramid approximately 5,800 years ago.

Garlic was grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon. In King Tutankhamen’s tomb cloves of garlic were identified. There are Biblical references to garlic. The Talmud prescribes the consumption of garlic for the treatment of infection with parasites and other disorders and to promote relations among married couples.

In Palestinian tradition, if the bridegroom wears a clove of garlic in his buttonhole, he is assured a successful wedding night.

Excavations of ancient Greek temples unearthed garlic, and the palace of Knossos in Crete contained garlic when it was excavated.

Garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on piles of stones at cross-roads, as a supper for Hecate -- a goddess of the wilderness and childbirth, or for protection from demons. Greek soldiers would consume garlic before going into battle. Garlic was given to the Olympic athletes in Greece, perhaps the earliest “performance enhancing” agent.

Hippocrates (300BC) recommended garlic for infections, wounds, cancer, leprosy, digestive disorders, pulmonary complaints, as a cleansing or purgative agent, and for abdominal growths.

Dioscorides praised it for its use in treating heart problems or said another way, it made the heart stronger.

Pliny listed the plant in 61 remedies for a wide variety of ailments ranging from the common cold to leprosy, epilepsy and tapeworm.

The Romans used garlic as an aid to strength and endurance. Garlic was fed to soldiers and sailors to strengthen them before battle. Roman soldiers ate garlic to inspire them and give them courage.

The Vikings ate large quantities of garlic before setting out on expedition, to boost their spirits and energy.

There was always an elemental magic associated with the herb.

Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, vampires and the evil eye or curses of malevolent persons. They would wear garlic, hang it in windows, or rub it on chimneys and keyholes. It became a widely spread custom for midwives to hang garlic cloves in birthing rooms to keep the evil spirits away and said another way- to kill germs that they otherwise knew nothing about.

The herbalist Culpepper linked garlic with the planet Mars, a fiery planet also connected with blood. Galen eulogizes it as the "rustic's theriac" or cure-all.

Dreaming that there is "garlic in the house" is said to be lucky; to dream about eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets.

There is an old Welsh saying, "Eat leeks in March and garlic in May, Then the rest of the year, your doctor can play."



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Dec 17, 2013