An old saying goes that if you eat garlic, you are sure to keep away vampires at night. But what is the origin of this saying and does it really have any significance?
The notion that garlic can kill off vampires and other creatures of the night was a folk belief that was once common among Central European communities. It was thought that garlic's overwhelming pungency would ward off demons, werewolves and vampires, and traditionally would be worn, hung in windows or rubbed around the entrance to the house. Other cultures believed that garlic is a relic of Satan that should be avoided at all costs. Although these superstitions may seem outlandish, there happens to be a bit of useful truth in them.
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Garlic is the most powerful antibiotic cure nature has to offer. This simple looking herb can be used to treat a number of heart and blood-related conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and is even used by some to prevent common cancers, like stomach, colon and even breast cancer. This is due to a chemical in the garlic called allicin, the same element that makes the garlic smell and probably the reason for the folk belief in vampires.
Studies have shown that allicin can offer tremendous aid in weight loss and may even help cure the common cold. Yet it is important to note that the wonderful powers of garlic are optimized when the garlic is completely raw, peeled and crushed, and when it is consumed only as medicine.
How to use garlic to fend off real-life vampires like the flu and other diseases:
1. Cold and Fever Cure
An effective cold and fever cure is garlic tea. To make the tea, boil some water and crush 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic (peeled) and place them at the bottom of the mug. Then add hot water, lemon and a bit of honey (to ease the taste) and drink it all down at once. Repeat a few times a day until the fever or cold symptoms subside.
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2. Treat Skin and Fungal Infections
To treat skin or fungal infections, garlic can be used topically on a daily basis. Apply a slice of garlic to a wart regularly (about 2-3 times per day) and be amazed at the improvement. The wart or corn may not completely disappear, but any discomfort will subside.
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3. Garlic as an Antibiotic
As mentioned above, in order to use garlic as an antibiotic, it is best to consume the herb regularly. Studies have shown that eating raw garlic at the onset of food poisoning can kill off the deadly E.coli, Staph and Salmonella bacteria. Chop up garlic and drink it in a tea, this time without lemon, and a bit of honey, and the poisoning is sure to subside.
4. For Those That Can't Stand the Taste
If you are not a big fan of garlic or its taste, there are some allicin supplements that can be store-bought and taken as needed. It is important to remember, however, that the potency of the allicin depends on its preparation, and it can change into a different chemical quite quickly. For this reason, it is best to buy the most natural version of an allicin vitamin where it is available, or stomach the taste of raw garlic only when you are sick.
5. Bug Repellent
Another way to use garlic harks back to the vampire myth. Smearing garlic over the skin not only prevents bacterial or fungal infections, but can also ward off mosquitoes and ticks quite effectively. One village in India uses only garlic to deter the deadly malaria mosquitoes and can attest to the natural and harmless effectiveness of garlic. All that remains is to overcome the sharp smell!
Garlic in its many forms can be used to treat and prevent a variety of diseases and conditions, and, just as the folklore suggests, is nature's miracle solution for warding off the bad.