Back in ye olden days people didn’t enjoy the benefits of modern medicine and high-end medical equipment, so they had had to make do with products from the nature. One of the favourite medicinal plants was garlic. The pungent bulb is still very popular all around the world because it helps fight off numerous diseases and conditions. But garlic oil also does a world of good for your health.
Garlic is one of the necessary ingredients in many culinary dishes, but it also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, which make it into a potent medicinal agent. Garlic oil is prepared by soaking crushed garlic cloves in vegetable oil or by steam distillation. The oil can be used orally or topically.
What are the benefits of garlic oil?
Garlic oil works wonders on a great number of things. It’s good for your skin as it treats acne and fights infections; it helps prevent hair loss and dandruff, and has a long list of other health benefits, such as relieving toothaches, lowering cholesterol, improving cardiovascular health, preventing cognitive decline, combating cancer, treating ear infections, boosting immunity, enhancing bone health in women, improving exercise endurance, treating cold sores, and managing diabetes, to name just a few. It also works as a mosquito repellent.
So, now that you know how good garlic oil is for you, here is how you can use it, courtesy of StyleCraze.
1. Fighting skin infections
Because of its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, garlic oil is great for treating skin conditions like psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, warts, corn, and others. And it has no side effects. All you need to do is mildly heat the oil (don’t overheat it – you will burn yourself) and with a cotton pad apply some of it on the affected skin area. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
The effectiveness of garlic against fungi like Candida, Malassezia, and dermatophytes has been proven by a study by Fitoterapia Journal. A different study conducted by the Journal Nutrition has found that the high concentration of phytochemicals in the garlic is very beneficial for warding off skin cancer.
2. Treating acne
If you’re sick and tired of dealing with acne, you may want to try this remedy. You will need a mud pack for this one. Add a few drops of oil to it, and apply the paste to your face. Let it rest for about 10 minutes and then use cold water to wash it off. Don’t leave it on longer than that or you may experience a stinging sensation. Repeat this process every day.
Garlic contains a lot of essential nutrients and antioxidants with anti-acne properties, like selenium, allicin, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, and zinc. And also, because it is an anti-inflammatory agent it soothes the inflamed skin caused by acne.
3. Preventing hair loss
You can improve your hair growth and the texture of your hair by using garlic oil. Apply some slightly warmed oil (again, avoid overheating) to your hair and scalp and leave it overnight. In the morning wash it off with a mild shampoo.
The fact that garlic contains sulfur, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6 makes it very efficient in improving your scalp health, as well as preventing breakage and strengthening hair roots. The regular use of the oil results in improved blood circulation in the scalp, which boosts the health of your hair by increasing the absorption of essential nutrients. According to a study by the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, garlic is also a great treatment for alopecia areata, a form of recurrent hair loss condition.
4. Treating dandruff
Tired of being unable to wear black clothes because they make your dandruff problem obvious? Use garlic oil. Same as with the prevention of hair loss tip, use slightly warmed up oil on your scalp and leave it overnight. Wash off with a mild shampoo.
The antifungal properties of the garlic are efficient against the the infection that causes the dandruff, and the sulfur in it calms the inflamed and irritated skin, resulting in significantly reduced itchiness.
5. Fighting infections
Ingesting the recommended daily dose of home-prepared garlic oil or pharmacy-bought garlic oil capsules helps fight off infections. It’s very important to consult your doctor regarding the correct dosage in order to avoid overconsumption which could lead to side effects such as heartburn, nausea, gas, or diarrhea. The Journal of Microbes and Infection has conducted a study proving that the active compound allicin contained in garlic works against many bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses such as Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, and Giardia lamblia.
6. Relieving tooth ache
A cotton ball dipped in some garlic oil can help relieve your toothache. Apply the ball on the painful tooth and keep it there for 10-30 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times a day. Why does this work? Well, because of the aforementioned allicin: it reduces the pain and inflammation as well as the bacterial activity which causes tooth decay. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after the garlic oil treatment – it can leave you with bad breath!
7. Improving your cardiovascular health
The ingestion of garlic oil has another positive effect: it helps fight cardiovascular diseases. Again, it’s the same procedure as above: don’t forget to consult a doctor for the recommended daily dosage. According to a study by the Bratislava Medical Journal, the erythrocytes (red blood cells) turn the organic polysulfides contained in the garlic into hydrogen sulfide, which leads to the relaxing of the vascular smooth muscles and lowering the blood pressure.
8. Lowering bad cholesterol
The combination of garlic oil capsules and fish oil capsules can work wonders on lowering the levels of bad cholesterol. You can find both kinds of capsules in your local pharmacy, just don’t consume more than the recommended daily dose as it can lead to mild side effects like bloating or digestive troubles and consult your medic to find out about the possible drug interactions these supplements may have.
Fish oil on its own can increase the levels of LDL-C (the bad cholesterol), but the combination with garlic oil reduces it; at least those are the findings of a study conducted the American Journal of Nutrition.
9. Preventing cognitive decline
Yet another reason to take garlic oil capsules is because they lower the risk of cognitive decline caused by neurodegenerative diseases. The same warnings mentioned above apply. Research done by the Journal of Nutrition suggests that the antioxidant properties of garlic are beneficial both for fighting cardiovascular diseases and reducing the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
10. Combating cancer
An Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry study has found that garlic, which contains diallyl disulfide compounds, can help fight cancer cells. This compound is very beneficial because it enhances the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (a breast cancer suppressor) and suppresses the effect of linoleic acid (a breast cancer enhancer). So, garlic capsules have yet another amazing effect. Make sure you’re consuming the correct doses and if you’re undergoing surgery stop taking the capsules a week in advance because the oil can increase bleeding time.
11. Treating ear infections
Since the olden days people have been using garlic to treat ear infections. What you need to do is mix a few drops of garlic oil with two tablespoons of olive, mustard, or coconut oil and warm the mixture over low heat. You can keep it in a small glass bottle in the fridge for 4-5 days. Apply a few drops on a cotton ball. Place it in the infected ear for relief. Should the pain and infection persist, cease using the oil and seek medical attention.
It’s not a surprise that garlic has been used for this purpose for a long time and everywhere around the world. Its antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties provide a two-fold benefit: they fight the bacteria that causes the infection and they lessen the pain.
12. Boosting immunity
If your immune system isn’t performing as well as it should, you will frequently have health problems, such as bouts of cold, fever, or infections. This means you need to give it a boost. And guess what can do the trick for you? That’s right! Garlic oil capsules. If you read the article so far, you already know the drill. If you didn’t, why are you skipping ahead?
Garlic can work its magic on your immune system thanks to the many health-boosting nutrients it contains: vitamins C, B1, and B6, allicin, iron, and phosphorous.
13. Enhancing bone health in women
Women after a certain age often deal with weakened bones, especially if they have undergone ovariectomy. According to a study by Phytotherapy Research, the ingestion of garlic oil capsules helps prevent bone resorption and the decrease in bone density.
14. Improving exercise endurance
Exercise is very important for your overall health, especially for heart patients. Research done by the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology has shown that the ingestion of garlic oil also reduces the heart rate at peak exercise. This helps to enhance the exercise tolerance in patients with coronary artery disease.
15. Acting as a mosquito repellent
If you’re an outdoorsy kind of person, then you’re all too familiar with the nuisance that are mosquitoes. Dabbing some slightly warmed up garlic oil with a cotton ball on the exposed areas of your skin can greatly reduce the chance of you being bitten. Test for allergic reaction first by doing a patch test. Garlic is a natural insect repellent, and it can be ingested, applied on the skin, or even sprayed around, according to study by the International Journal of Pharmaceutical, Chemical, and Biological Sciences.
16. Treating cold sores
As per a report by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, garlic, and its antibacterial and antifungal properties, prevent the development and growth of skin virus, thus making the bulb an efficient remedy for cold sores. Add a few drops of garlic oil on a cotton swab. Apply the swab gently on the cold sore for a few seconds. Repeat the process twice a day until necessary. However, be warned that this can cause some burning sensation on your skin. This is due to the acidic nature of enzymes contained in the garlic oil, which are what speeds up the healing of the cold sores. Consult a doctor before using this remedy.
17. Helps in the management of diabetes
Nowadays, diabetes is one of the most common and serious health problems. Garlic oil capsules are excellent for the prevention of this disease as well. Research has shown that the combination of garlic and anti-diabetic agents improves diabetic control in Type 2 diabetes patients. Garlic contains the active compounds allicin, allyl propyl disulfide, and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide which raise the insulin in the blood and keep it at an adequate level. Garlic oil not only controls the high blood pressure, it also lowers the risk of diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy (a form of heart disease). Before starting, consult a doctor to find out about the recommended dosage and about the possible sugar content in pharmacy-bought garlic oil capsules.
Storage of garlic oil
Store the cooled garlic oil in airtight containers. Keep it refrigerated. The oil should be used in 1-2 weeks to avoid serious bacterial infections such as botulism or salmonella, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Nutritional value of garlic
1 cup of raw garlic (136 g) contains:
Calories: 203 kcal
Calories from fat: 0
Total fat: 0.68 g
Saturated fat: 0.121 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.339 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.015 g
Sodium: 23 mg
Potassium: 545 mg
Carbohydrates: 44.96 g
Dietary fiber: 2.9 g
Sugars: 1.36 g
Protein: 8.65 g
Vitamin A: 0 mg
Vitamin C: 42.4 mg
Calcium: 246 mg
Ir: 2.31 mg
Since garlic oil is 100% natural and organic, it is completely safe to use, but if you have had allergic reactions like hives, breathing trouble, etc., to it in the past, consult your doctor before using it.
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the health problems you have, especially inflammatory bowel syndrome, bleeding or clotting problems before incorporating garlic oil in your diet.
Try to avoid the use of garlic oil if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding. If you still want to use it, consult your doctor.
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.