I chose Garlic as our first herb of the month since most people already have it in their kitchen. Garlic is very easy to grow and the rewards are many. In the fall, prepare a spot by loosening the soil and removing excess debris and vegetation. Garlic likes to grow in full sun and good soil. Break apart a bulb and plant each clove with the pointed side up about one inch under the soil line. Cloves should be planted about four to six inches apart. You can buy garlic from most seed companies or you can buy the nicest,largest bulbs from the grocery store and use them. The bulbs and cloves of Garlic in this photo are from my greenhouse and they were grown from grocery store Garlic.Water your garlic when the soil becomes dry. Too much water will cause your cloves to rot. When the weather starts to cool for winter cover your Garlic with a thick layer of mulch. In Spring remove the mulch when the temperatures warm up. In the late summer or early fall the leaves will start to turn brown and fall over. When this happens you need to let the soil dry out. You can then dig your new bulbs of garlic. Brush off any dirt that clings to the bulbs and let them cure in a place out of direct sunlight for a week or two. You can then store your garlic in a cool dry place for use during the winter months. I like to hang it in one of those mesh bags that onions sometimes come in.
Garlic is an antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antifungal, antispasmodic that stimulates the immune system. It is a powerful herb that can be used against antibiotic resistant bacteria, tuberculosis, staph, candida, salmonella, herpes simplex, streptococcus, influenza, HIV, viruses and both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. To stimulate the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol Garlic can be used raw, cooked or in capsules. To treat active bacterial infections it should be used raw and added to juice to prevent stomach distress. When using raw garlic start with 1/4 teaspoon of chopped fresh Garlic or garlic juice to a glassful (16 oz) of tomato or carrot juice. Raw Garlic can cause nausea and vomiting when taken in even small quantities, so you want to start out with a small amount and work your way up if you have no stomach upset. Doses can be taken frequently. One clove of Garlic can be used three times a day to prevent illness, while up to 2 bulbs a day may be used during acute illness as long as it does not cause nausea or vomiting. Every person is different ,so only you can determine how much Garlic you can use at a time. If you choose to use Garlic capsules you can take 3 capsules three times a day as a preventive to illness or up to 20 capsules a day during illness. Again, you should work your way up slowly to prevent stomach distress.
Nursing mothers should know that Garlic will pass through in their milk and can cause stomach distress in the baby. Your baby may not want to nurse because of the taste of Garlic in your milk. And then we all know how Garlic can affect the smell of your breath. It can also be released through your skin.
Organically grown Garlic
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or any cooking oil of your choice)
Pull apart the cloves of Garlic from the bulb and peel away any excess skin.Cut into thin slices and place in a wide mouth jar. Cover with olive oil leaving empty space at the top of the jar. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure the cloth with a rubberband. The cheesecloth allows excess moisture to escape.You do not want the cloth to touch the oil. Let this stand in a warm place for 14 days. Strain the oil through clean cheese- cloth and store in a tightly capped bottle. This oil makes a nice medicinal dressing for salads or any dish. You can use it in anything you would add garlic to when cooking too.This oil is also effective for treating earaches and infections when warmed slightly and used 1-2 drops per ear, one to three times a day. Gently massaging the area behind the ear with the oil is also helpful. Do not use Garlic oil in the ear if the eardrum has been broken.