15 Uses for Garlic That Deserve a Round of Applause


It always makes me giggle a little when a cooking-show audience claps for garlic. Ever notice that? Turn on an old episode of “Emeril Live” and wait for it. It’ll happen. But maybe garlic really deserves a round of applause. You can be the judge after browsing this list of 15 cool uses for this pungent cousin of the onion. (See also: 17 Uses for Stale Bread)

1. Acne Treatment

If you have problem skin that often breaks out with acne, try this homemade remedy of rubbing a slice of raw garlic on the affected area. The power is in garlic’s antibacterial properties that will lessen the appearance of blemishes.

2. Glue

Run out of Elmer’s? Don’t sweat it. Crush a few garlic gloves and use the juice as an adhesive for paper and even glass.

3. Pesticide Spray

When creepy-crawlies threaten your beautiful garden, send them packing with a natural pesticide infused with garlic. Soak three chopped garlic cloves in two tablespoons of mineral oil for an entire day. Then strain out the garlic and pour the infused oil along with a teaspoon of dish soap into a pint-size spray bottle of water and blast away.

4. Aphrodisiac

The smell of garlic might make you think twice about kissing your sweetie, but don’t be surprised if he’s all of a sudden “in the mood” after a hearty Italian dinner full of fresh garlic. Garlic has been considered an aphrodisiac since ancient times.

5. Cold Sore Treatment

For a natural remedy to treat cold sores, place half a glove of fresh, raw garlic directly on the area for 10 minutes several times a day. The acid may sting at first, but it shouldn’t be unbearable. To help speed up the process, consider taking garlic supplement pills as well.

6. Fish Food

Some fishermen swear by using garlic as bait to catch fish like trout, bass, catfish, and several other species. To try this trick, make small balls out of a cat food and cracker mixture and coat them with crushed or powered garlic.

7. Mosquito Repellent

Keep pesky mosquitoes at bay with an all-natural spray that includes garlic-infused mineral oil — let a few chopped cloves sit in a tablespoon of oil overnight — mixed with two cups of water and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Strain the mixture, and transfer it to a spray bottle that you can easily keep on hand.

8. Flea Prevention

Give your dog a break from annoying, itchy fleas by grating fresh garlic on his food a few times a week. You can also pick up garlic capsules or pills at a pet store that specializes in all-natural products. Heed this warning, however — garlic can be toxic to pets if given too much. Consult your vet to inquire about the correct amount of garlic to feed your pet for flea prevention.

9. Splinter Extraction

To remove a stubborn splinter without making the problem any worse than it is, place a slice of garlic on the wound and wrap it with a bandage. Garlic’s awesome healing powers should help the splinter work itself out.

10. Sore Throat Soother

To soothe your stinging pipes, brew a garlic tea by steeping a few cloves in water overnight. It probably won’t taste good going down, but your scratchy throat will thank you.

11. Facial Cleanser

Skip the drugstore and head for the fridge the next time you need facial cleanser. Make a paste using minced garlic, olive oil, and sugar, and massage it gently into your skin. Steer clear of any open wounds as the mixture may irritate or cause a burning sensation on those areas.

12. Cancer Prevention

A regular intake of garlic is said to prevent certain types of cancers, including those of the colon and stomach. Note that this is only true for consuming fresh garlic; supplements haven’t been shown to have the same preventative properties.

13. Shampoo

According to this blog post from xoJane, garlic extract prevents hair breakage and relieves dry, itchy scalps. Might be worth a try adding some to your existing shampoo if you have these symptoms.

14. Wart Remover

The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of garlic make it a good candidate for helping remove warts. The Bastyr Center for Natural Health reports that lipid garlic extract resulted in the complete disappearance of warts in all cases of its participants after one to two weeks of use.

15. Toothache Soother

If you can’t get to the dentist right away, rub the cut edge of a garlic clove on the gums and tooth several times a day to ease the pain temporarily.

Have other unusual uses for garlic? Let me know in the comments below.

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