Garlic gets it's own post because it is easy to get, easy to keep handy, cheap, you can easily grow it yourself, it is gentle and safe enough to use it often, and it has a great many medicinal uses.
According to some American World War II veterans, during the war Russians were very short on supplies, especially medical. They used garlic so much for medicine, that American soldiers began calling garlic, "Russian Penicillin".
Yes, garlic does have antibiotic uses among many others.
The main active ingredient in garlic is called, "allicin". According to some things I read about it a long time ago, allicin is not automatically released when you eat it. There were two preparation methods I read about then, that were supposed to release allicin.
One of the methods to release allicin was by smashing a bulb of raw garlic. The suggested way to do this, using common kitchen items, was to slice a small flat place in the side of the garlic, lay it on a cutting board with the flat spot down. Then you lay the side of a large knife blade against the garlic bulb and hit it with something. It was suggested you use your fist. This is intended to totally mush the garlic so it is flattened.
Flattening the garlic this way is supposed to release the allicin. You can then use the garlic however you choose to apply it, or eat it.
Once I read that, I began preparing garlic that way whenever I used it.
The other raw way to release the allicin is to dice it VERY finely. Sometimes I dice it if I don't want to fish a smashed chunk or chunks, of garlic out of whatever I am cooking.
I occasionally use a bouquet garni and tie the smashed garlic with other spices into a small piece of cheesecloth, muslin or just stick it in a tea ball strainer. I have also let guests/victims deal with fishing smashed chunks of garlic out of their food. lol. Me too, of course. Or eat it. It usually tastes good.
I read that lightly sauteing on low heat will also release allicin. Some sources say that any heat wrecks the allicin release.
Here is a quote about some of the medicinal uses for garlic:
appears to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The list is long
when it comes to its uses as a remedy. This list includes wounds, ulcers,
skin infections, flu, athlete's foot, some viruses, strep, worms, respiratory
ailments, high blood pressure, blood thinning, cancer of the stomach, colic,
colds, kidney problems, bladder problems, and ear aches, to name a few. It
is believed to cure worms in both people and animals."
The quote above came from this site:
The author of the above mentions making a tincture of garlic and how to make it. This is for those who are concerned about the odor from eating garlic. You might want to try this out when you don't have to be in public for a few days.
I read a funny story about a guy who took tincture of garlic. He said it started coming out of the pores of his skin, especially when he perspired. He said he got unfavorable comments on his odor.
I never tried it myself, but in case you have someone so sick they can't eat garlic, you might consider it for your emergency first aid supplies.
You may already know that I like to have multipurpose items in my preparedness supplies. Garlic is a good multipurpose item. You can eat it and you can use it for medicine at the same time.