I recently took a weekend to go fishing and found myself engulfed in gnats and mosquitoes that wished to eat me alive. I started to cook dinner which was full of home-grown garlic and onions and miraculously the insects disappeared. It was truly remarkable; garlic worked better than commercial bug spray and the smoke of the campfire. I was truly impressed by the natural repellant power of garlic and it got me interested in the historic and lifecycle of the plant.

Amazing Benefits of Garlic

Allium sativum, commonly called garlic, is a bulb-forming herb of the Lily family. Its medical use traces back to 5,000 years ago in Asia where it was used for various ailments.

Garlic’s benefits should not be underestimated.

Modern scientific studies back up some of the traditional knowledge of garlic as a curative. Some scientific evidence shows that taking garlic can slightly lower blood cholesterol levels and it may help slow the development of hardening of the arteries which can lead to heart disease or stroke. As a natural blood thinner, garlic protects against heart disease much like aspirin and evidence has shown that garlic aids in lowering blood pressure, at least slightly and particularly in people with high blood pressure.

Although preliminary, the National Cancer Institute reports that several scientific studies show an association between increased consumption of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast cancers.

In addition to its healing properties, garlic is a great natural insecticide (as I found out on my fishing trip). Garlic is effective against a number of insects including mosquitoes, aphids, army worms, caterpillars, Colorado beetle, diamondback moth, pulse beetle, whitefly, wireworm, false codling moth, imported cabbage worm, khapra beetle, mice, mites, moles, Mexican bean beetle, peach borers, termites, grasshoppers, June bugs, leafhoppers, mites, squash bugs, slugs and whiteflies as well as some fungi and bacteria

A homemade bug spray can be made from a combination of garlic, mineral oil, and natural soap. Garlic is not an insecticide, it is a repellant and it can be used in the garden as an organic repellant method and is safe to use around pets and children. -KATHY FAIRCHILD

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