Garlic adds so much flavor to savoury dishes, but it has its own healing and magical properties as well. For this month's herbs in witchcraft series, we'll take a closer look at all the benefits we can gain from these delicious little cloves.
Garlic has been much loved and much maligned over the centuries. We all know of its association with vampires from pop culture. Garlic-eater was once used as a slur against Italian immigrants, but it turns out we all love it now. Sorry Italians. You were right. You may have also heard that its an aphrodisiac. Let's dig into it and see what kind of power it holds.
Healing Properties of Garlic
These fragrant bulbs are also referred to as poor man's treacle, stinking rose, and Russian penicillin. Its medicinal benefits can be traced back to at least 1500 BC. Over the centuries it has been used to heal things such as abdonimal pain, diabetes, snake bites, and even tuberculosis. During World War I, garlic poultices were used to treat wound infections due to its strong antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It has been invaluable in times when antibiotics were in short supply.
Modern medical studies have continued to support the effectiveness of this herb as a treatment for infections. It's still used by herbalists today to improve hypertension, and it can also help with high cholesterol. While it's fighting off microbes, it can also help support our immune health.
Other than eating heaps of the stuff on the regular, we can reap the benefits of this plant through supplements (though my source says the odorless version is pretty much useless). Garlic syrup is great for respiratory issues. You can make your own by pouring a quart of boiling water over a pound of freshly cut cloves and leaving it to stand for twelve hours. That can't possibly taste good. Luckily, you can then add sugar, and even carawy and fennel to make it more powerful and help you cough up that nasty gunk.
Remember, I am not a professional herbalist and just sharing information from my own research. Consult a professional before you take anything.
Magical Properties of Garlic
Garlic is probably most commonly associated with protection. Ancient Greeks wore it to guard against illness, theft, and possession by evil spirits. It has also commonly been used in cleansing spells.
It's also known as an aphrodisiac and was forbidden by monks who took an oath of celibacy.
Garlic is associated with the witch goddess Hecate.
Garlic can be used in banishing. Hang a braid of twelve heads of garlic over your door to banish jealous people and thieves.
Craft your bulbs into a wreath and add salt and mustard seeds sewn into a small pouch, then add other lucky charms and hang over your business door for protection and to draw in more customers.
Add your garlic peels and some brown sugar to a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder. Burn this on a charcoal disc for smoke cleansing. If you want to cleanse someone else's negative energy, place a crushed clove of garlic under their bed or chair, then remove and burn it 24 hours later.
To create some passion with a touch of domination, puncture two cloves with a steel nail to hold them together, one on top of the other. Your clove is on top, so be sure to keep it there. Hide this in a dark, private place until the target becomes interested in you.
Recipes for the Kitchen Witch
I know some of you are the type of witches who will add double the amount of garlic to any recipe that it calls for, and at least a couple of cloves for any recipe that doesn't. Here are a few recipes that feature this ingedient as one of the main flavors to help you get the most power from each clove.
- Garlic & Herb Focaccia Bread
- Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert
- Lemon Garlic Pasta
- Garlic & Herb Baked Chicken
- Easy Garlic Mac & Cheese
- Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip
- Garlic Herb Toast
I hope this gives you some fresh ideas about how to work with this herb in your practice and in your kitchen. May you be protected, cleansed, and even a little lusty if you want. I'd love to know how you plan to work these delicious cloves into your craft. Let me know in the comments. Happy witching.