Ellis Barker J
THE oldest remedies which have stood the test of centuries of experience are infinitely safer than “the latest and the most scientific” products of the great chemical laboratories which are boosted for a time and then sink into well-deserved oblivion. One of the oldest remedies known to medical science is garlic. Herodotus, the Father of History, has told us that it was worshipped in Ancient Egypt, and it is mentioned in the Papyri as a most valuable medicine.
The Greeks and the ancient Jews had a similar veneration for this mal-odorous bulb. It was highly praised by the great Roman writers, among them Plinius, and highly recommended by Sydenham, the English Hippocrates, Cullen, and other great physicians of the past.
The onion family have according to ancient tradition wonderful healing properties. When the Jews were wandering in the Wilderness they cried out for “the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic” which they much preferred to the heavenly manna. That will be seen by reference to Numbers, chapter xi. The nations of the North, the more civilized nations, hardly touch garlic. It is too mal-odorous. The Southern and Eastern nations are great eaters of “the leeks, the onions and garlic.”
The whole of Italy, Spain, North Africa, and Asia Minor reek of garlic. The garlic-eating nations make jokes about the pungent odour, but they eat garlic and the same and they believe, probably with excellent reason, that it is almost a cure all. That tradition which is based on thousands of years of continued experience cannot be regarded. Industrious chemists may try to extract from garlic the “essential principle” and they may give us deodorized garlic highly recommended by scientists and pseudo-scientists.
However, Nature has a habit of blending medicinal substances in plants in a way which pharmaceutical chemists cannot equal. Every homoeopath knows that plain China bark, which contains about twenty medicinal substances is infinitely better than pure quinine, that plain Opium is far superior to its extractive Morphia, that Digitalis leaves are far more valuable than any of the most scientific preparations made from them.
Garlic is a most potent internal disinfectant, a food disinfectant not a chemical disinfectant, which disinfects not merely the alimentary tract, but the whole body. If garlic is rubbed on the sole of the foot, it becomes noticeable after a few minutes in the breath. I have given footbaths with garlic in them to consumptives with excellent results. It is considered an invaluable germicide.
It destroys threadworms and other worms in the intestines, as I have also proved in a considerable number of cases. It if of value in disorders of the stomach, constipation, colitis, colic, and in Germany it is very frequently given, and apparently with success, in cases of arterio-sclerosis. A food remedy which has been employed continuously for thousands of years by civilized nations cannot be treated as negligible. In the case of diarrhoeas garlic has been used with excellent results, even when the diarrhoeas were due to typhoid, cholera, and other serious conditions.
We have been told that garlic is largely responsible for the extreme age and extraordinary strength found among the Turks and other Mediterranean nations. Applied outwardly garlic is of value in many cases of inflammation, especially inflammation of the joints, through gout, arthritis, and so forth. It activates the growth of the hair. If it were without odour everyone would eat garlic every day.
Garlic is most easily taken cut up small in milk, or boiled in milk, but the question is whether the curative substances are not damaged by the boiling. The same objection may be made to the extraction with alcohol. Dr. Madaus & Co., have prepared garlic oil, which is extracted without heat, and which is sold in capsules which dissolve in the alimentary tract.
They are tasteless and apparently do not produce an offensive odour from those who take them. I think doctors will be wise in experimenting wit garlic oil. I have received a sample from the Curative Food Company, 14/15 Leinster Street, W. 2, who distribute the Madaus production.
A disease, in my opinion, how prejudicial so ever it may be to the body, is not more than a vigorous effort of Nature to throw off the morbific matter and thus recover the patient. – THOMAS SYDENHAM, M.D., On Gout.