Chances are you have some garlic in your kitchen. Did you know there are many garlic oil benefits? Just take a look at what you can use the oil for.
Don’t just use garlic for cooking. Have some handy in your medicine cabinet. No, you don’t want the cloves reeking in your bathroom (unless warding off a vampire). What you want is garlic oil which contains the health benefits without the odor. The oil has been used medicinally for centuries. It helps everything from fighting ear infections to preventing hair loss.
Why is Garlic Oil Beneficial for Health?
One of the garlic oil benefits is that it’s a natural antibiotic. That’s one reason why more people interested in alternative medicine are using garlic oil for ear infections and other uses. An article about garlic in Medical Hypotheses says garlic “exerts a control on microorganisms.” Bad bacteria are an example of microorganisms.
Garlic (and garlic oil) can help neutralize harmful bacteria. “Recent publications indicate garlic extract has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against many bacteria and fungi,” the article states.
The active component of garlic is allicin. Allicin’s compounds have been isolated. And researchers say these compounds in garlic plants may play an important role in the “ecological control of pathogenic microorganisms.”
An article in Nutrition Journal lists several garlic (and garlic oil) benefits. The benefits of garlic include:
- Treatment of cardiovascular disease
- Managing metabolic diseases
- Improving atherosclerosis
- Reducing hyperlipidemia (abnormal fat levels in the blood)
- Breaking up thrombosis (blood clots) and improving blood circulation
- Easing hypertension and diabetes
Researchers believe garlic helps protect against atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) because it can reduce the amount of fat inside arterial walls.
Garlic oil benefits for ear infections
Almost no other conditions affects babies and toddlers more than ear infections. Over 80% of children three years of age or under are estimated to develop at least one ear infection. Most parents treat their child’s ear infection with prescription antibiotics.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with aural antibiotics. They don’t damage good bacteria in the gut where 70% of the immune system resides. That’s because antibiotic drops are not swallowed and digested.
Still, an increasing number of parents are treating ear infections with natural remedies. One natural remedy for ear infections is garlic oil.
Repeatedly having to go to the doctor costs time (and money if you don’t have free health insurance). Garlic oil is a simple remedy you can use at home for ear infections.
The allicin in garlic oil will help kill the ear infection. These therapeutic garlic oil compounds penetrate the eardrum.
The eardrum is the middle layer of the ear. It’s in the eardrum that garlic oil helps reduce fluid build-up. And from there, garlic oil’s medicinal effect reaches all the way into the inner ear.
The inner ear is where the anti-inflammatory properties of garlic oil help reduce swelling. And, most importantly for your child, pain.
Using Garlic Oil for Ear Infections
To use garlic oil for ear infections, here’s a simple method. It will involve getting another all natural herbal oil called mullein oil.
Mullein oil is traditionally used for earaches and ear infections. You can infuse mullein flowers in olive oil to make mullein oil. Once you have some mullein oil, stir a few drops of garlic oil and mullein oil into the infected ear with a liquid dropper.
Leave the mullein-garlic oil mix in the ear. You can repeat this treatment a few times during the day. You may want to use a clean cotton ball to catch any leakage from the ear. Make sure you do not stick anything inside the ear.
It’s very important to make sure that the garlic oil you’re using comes directly from minced garlic. Do not use essential oil of garlic. Most essential oils are too concentrated and not intended for direct use on the skin.
Instead, you can simply heat some olive oil on low temperature and add the minced garlic. It will only take about 20 minutes or so for the minced garlic to infuse in the olive oil.
If you follow this method, you don’t need mullein oil. Simply take the olive-garlic oil and apply it in the ear with a dropper. Obviously, let the oil cool before applying directly in the ear. Not into making your own? You can buy a prepared ear oil like this one made for kids.
Garlic oil for hair
Yet another garlic oil benefit is hair growth. And there is scientific evidence that using garlic for hair works.
The number of studies are limited and don’t involve a large number of test subjects. That being said, though, at least one study of garlic supports garlic’s use for hair. The study was published in an Indian dermatology journal.
In the study, patients were randomly divided into two groups of garlic gel and a topical cream, and placebo. The two groups were advised to follow the treatment twice daily, for three months. The researchers used the following characteristics to determine the outcome: size of bald patches, total number of grown hair and number of terminal hair at the end of each month.
The study showed that garlic gel boosted the topical cream’s effectiveness.
Researchers believe garlic is good for hair because it is rich in sulfur. Sulfur helps grow hair because it helps the hair and nail protein, keratin, grow.
Researchers also believe garlic helps hair growth because it helps stimulate blood circulation. Also, there are other nutrients garlic contains that helps establish ideal conditions for hair follicles to grow.
Besides sulfur, garlic has other nutrients that hair follicles need to grow, including calcium and selenium. These nutrients penetrate deeply into the hair follicles when you use garlic oil for hair as a shampoo.
How to make garlic oil for hair
Again, do not confuse garlic oil with garlic essential oil. If you rub garlic essential oil in your scalp your hair may not grow. In fact, you may have an allergic symptom.
Instead, use garlic oil made from whole, crushed garlic cloves. The garlic oil treatment for hair works best if you blend the garlic oil with a carrier oil.
Coconut oil is a popular carrier oil to combine with garlic oil for hair care. Apply a handful of coconut oil to your hair after you’ve made your homemade garlic oil.
You can actually cook the garlic in coconut oil. To do this, crush a few garlic cloves and mix with a spoonful of coconut oil in a small frying pan. Heat until the blend is stirred well. Allow to cool. Use this mixture as a shampoo. But be careful not to use it too often. Using garlic oil every day for hair could potentially dry your scalp.
Another method for using garlic oil for hair is this: at night, rub a garlic clove on areas of your scalp where you want to grow hair. Next, rub your hair with either coconut or olive oil. But don’t wash your hair before you go to sleep. Instead, sleep with a shower cap on and wash out your hair in the morning.
You can also apply your homemade garlic oil to your regular all-natural shampoo. Again, make sure not to use garlic oil more than a couple times a week to avoid drying out your hair.
And just like a fine aged wine, some advocates of garlic oil for hair suggest letting the garlic soak in olive oil for at least a couple weeks.
There is one potential problem with this method, though….
Garlic oil botulism
On one hand, you want olive oil for your food that’s not exposed to oxygen. That’s because oxygen will spoil the olive oil (from forgetting to put the cap back on the bottle).
Light and heat can also cause oxidation (spoilage) of olive oil. That’s why it’s always good to store olive oil in a dark container in the pantry.
But, when you combine garlic oil with olive oil, if there’s no oxidation, a nasty bacterial overgrowth can occur. This bacterial condition is known as botulism. The bacteria that causes botulism is called Clostridium botulinum.
Your best bet is to not take the advice of those who say to let the garlic soak in olive oil for a couple weeks. Use the garlic oil for your hair immediately after you make it so there’s less risk of botulism. Botulism is potentially fatal.
To further lessen your risk of botulism, don’t store raw whole garlic in sealed containers. Instead, store them without a container in the fridge. And if you’re too paranoid now after reading about botulism, you can always buy garlic oil online.