Can You Use Garlic as an Antibiotic?

Can You Use Garlic as an Antibiotic?

Most of us have taken antibiotics at some point in our lives. We’ve become accustomed to taking these powerful drugs when a natural remedy or simply resting would cure our ailment. This overuse of antibiotics has lead to stronger “superbugs” like MRSA.

Garlic has long been used as a natural antibiotic across the world. There are hundreds of studies detailing garlic’s effects on bacteria and other nasties. So, can you use garlic as an antibiotic? Read on to find out.

Garlic Basics

Garlic, or “allium sativum”, is a perennial plant in the onion family. It originated in central Asia but is now grown throughout the world.

The garlic bulb is commonly used in cooking and traditional medicinal remedies (source).

In 18th century France, gravediggers would drink crushed garlic in wine to protect them from the plague. In World War I and II, soldiers used garlic to prevent gangrene in their wounds. (source)

What is Allicin?

One of the main chemical constituents in garlic is called “allicin”. Allicin is activated when raw garlic is chewed, chopped or crushed.

Allicin responsible for many of garlic’s medicinal properties and also it’s strong, distinctive smell.

Allicin is deactivated by heat, e.g. in cooking. (source) Allicin content is also reduced in stale or old garlic cloves and commercial garlic powders. (source)

What is an Antibiotic?

Before we get into the details of garlic’s antibiotic powers, let’s discuss the basics of antibiotics.

In short, an antibiotic is a drug or natural substance used to treat bacterial infections.

Bacterial Infections

Bacteria can infect almost anywhere in the human body. Some examples include wound infection, skin infection, stomach infection or respiratory infection.

There are thousands of different types of bacteria. They are all single cells with a protective wall on the outside (like our skin).

How do Antibiotics Kill Bacteria?

Since there are so many types of bacteria, it follows that we need many different types of antibiotic to kill them. Antibiotics work in a wide range of different ways.

Some just stop the bacteria from reproducing. Some burst the bacteria’s protective wall. Some mess with the bacteria’s DNA.

It’s not known for sure yet which method garlic uses to kill bacteria but there are some theories which I will detail further on.

The Evidence for Garlic as an Antibiotic

  • Garlic vs Bacteria

One study tested garlic’s effect on the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori.

Helicobacter Pylori lives in the digestive tract of two thirds of the world’s population. It can cause gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.

Garlic was able to inhibit growth of this bacteria. This may be extremely useful as conventional treatment for H. Pylori infection fails in about 20% of cases (source).

Sepsis is a life-threatening whole-body infection. Garlic may play a role in increasing survival in septic patients by enhancing immune response (source)

Yet another study tested garlic as a disinfectant. Its performance was comparable to the widely used commercial product chlorhexidine (source)

Garlic does not seem to produce such resistant bacteria, and may be effective against strains that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics (source 12)

  • Garlic Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanism for garlic as an antibiotic has not been confirmed but one study found that it disrupted bacteria’s ability to stick to each other and to surfaces (known as “biofilm”)

Another study suggested that allicin interferes with bacterial enzymes and metabolism.

Garlic also enhances our own immune response, allowing us to fight infection more successfully.

Garlic has been shown to increase the number of immune white blood cells which destroy intruding cells (source 12)

  • Garlic vs. Fungal Infection

Research from the University of New Mexico found that garlic was effective against infection with the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans (source).

In China, an intravenous extract of garlic was used successfully against fungal meningitis (source).

Garlic has activity against the fungus Candida Albicans, the cause of the extremely common thrush infection (source).

  • Garlic vs. Viral Infection

Can garlic cure the common cold? One study found that a garlic supplement reduced occurrence of the common cold and decreased length of infection in those that did catch it.

Another study demonstrated garlic’s ability to protect animals from the flu virus. This was suggested to be partially due to an antiviral effect and partially due to increased efficacy of the animals’ immune systems (source).

  • Garlic vs. Parasites

One doctor – Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda in Portland, Oregon, regularly uses garlic to treat AIDS patients with with parasitic infections.

He prescribes about nine cloves a day for active infections, and finds it effective to prevent or treat these infections, even when conventional antibiotics have failed. (source)

Anecdotal evidence is all very well but studies also back this up. Garlic has been shown to have similar potency to the drug metronidazole when treating the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis (source).

Check here how to get rid of parasites naturally

Garlic vs Conventional Antibiotics

So, now you understand some of the effects that garlic has as an antibiotic. It’s pretty convincing, isn’t it? But why use garlic instead of conventional antibiotic pills?

Of course you should always talk to a doctor before deciding to treat any infection with garlic. But if he or she gives you the go-ahead, here are some points to consider.

Antibiotic Resistance

As I’ve mentioned already, using antibiotics when they are not needed has led to the evolution of so-called “superbugs”.

When you use an antibiotic drug, it will kill most of the bacteria. There may be a few extra strong bacteria left, however. These anomalies will multiply and spread and the next time you try to use the antibiotic, you won’t be able to kill any of them.

This is a huge problem as we now have bacterial infections that are nearly impossible to cure, such as MRSA. We need to develop stronger antibiotics, but if our practices don’t change, this will keep happening.

The good news is that garlic doesn’t seem to cause resistance. You can take garlic over and over again and it will keep killing the bacteria. (source)

Garlic Has a Broad Spectrum

Most antibiotic drugs only kill a certain type of bacteria. They definitely don’t kill viruses and mostly don’t kill fungi or parasites.

As you can see in some of the studies I discussed above, garlic can kill a wide range of bacteria and other bugs. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, garlic is a good starting point.

However, if you know you have a particular type of bacteria, virus or parasite, it’s best to treat it with a drug targeted to that variety as it will be more effective (source).

Garlic Has Fewer Side Effects

Almost all substances that exert a medical effect on the body come with unwanted side effects.

Antibiotics can often cause severe digestive upset such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. They are also associated with allergies and further infection.

Natural remedies in general have fewer and more mild side effects. This is mostly because they are much less potent.

Garlic does have some side effects such as skin irritation, bad breath and blood thinning. However, in low doses, these effects are not very significant.

How to Use Garlic as an Antibiotic

Garlic can be used in a multitude of ways for antibiotic effects. You can take it orally or apply it to the skin (source).

Remember not to cook garlic if you are using it as an antibiotic as it will destroy the allicin.

Always use fresh garlic and allow it to sit for 10 minutes after crushing for maximum results (source).

Dose for Garlic as an Antibiotic

The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 2 to 4 average-sized garlic cloves per day for antibiotic effects (source).

As you can imagine, it’s quite difficult (and stinky!) to eat that amount of raw garlic. Here are some ideas for preparing it:

  • Garlic infused wine

Do as the Frenchmen did during the plague and add garlic to your wine. Crush the garlic, and add a glass of wine. Let it sit overnight and then enjoy!

  • Garlic vinegar

Use the same method as for the garlic wine but with vinegar. You can make this into a delicious salad dressing by adding some olive oil.

  • Garlic honey

Make your own antibiotic cough syrup by mixing crushed garlic with honey. Let it sit overnight and then take it undiluted or add hot water for a soothing beverage.

  • Garlic vegetable juice

Add garlic to a home made vegetable juice. It goes well with carrot or tomato.

  • Garlic skin treatment

To treat a skin infection, dilute crushed garlic with ten parts of water before application. Neat garlic can cause irritation to the skin if applied directly.

You can also add crushed garlic to a hot bath or foot bath for an antibacterial soak. Just make sure to wash yourself with soap afterwards or you will smell quite strongly of garlic.

(source)

What About Garlic Tablets?

Garlic tablets aren’t as effective as fresh garlic but if you are unable to tolerate the above methods they’re worth a shot.

Garlic tablets are often made “odorless” by aging the garlic, which can make the allicin less potent.

There is a lot of variation between different types of garlic pill. It’s important to read the label carefully and compare the amounts of active ingredient (source).

Freeze-dried, dried or aged garlic extracts with standardized ingredients are best (source). You want 600-1,200 mg of aged garlic extract daily for use as an antibiotic (source).

Look for enteric coated supplements – they will dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach for better absorption. (source)

You can buy garlic supplements here.

Other Garlic Benefits

Garlic is great for your health in many other ways. Some benefits which have strong evidence supporting them include:

  • Garlic may reverse hardening of the arteries
  • It may reduce the risk of cancer, especially colon, prostate and rectal cancer
  • Some types of garlic supplement may reduce the blood pressure slightly.

Other claims for which evidence is insufficient so far include:

  • Applying garlic to the scalp may increase hair growth
  • Garlic may reduce muscle soreness after exercise
  • Garlic may help with stomach inflammation and improve digestion
  • It may improve liver function
  • A garlic mouthwash may help with mouth ulcers
  • Applying garlic to the skin may cure warts

(source)

Cautions

Although garlic doesn’t have as many side effects and interactions as conventional antibiotics, there are some things to watch out for.

Some side effects of garlic include upset stomach, bloating, bad breath, body odor and stinging when applied to the skin. (source)

Like all antibiotics, garlic can deplete the “good” bacteria in your gut. You will need to eat probiotic foods such as natural yoghurt, kombucha, miso and fermented vegetables to counteract this (source).

When I can’t stomach fermented foods like sauerkraut anymore, I will sometimes take this probiotic supplement for 30 days so I don’t have to worry about my gut’s health.

Garlic and other natural remedies should never be used to replace medicine prescribed by your doctor. Many infections can be very serious or even fatal if not treated correctly.

Garlic may be helpful in mild or otherwise self-resolving infections but always check with your doctor before going down this route.

Garlic thins the blood so it interacts strongly with blood thinning medicines (anticoagulants) (source).

If you take these type of pills, you will need to avoid garlic.If you take a prescription medicine or have an ongoing health condition such as ulcers or thyroid problems, check with a healthcare professional before taking raw garlic or a garlic supplement.(source)

Conclusion

I was really surprised by how strong the evidence is for using garlic as an antibiotic. Although the smell is off-putting, so are the side-effects of traditional antibiotics so it’s something I’m willing to put up with.

My favourite way to use garlic as an antibiotic is to take the garlic honey mentioned above when I get a sore throat. It can often nip a cold or throat infection in the bud.

Let me know how you get on with these treatments or if you know some other ways to make raw garlic a bit more palatable leave me a comment!

This article was written by Health Ambition and can be viewed here

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

One of the challenges of being a dedicated prepper is that is almost impossible to cover all contingencies. No matter how well you plan, prepare and stock up, you can always have situations arise that you did not prepare for or count on.

For me, one of my almost daily challenges involves travel. I fly over 200,000 miles domestically every year. This can keep me on the road and in the air almost five days a week. Not the best “Bug Out” scenario, huh?

Over the past three years I have developed a travel-friendly, TSA compliant, carry on, bug out bag.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers vs A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

First, let me say a few words about what you carry. Do not try to carry credit card knives, ceramic knives, or any type of knife device intended to be covert. TSA will find it and you will be arrested. I have witnessed this with my own eyes on several occasions.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent FlyersA Bug Out Bag for Frequent FlyersA Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

I am going to list each item and explain how it fits into the travel bug out bag scenario. Each item will have a “problem” rating. number will appear in parenthesis ahead of each item indicating how many times I have been stopped because of the item. If I have never been stopped because of the item, “NI” will appear indicating NO ISSUES.

First, EDC (Everyday carry) items. These items should be in your pockets when you approach the TSA checkpoint. You will be required to place these items into a TSA “dog dish” for pass thru in the scanner. Any keys, metal coins, cell phones, etc. must go into the dish as well.

  • (1Tactical 300-lumen flashlight – I have been stopped only once with this flashlight and TSA only wanted me to unscrew the lid to the battery compartment so they could view the battery
  • (NI) Standard “Bic” type lighter – Yes, believe it or not, you are allowed to carry a standard lighter with you. You cannot have any torch type or jet type lighter. These will be confiscated by TSA
  • (1Metal tactical ink pen – These pens are available in many shapes and sizes. Stick with the smaller size and make sure you can demonstrate that it writes if stopped and questioned about it (only questioned once)
  • (NIParacord bracelet – This a handy item for many situations and has never been an issue.
  • (NI) Large metal coin – A large metal coin can be used as a flat-head screwdriver, can be heated to seal wounds or as a hand warmer when placed in between two pieces of cloth. I have a large NRA coin that I have carried for six years. Challenge coins are great as well.

On to the bug out bag itself. I use the Travelon Packable Multi Pocket Back Pack. I do not unfold it, but leave it in its compact size. Unfolded it expands to 19” x 12.5” x 6”. I place it in my computer bag or shoulder messenger bag. Leaving it in its compact form, I still can put the following items in it:

  • (NIEton Scorpion AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Radio – This is one of the most compact radio units out there. It has both solar charging and crank operations. It has an LED flashlight built in and a tough rubberized case and is waterproof. A top-mounted carabiner will allow you to attach it to most anything.
  • (NIMylar space blanket – These have multiple uses and have never been an issue through security.
  • (NI) Generic Whistle/Compass/Signal Mirror Match Holder – You have seen these dorky things on every survival site on the web. They normally come with matches and a lanyard. REMOVE the matches. Bad day otherwise.
  • (NILifeline First Aid Kit – This is a small, compact kit containing the normal assortment of bandages, gauze, etc. NOTE: Remove the alcohol wipes and moist towelettes from the kit and place them in your quart-size, 3 oz or less TSA bag.
  • (NI) Hotel size bar soap – Never an issue
  • (NISmall sewing kit – Small variety of needles, safety pins, buttons and thread.
  • (NIEton Blackout Buddy H2O – This a small flashlight device that is activated by adding a few drops of water to a sealed compartment on the device. Last up to 12 hours.
  • (NICollapsible shopping bag – These fold up to about 2” X 2”. Great for stashing foraged supplies.
  • (NIHiking socks (2 pairs) – If TSHTF, you will probably be doing a lot of walking.
  • (2LifeStraw water filters – This is perfect for travel and will outlast your journey. I have been stopped twice with this item. Once I explained what it was, no problem.

Remember, you are already carrying a lot of useful items as part of your regular travel packing.

  • Spare clothing
  • Paper – Notebook paper makes great kindling
  • Pens, sharpies
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, etc.

What scenarios would necessitate needing these preps?

Well, hopefully, you are on the ground if an EMP event happens. If you are lucky enough not to be plunging out of the sky, the items you have with you would allow you to start a trek on foot towards home, a safer situation, etc. If you have any experience in prepping for survival, you will be scavenging and foraging as you go.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

Economic collapse/civil unrest. When the economy goes, it will go quickly. The day the government handout checks will not cash, the country will plunge into anarchy. Angry entitlement recipients will begin looting, plundering and attacking anyone they see as privileged. Other than the tactical pen, the TSA has rendered you weaponless, so your skill set needs to include defensive techniques, etc.

Earthquake/natural disaster. Least likely if you travel domestically as I do but if it did happen, the LifeStraw could be the difference in life or death. Utilities are the first thing to shut down is these situations.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, this is just what I personally carry through trial and error with the TSA. Remember, the TSA has a horrible job. They have to deal with thousands of disgruntled flyers, flyers ignorant of the regulations, and defiant or drunk flyers as well. Your best chance to go through a TSA checkpoint unscathed is to be polite and treat them like humans. Most days, they do not want to be there any more than you do. Happy Trails and be safe out there.

This article was written by The Prepper Journal and can be viewed here

Body Armor for Survivalists - Why it Should Always Be Considered

Body Armor for Survivalists – Why it Should Always Be Considered

Nowadays, body armor is more of a necessity for civilians and survivalists. Anyone looking to be prepared in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster, terrorist attacks or any other unforeseen event understands the need for adequate protective equipment.

Body armor comes in many shapes and types, but you should have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for. Essentially, no body armor is 100% bulletproof and different levels are only suited against the type of weapons they are tested against. This means that a bullet-resistant vest won’t be effective against knives, needles or other sharp-edged weapons. Conversely, there is a difference in how stab and slash resistant body armor works as well. Combined systems are available, but they are more expensive and cumbersome, so you have to carefully consider if they’re the right choice for you.

How is body armor categorized?

Based on the type of ballistic weapons it can stop, body armor can be classified as soft, semi-rigid and hard. Soft armor is the most commonly used – both by police officers and survivalists to stop handgun rounds. Semi-rigid plates are designed to minimize blunt force trauma while giving additional protection in high-risk scenarios. Hard armor is either ceramic or metal and is designed to stop modern battle carbines such as .223, 7.62 X 39, and .308, making it applicable in war zones and urban riot scenes.

When it comes to a decent array of pistol weapon threats, versatility, and affordability – the best choice is Level IIIa. This armor is considered as standard armor for law enforcement at this time. It offers enhanced protection over level IIa up to a 44mag and it also stops 357 Sig, which is a high-velocity round for a handgun.

What types of body armor are available?

Body armor vests come in two styles: covert and overt. Covert (concealable) body armor is used beneath clothing. For that reason, it is slim and lightweight and designed to end up being undetectable. This kind of body armor is typically made from moisture wicking fabric that will help to keep the person wearing them cool, and are also usually produced in lighter colors than other types of body armor.

Overt body armor is meant to be worn above your clothes, and as a result, it tends to be created from tougher fabrics than covert types of body armor. The idea of overt body armor is to be visible to other people, and for this reason, standard overt body armor covers are usually black, but there are plenty of other colors available. Frequently overt pieces of body armor will include high visibility strips, or be manufactured entirely from high visibility materials, meaning that the wearer stands out.

What to consider when selecting body armor?

Fit affects coverage. Body armor panels and carriers come in many different shapes, sizes, and comfort levels. Getting a proper size is crucial to ensuring your vest will fulfill its protective qualities. If it’s too big – it will be loose and won’t stop weapon projectiles. A carrier that is too tight will put too much strain on the delicate armor, wearing them off quicker.

It may seem like a good idea to immediately upgrade to hard body armor to increase your chances of survival, but don’t be quick to do it. Surviving depends a great deal on moving quickly from point A to point B without drawing attention to yourself. Heavy armor is, well, heavy. It restricts your movement and agility, making you an easy target. Heavy ceramic plates add weight to the carrier and make your protective gear easily visible – something you don’t want in a hostile environment.

Do some research and compare the different options on body armor available online. Make sure you measure correctly and select a vest that fits well, is lightweight and comfortable apart from offering a high level of protection – these are just a few of the ground rules that every survivalist should stick to when shopping for body armor.

Special Thanks to Alex Ashton from SafeGuard Armor for providing this informative article.

LIVE FIRE GEAR RING O FIRE COMMERCIAL WITH EJ “SKULLCRUSHER” SNYDER HAS BEEN RELEASED

Live Fire Gear has officially released our new commercial featuring EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder. You may know EJ from the Discovery Channel series “Naked and Afraid” and “Dual Survival“. EJ is an Extreme Survivalist, Adventurer and Retired Army Combat Vet. He is an expert in leadership, tracking, trapping, building shelter, primitive weapons, navigation, security, self-reliance, and self-defense. Live Fire Gear was excited when EJ agreed to endorse our product. The commercial is in production now and should be ready for TV soon! This wasn’t a studio commercial. EJ was in a Florida swamp, built an amazing shelter and trekked through the woods for the commercial. He is a true survival expert.

Live Fire Gear’s Ring O Fire is now available in 13 colors! The Ring O Fire includes 25 feet of 550 FireCord, 1 Live Fire Original Emergency Fire Starter and 1 Ferrocerium Rod & Striker. We have also completely redesigned our packaging. When we launched the Ring O Fire we only offered 5 colors, but due to popular demand, we decided to expand our selection to include all 13 of our FireCord colors. You can pick up yours today for just $24.99.

Our Live Fire Original has burn times which average 30 minutes with the lid completely removed, and much longer when the lid is used. Just get your kindling going and slide the lid closed. The Live Fire Original is waterproof and can be lighted again and again.

Our 550 FireCord is More Than Just Paracord! FireCord is 550 Paracord with an 8th inner strand (color-coded and waterproof) to be used as fire tinder. When you need the fire tinder strand (formulated with Live Fire Gear’s properties) light the fire tinder and build the fire. 550 Outer shell can still be utilized for Survival Kits, Zipper Pulls, Handles, Keychains, Bracelets, Necklaces, Lanyards, Boot Laces, & Outdoor Lashings.

The Ferrocerium Rod and Striker ensures you will always have the spark you need to get your fire started.

Ring O Fire is available in ACU Digital, Black, Coyote Brown, Desert Camo, Foliage Green, MultiCam, Olive Drab, Red, Royal Blue, Safety Green, Safety Orange, Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line. Pick yours up today at LiveFireGear.com.

Touch Of Modern 5-Day Sale

Touch Of Modern 5-Day Sale

Touch Of Modern is having a 5-day sale for 8 Live Fire Gear Ring O Fire colors. Desert Camo, Red, Royal Blue, Thin Blue Line, Safety Orange, ACU Digital, Foliage Green and Safety Green are available at a special price. So special we can’t share it on our own website! This sale ends June 7th at 12 PM PDT. Be sure to Join Touch Of Modern to see their special pricing.