Garlic and the Outlander Medicinal Uses
At Castle Leoch Mrs Fitz brings Claire some garlic bulbs, bags of herbs and cloth strips. Claire has Mrs Fitz peel the cloves. Several cloves of peeled garlic with thyme are added to boiling water to decoct. She is making an antiseptic wash for Jamie’s wounds. Claire drops the cloth strips in the boiling liquid too.
Okay so Mrs. Fitz, Claire and Jamie are fictional characters from the Outlander book and television show. But is this use of garlic so crazy?
Historically garlic does certainly have a long history of medicinal use. However, nowadays Allium sativum (garlic) is the subject of much investigation. Research studies have found our ancestors were right to use garlic. It is indeed anti-microbial.
A recently published paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology actually looked at historical use of medicinal plants. In particular the study investigated the activity of medicinal plants used by the Physicians of Myddvai from the 14th century. Over 67 historical plants had detectable levels of antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) and Escherichia coli (Gram-negative). One of the medicinals tested was garlic.
A study by Roshan et al published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology earlier in 2017 included garlic. They tested twenty products, one of which was garlic juice, against four different strains of Clostridium difficile. In conclusion the garlic juice had the highest anti-microbial activity.
Furthermore a later study by Sheppard et al in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, found garlic effective against multi drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
A Kitchen Medicinal
It is a medicinal I always have to hand. The above are some of the benefits. It has many more uses. I have included some of these in Fight Winter Chills with Herbs from the Kitchen.