Garlic was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, chewed by Greek Olympian athletes, and thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay. But it is also good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, regulating blood sugar in diabetics, and warding off coughs and colds. For example, if you have a cold, put lots of chopped garlic into chicken soup, or even just the broth (if you cannot down the noodles and veggies in a soup).
A favorite site about garlic is Garlic Central which is chock full of information on everything garlic - cooking, uses for health, growing your own, shopping for it, etc.
I have grown garlic; it is very easy, and takes little space in a garden. Buying garlic braids not only adorns your kitchen, but garlic is just in your reach; or even buy it already minced and soaking in olive oil which you can keep in your refrigerator.
When garlic is roasted in the oven, the cloves become very soft and sweet; it can be used as a spread, in dips, salads, etc.
...and for those who just enjoy adding it to recipes, here's a good one for you.
Garlic Chicken with Thyme
Garlic is an important medicinal herb that is readily available everywhere, unlike some of the other herbs mentioned on these pages. It is one of the safest herbs, and as such can be taken often. It does, however, have its drawbacks, as we all know. Bear this in mind when using remedies (especially internal ones), and cut back when family and friends start avoiding you.
Garlic does indeed have scientifically-proven medicinal properties. It contains a substance called Allicin, which has anti-bacterial properties that are equivalent to a weak penicillin. It appears that cooked garlic weakens the anti-bacterial effects considerably, however, so don't count on cooked garlic with meals for much in the way of a curative.
Garlic appears to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The list is long when it comes to its uses as a remedy. This list includes wounds, ulcers, skin infections, flu, athlete's foot, some viruses, strep, worms, respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, blood thinning, cancer of the stomach, colic, colds, kidney problems, bladder problems, and ear aches, to name a few. It is believed to cure worms in both people and animals - try giving the dog a clove of garlic daily (but he's not gonna like it).
For most internal problems, eating garlic raw is probably the most potent way to take it. However, due to the obvious lingering odors associated with this, a tincture can be made by soaking 1/4 pound of peeled and separated garlic cloves in 1/2 quart of brandy. Seal tightly and shake every day. Strain and bottle after two weeks of this, and take in drops - 25-30 a day, if desired.
For cough, flu, and respiratory ailments, make a cough syrup out of garlic. Slice 1 pound of fresh garlic and pour one quart of boiling water over it. Let sit for 12 hours, then add sugar until you reach the consistency of a syrup. Add honey for better taste, if desired.
For sore throat, make a garlic tea by steeping several cloves of garlic in half a cup of water overnight. Hold your nose and drink it.
Externally, garlic is a known anti-bacterial and anti-infection agent. An interesting use for ear aches is to slice a garlic clove, heat briefly in a small amount of virgin olive oil, and let cool. Then use a drop of two in the affected ear (strain the mixture beforehand, of course).
Make an Ointment out of garlic (use cloves instead of leaves, stems, or flowers) for wounds, cuts, athlete's foot, or any other external skin irritation, fungus, or infection. Also, try a few drops of Oil on a toothache for pain relief.
Here's another of my favorite recipes.
Garlic and Onion Roasted Potatoes