Garlic grows well here in the Boston Mountains. It has been a medicinal staple for hundreds of years. It has a nickname used here in the mountains, “hill country penicillin.” Locals are heard to say “crush it up, rub it on, and it will heal anything!” Well that may be an exaggeration, but it does help a myriad of maladies.
A Scottish “Nobel Laureate” scientist named Alexander Fleming reportedly discovered penicillin in 1928. The immigrants that populated our hills first came from countries such as Ireland and Scotland. Penicillin was truly a miracle cure for many infections then and is to this day.
Thus the noble garlic plant is dubbed, most respectfully, our “hill country penicillin.” Mountain folks used it for the following actions, infection fighter, antiseptic, blood thinner, decongestant, expectorant, to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, bronchitis, sore throat, rashes, insect stings, snakebite, earache, indigestion, and sun burns. With dentists hard to quickly find, a fast remedy for a toothache was to bite down on a piece of garlic for relief. I have to add that during World War I, garlic was the “go to” poultice for any wounds on the battlefields because they did not yet have penicillin. Garlic has been mentioned as far back as King Tut’s tomb in Egypt.
My wife and I love our garlic, in most any application, medicinal or culinary. It truly is a “super food.” Because we both eat it joyfully together, we never have to worry about offending each other with “garlic breath.”