Vampires merely ran at the sight of garlic, but microbes have less chance for a clean getaway. Garlic is a microbe-slayer. Its action includes antifungal power. Two studies have shown that ajoene, a compound found in garlic, heals athlete’s foot. One of the studies, which lasted sixty days, showed that, in nearly fifty Venezuelan soldiers with athlete’s foot, cream containing 1 percent ajoene had a 100 percent cure rate versus 94 percent for a cream containing 1 percent of the conventional antifungal terbinafine.
The other study, conducted by the same research group, only followed the volunteers for two weeks. However, they reported a 79 percent cure by seven days, and a 100 percent cure after fourteen days of topical ajoene.
Note: Yes, your feet will smell a bit like garlic. (The plant wasn’t dubbed “the stinking rose” for nothing.) But most people aren’t going to sniff your feet.
Here’s a fun experiment: The antimicrobial chemicals in garlic contain sulfur. Some of them absorb across your skin, into the bloodstream, and across the air sacs in your lungs. See whether a friend can smell garlic on your breath after the hour is up. If you dislike that smell (or others do), chew parsley leaves or fennel seeds.
Warning: Don’t use the garlic alone, as this strong herb can irritate the skin. The olive oil creates a protective coating. Most people can tolerate 1 hour. Remove sooner if you have sensitive skin or the application causes discomfort.
What You Need
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10ml) olive oil
Preparation And Use
1Mash the garlic and olive oil together into a paste.
2Apply to the infected area.
3Remove after 1 hour.