Garlic has been a traditional remedy for thousands of years. In the 18th century, French grave robbers would drink wine with crushed garlic in it as they thought it would protect them from the plague.1 We can’t confirm or deny whether garlic could protect you from the bubonic plague, but we can tell you that garlic has a number of amazing properties that make it a superfood of sorts.
Garlic is often mentioned as a natural treatment for back pain. Once you find out what kind of benefits garlic has, you’ll understand why it can be such a potent remedy.
How Garlic Can Help With Back Pain
1. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Garlic has been proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. One of the major causes of most kinds of pain is inflammation. So, it makes sense that using garlic to combat back pain can be effective. Thiacremonone, a compound found in garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help arthritic pain as well.2
2. Antioxidant Properties
Antioxidants help break down free radicals which, in excess, cause damage to the body and in some cases may cause chronic pain as well. Garlic contains antioxidants like selenium and allicin that may help fight pain and provide relief.3 4
3. Hypotensive Properties
Garlic compounds may help reduce blood pressure. This is useful because most over-the-counter pain killers cause a spike in blood pressure. Using garlic to relieve pain may counter those effects. 5
How To Use Garlic For Back Pain
1. Raw Garlic
- Peel and mince 2–3 cloves of garlic.
- Let sit in the open for 5–10 minutes for the allicin to release
- Swallow the pulp and quickly follow with a glass of water or juice.
2. Garlic Milk
- Peel and mince 4 garlic cloves and let sit while milk boils.
- Heat 200 ml of milk
- Let the milk boil for a few minutes.
- Take this off the heat
- Add the garlic to it when it has cooled down considerably.
- Add honey to sweeten it.
- Drink it while still warm.
If you can’t stomach the strong taste of raw garlic, you can just add lots of sliced and chopped raw garlic to salad dressings and other healthy dishes to mask some of the strong flavors.
Note: Before using any of these topical applications, do a patch test to make sure that you do not have any adverse reactions. This is important, especially if you’re someone who has a number of food allergies.
1. Garlic Oil
- Lightly heat up 60ml of coconut or mustard oil.
- Add 8–10 crushed cloves of garlic.
- Fry them gently until they turn golden brown.
- Pour this mixture into a glass jar.
- Once it has cooled, massage this into the area of the back where you feel pain.
- Leave on for 2–3 hours before rinsing off.
2. Garlic Poultice
- Grind 10–12 cloves of garlic into a fine paste.
- Apply this to your back and cover with a towel.
- Leave this on for 30–45 minutes.
- Rinse off with lukewarm water.
- Do this once daily to see results.
- Garlic can have the effect of blood thinning, so if you already take medication that does so, avoid using these remedies.
- You must also avoid garlic if you are due to go into surgery soon since the blood thinning effects can cause excess bleeding.
- Garlic can have side effects like heartburn, bad breath, body odor, and may cause upset stomachs in some people.
Garlic can prove to be an effective addition to your arsenal of natural remedies. Next time you feel a dull ache in your back because of sitting in your office chair for too long, try out these remedies and see the results for yourself.
|↑1||Garlic. University Of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑2||Ban, Jung Ok, Ju Hoon Oh, Tae Myoung Kim, Dae Joong Kim, Heon-Sang Jeong, Sang Bae Han, and Jin Tae Hong. “Anti-inflammatory and arthritic effects of thiacremonone, a novel sulfurcompound isolated from garlic via inhibition of NF-κB.” Arthritis research & therapy 11, no. 5 (2009): R145.|
|↑3||Rayman, Margaret P. “Selenium and human health.” The Lancet 379, no. 9822 (2012): 1256-1268.|
|↑4||Prasad, Kailash, Victor A. Laxdal, Ming Yu, and Barbara L. Raney. “Antioxidant activity of allicin, an active principle in garlic.” Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 148, no. 2 (1995): 183-189.|
|↑5||Silagy, Christopher A., and H. Andrew W. Neil. “A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood pressure.” Journal of hypertension 12, no. 4 (1994): 463-468.|