Kitchen Medicine: Garlic

Organic Herbs and Teas
Common name: Garlic
Latin name: Allium sativum
Parts used: bulb
Actions: antibacterial, antifungal, great cardiovascular tonic, helps fight yeast infections, wonderful as a prevention and treatment of colds & flus.

Kitchen medicine is possibly my favorite part about practicing herbalism, because you’re using tools that almost everyone has in their pantry and making some beautiful medicine with those everyday items. Today I made a garlic syrup using honey. This is useful for sore throats, a daily immunity boost, and as an exquisite addition to dishes (I poured a little on some tamales today! Unconventional, but delicious!).

I decocted 1/4c (one full head) chopped garlic in 1.25 cups of water, and let it cook down to about half its volume. To that I added an equal part honey, which ended up being too much honey, so I threw the garlic BACK into the decoction + honey and kept it on the warm burner for about 20 more minutes. Not usually what I’d recommend for people to emulate, but it made a really really delicious & strong syrup! Traditional syrup recipes look more like this, but if you end up doing what I did it’ll be just fine. You can also just very lowly simmer garlic and honey together and skip the decoction altogether.


Bio: Nina DiCristina is an herbalist in Orlando, Florida. She’s been studying the plants since 2008 and formally with the guidance of herbalist Emily Ruff at the Florida School of Holistic Living since 2011. She’s also been fortunate enough to study with Rosemary Gladstar, and  Guido Masé. She loves the daily communion with the plants and the joy they bring to those who know them. She writes at, can be found pouring the tea at beloved Dandelion Communitea Cafe, teaching at the Florida School of Holistic Living, and enthusiastically assisting at the annual Florida Herbal Conference.

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