Garlic: the natural antibiotic

Enjoyed this Jerusalem Online report on Israeli consumption of garlic, second only per capita they say, to China. They make the claim that people who consume a lot of it get bitten by fewer mosquitoes and generally stay healthy.

Reminds me of my Texas mother when we lived in Libya when I was six. My sister and I liked to run barefoot through the dirt, which bothered mother no end. Whenever she caught us at it, she would turn to the lore of her Texas upbringing and make us eat a clove of garlic each to stave off ringworm, among other things. It was awful. So we worked hard not to get caught.

0 responses to “Garlic: the natural antibiotic

  1. China? Try Korea. The ancient Japanese term for Korea translated as “Land of the Garlic Eaters”.

    People tend to take on the aroma of their diet, though we don’t notice because we are immersed in our surroundings. My last significant military posting was with the Korean Marines (“Pil Sung!”). An American friend, when I later caught up with a collection of my countrymen, told me as he was standing downwind how I seemed to have gone native. I had the same experience when living with the Spanish — not altogether unpleasant, but a different aroma.

    The same topic presented itself when talking with a Lieutenant in the Japanese Navy (Maritime Self-Defense whatever). Asians tended to pick up a slight fishy aroma, but he assured me that the same phenomenon occured with Americans — we tend to smell a bit like butyric acid (because of beef), a polite way of saying ‘vomit’.

    • Dick Stanley

      That’s funny, thanks. I’ve always said my only war wound was when my taste buds were “shot off” after eating C-rations for months at a time. Could just as easily have been my sense of smell. Some swore that the rural Vietnamese (the only kind we came into frequent contact with) smelled like their favorite condiment, a fermented fish sauce that definitely reminds me of vomit. But only in the bottle. I never picked up on smelling it in people’s sweat the way you can with garlic, even if your sense of smell is impaired.

  2. Ah yes, nuoc mam. We identified it by its distance of detection, such as 10-meter nuoc mam or 20-meter nuoc mam.

  3. I was an unfettered garlic eater – before marriage, when SWMBO declared that it will be a choice between garlic and camping outside for me.

  4. Dick Stanley

    Heh. Garlic does leak out amazingly via normal perspiration.