Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Power of Garlic

Recently while on vacation, my hand and arm got quite swollen and inflamed from two bug bites. A friend suggested a family folk remedy of placing crushed garlic under a bandage directly on the swollen areas to excise the toxins from the bites. Since icing it and taking antihistamines for a day wasn't doing much, I agreed to the suggestion. I blame my lack of judgment on the 97 degree Southwestern desert heat and the pain and heat from the swelling. Within the first half hour, I felt a burning sensation where the garlic was and assumed it must be working. However, after almost three hours, things didn't seem quite right when my hand became even more inflamed.


Well, long story short, I suffered minor second-degree "garlic burns" on the two sites where the compress were. Symptoms included blistering, heat, and redness. The doctors prescribed oral antibiotics for the possibly infected bites and a topical antibiotic (bactroban cream) for the cellulitis. When I finally got hold of a computer, I ran a quick PubMed search and found that there have only been a few cases of garlic burns reported in the medical literature. The first was reported in 1987.


What I learned from the literature about garlic:


* It has allergens and irritants - the strongest are diallyl disulfide and allicin that are volatile sulfur compounds and can cause irritant contact dermatitis ('garlic burns').


* It can interfere with proper coagulation. It 's suggested that patients should stop eating garlic/taking garlic tablets at least one week before their surgery.


* Garlic burns have occurred in cases where garlic was directly applied to the skin to try to treat asthma, skin lesions, and fever.


* If properly treated with prescription topical antibiotic cream three times a day and covered with sterile gauze, wounds should heal within four weeks or so.

* Three soldiers who apparently did know of the harsh effects of crushed garlic on skin caused self-inflicted wounds on their legs and arms in order to avoid military duty.


So what did I learn from this experience?

(1) Do NOT use or take alternative medical treatment, or any medical treatment for that matter, without knowing what its risks, side effects, and reactions can be.

(2) The body is an amazing machine to be able to heal itself. My skin has repaired itself in a little over a month's time.

So here is my public service announcement to everyone: GARLIC is to be ingested in moderation and NOT applied to the skin.

Know how to handle burn injuries.
Find out more about garlic and its health benefits and risks.

FYI - after the skin has healed, sunblock should be applied to it for at least a year since the new skin is more photosensitive.

References:
Borrelli, F, Capasso, R, & Izzo, AA. (2007). Garlic (Allium sativum L.): adverse effects and drug interactions in humans. Molecular nutrition & food research, 51(11), 1386-97. (PMID: 17918162)

Al-Qattan, MM. Garlic burns: Case reports with an emphasis on associated and underlying pathology. Burns (2008) (PMID: 18406535)




27 comments:

CP said...

Sorry to hear about the pain caused by garlic, but at least you learned something from it. Thanks for sharing your experience so we don't have to burn ourselves.
-Cynthia

Arianne said...

So sorry about the burn. But because of your garlic burn, i just received a lesson about the properties and effects of garlic.

Anonymous said...

Did you know garlic were taken by soldiers from Spain to resist the high altitude challenges while crossing the Andes in South America in the 15th/16th centuries? It has substances that decrease high pressures in the vessels in the lungs...

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I just minced some garlic with a knife and hadn't realised garlic could do such things! My fingers are on fire. I seem to be much better off than you were though. =/

Anonymous said...

i used crushed garlic to remove ring worm from the topside of my feet & it worked well. Yes it burned a little but it worked great.

Anonymous said...

On the recommendation of a natropath I used crushed garlic on my toddlers feet for a persistent chest infection (have had 2 courses of antibiotics) after 15 minutes she started to scream as the garlic had burnt the soles of her feet:-( lucky I was able to bathe them and apply aloe but still she doesn't want to walk on them. Do NOT use this garlic preparation it's just not worth it, I am now left feeling like a horrible mummy!!!

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me. I used garlic to treat a wart on my nose. It has worked wonderfully until I got carried away/careless and applied it to too wide an area around the wart; the entire area burned (likewise I though "oh good it's working") and now I have a large, unsightly, purple blister on the tip of my nose. I took your advice and began applying neosporin which will hopefully heal the blister.

Anonymous said...

Garlic is a VERY good remedy used on the feet, or directly on the affected area of the skin/body. It is so strong and you MUST MIX IT WITH Petroleum Jelly. It is a skin protectant but the garlic works at healing the ailment just the same with it mixed in it. I hope this helps redeem your faith in garlic cures. I've healed many, even quite serious issues with "garlic on the feet" packs. (hope the baby feels better soon) Good luck to all.

Riki van Deventer said...

I put garlic under my baby's feet (not directly on the skin, but between socks). His feet got burnt quite a bit. I did not know what to do, so I tried some Burn Shield, and the next morning it was much better. I went to buy some more Burn shield, but could only get Burn Aid. (Both of those has Tee tree as a main ingredient.) It is now the 3rd day, and the burns are almost completely gone!

I still do believe in garlic, as it worked very well on my daughter (7 years of age), when she had a sore throat and ear infection. But I will use petroleum jelly next time.

Anonymous said...

top [url=http://www.001casino.com/]casino bonus[/url] coincide the latest [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com/]casino games[/url] unshackled no store hand-out at the foremost [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]casino gratuity
[/url].

Anonymous said...

Thankfulness to my father who stated to me concerning this website, this web site is in fact remarkable.


Here is my website; bankruptcy attorney florida

Anonymous said...

If you wish for to get a good deal from this post then you have to apply such techniques to your won webpage.


Review my web site :: raspberry ketones reviews

Anonymous said...

Me and ozzy fucked tougher, trying to show to
my personal god! FUCK YES!' just before cumming inside my warm pussy. were still fucking

Here is my homepage hcg injections
Also see my page :: hcg injections

Anonymous said...

whoаh this blοg is magnifісent i love studying yοur posts.
Keep up the good worκ! Үοu know, а lot of inԁividuals are hunting around for thіs info, yоu
could help them greatlу.

Chеck оut my раge :: Term Life Insurance Quotes

Anonymous said...

Very greаt ρoѕt. I simply stumbled upon youг blog and ωanted to say that I've really loved surfing around your weblog posts. After all I'll be subscгibing on your feeԁ and
I hope you write oncе more soon!

my websіte - green coffee

Anonymous said...

Thanks very interеsting blog!

Heгe iѕ mу blog post; health insurance plan

Anonymous said...

It's an awesome piece of writing for all the web viewers; they will get advantage from it I am sure.

Here is my weblog :: california health insurance ()

Anonymous said...

Hmm іs anуonе elsе experiencing problems
with the imagеs on this blog loаding?
I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's thе blog.
Any suggеstions ωould be gгeаtly aрprеcіated.


Αlso vіsit my web blοg hcg diet drops

Anonymous said...

I do nοt evеn knοw the way I fіnished up right hеге, but I beliеved this ѕubmіt wаs once goοd.
I ԁο not геаlize
ωho yоu're however certainly you're goіng to a well-κnown
bloggeг when уοu arе not already.
Cheeгs!

Feel free to visit mу web-site; raspberry ketones

Anonymous said...

Hi there are using Wordρгеss for your
blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started аnd create my own.
Do you need аny сοding knowledge to make yοuг own blog?
Any help would bе greatly apρreciated!

Нere is my web sіtе :: car insurance quotes mi

Anonymous said...

I do consider all thе ideas you've presented on your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for starters. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

Feel free to surf to my website ... Cheapest Car Insurance

Sandy David said...

Que penser de cette lecture qui ma veritablement scotchez … encore ?

mytzweb.co.uk |

http://www.nictoglobe.org |

http://www.oneworldonepallet.co.uk |

pikimal.co.uk |

projectix.co.uk |

http://www.reseau-mpp-idf.org |

www.schoolbookbank.org |

http://www.smallcapstockpicks.co.uk |

www.stoneygatecollege.org |

tateblog.co.uk |

addysmith92 said...

Useful info. Fortunate me I found your website unintentionally, and I am surprised why this coincidence didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

birdwatchinghouse.com |

caregivingreviews |

thetechnologydiet |

http://www.ronthomhome4sale.com |

www.finanauto.com |

Murray butar said...

s of To start with Nations languages, a Jasa Rumah Bangunan Jasa Desain Rumah Jasa Desain Interior Jual Paving Jual Pasir Jual Bata Jual Hebel Jual Baja Ringan Jual Genteng Jual Besi Jasa Pasang Contblock Jasa Cor Hotmix

Clement vanesha said...

e ability to incorporate a further every Krim Pemutih Pemutih Kulit Krim Pemutih Muka baju gamis pusat grosir baju Rumah Dijual Bintaro Rumah BSD Rumah Dijual BSD Rumah Gading Serpong Rumah Dijual Gading Serpong

Lexie riezky said...

just have to produce more with this sub grosir baju korea termurah baju korea toko baju korea butik online baju korea baju korea baju grosir korea baju pesta murah grosir baju import baju murah grosir pusat busana muslim supplier baju online butik baju korea baju gamis terbaru pusat grosir pakaian grosiran baju murah baju wanita korea grosir baju murah grosir baju impor model baju muslim baju kerja online

Sunny ipank said...

gh. rumah com jakarta rumah dijual di koja jakarta rumah murah di jakarta selatan rumah cipete jakarta selatan perumahan jakarta selatan kontrakan rumah jakarta rumah dikontrakan jakarta jual rumah di jakarta rumahku com jakarta rumah petak jakarta selatan rumah di gading serpong perumahan gading rumah dijual di tangerang rumah disewakan di gading serpong beli rumah di tangerang rumah dijual murah tangerang rumah baru di tangerang rumah com tangerang rumah di tangerang tanah dijual di tangerang