13 Surprising Benefits of Garlic

Try garlic for these unexpected health benefits, who-knew beauty uses, and hidden home repairs.

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Grow beautiful hair with garlic.

Grow beautiful hair with garlic.iStock/Manuel Faba Ortega
Garlic could end your hair loss problems because of its high levels of allicin, a sulfur compound similar to that found in onions, which were found to effectively treat hair loss. Rub sliced cloves of garlic on your scalp, squeezing as you go for the most benefit. You can also infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp.

Garlic clears acne.

Garlic clears acne.iStock/PeopleImages
It might not be a main ingredient in your drugstore acne medication, but garlic makes a great natural remedy to banish unsightly blemishes. Its antioxidants kill bacteria, so rub a sliced clove of garlic on the pimple for an effective topical treatment.

Garlic prevents and treats colds.

Garlic prevents and treats colds.iStock/OJO_Images
Packed with antioxidants, a daily dose of garlic in your recipes could benefit your immune system. If a cold does sneak by, try sipping garlic tea: steep chopped or minced garlic in hot water for several minutes, then strain and drink. You can add a bit of honey or ginger to improve the taste.

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Soothe psoriasis with garlic.

Soothe psoriasis with garlic.iStock/PeopleImages
Since garlic has proven anti-inflammatory properties, it could be useful in relieving uncomfortable psoriasis outbreaks. Try rubbing a little garlic oil on the affected area for smooth, rash-free skin.

Control your weight with garlic.

Control your weight with garlic.iStock/ShotShare
Garlic could help you control your weight, according to nutritionist Cynthia Sass, who cites a study that showed mice eating a garlic-rich diet reduced their weight and fat stores. To take advantage of this benefit, try to cook with garlic daily.

Remove a splinter with garlic.

Remove a splinter with garlic.iStock/Leonardo Patrizi
Placing a slice of garlic over the sliver and covering it with a bandage or duct tape has been a folk cure for years. As natural remedies gain in popularity, current bloggers swear this one works.

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Treat athlete's foot with garlic.

Treat athlete's foot with garlic.iStock/Flemming Hansen
With its anti-fungal properties, some people swear that a benefit of garlic is its ability to relieve itchy athlete's foot. Soak your feet in a bath of warm water and crushed garlic.

Keep away mosquitoes with garlic.

Keep away mosquitoes with garlic.iStock/PitiyaO
Scientists aren't sure why, but mosquitoes don't seem to like garlic. One study in India found that people who rubbed a garlicky concoction on their arms and legs weren't bothered by the pesky buggers. Make a solution of garlic oil, petroleum jelly, and beeswax for a natural repellant or place cloves of garlic nearby.

Garlic conquers cold sores.

Garlic conquers cold sores.iStock/LuminaStock
A popular cold sore home remedy involves holding a bit of crushed garlic directly on the cold sore; its natural anti-inflammatory properties could help reduce pain and swelling. Garlic supplements may also speed up the healing process, according to ecosalon.com.

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Garlic works as a natural glue.

Garlic works as a natural glue.iStock/deyangeorgiev
Have you ever noticed how sticky your fingers get after chopping garlic? That natural adhesive quality is why some people use garlic to fix hairline cracks in glass. Crush some cloves and rub the juice on the crack, wiping away any excess.

De-ice your sidewalk with garlic.

De-ice your sidewalk with garlic.iStock/ShulteProductions
A town in Iowa used donated garlic salt to remove ice from roadways. Next time you stumble on old garlic salt in the back of your spice cabinet, save it for an icy walkway.

Protect plants with garlic.

Protect plants with garlic.iStock/PeopleImages
Garden pests don't like garlic, so make a natural pesticide using garlic, mineral oil, water, and liquid soap. Pour into a spray bottle and mist your plants to keep away destructive critters.

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Catch more fish with garlic.

Catch more fish with garlic.iStock/ArtisticCaptures
Fish are so attracted to the scent of garlic that you can buy bait with the smell built in. Or, get this benefit by making your own using food scraps and, of course, plenty of cloves.

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