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The most useful ingredient in your pantry

The most useful ingredient in your pantry

The most useful ingredient in your pantry

This ingredient is so versatile in cooking – but that’s not all it’s good for – in fact, the humble garlic clove can offer so much more than just rich flavour.

When you’re looking for comfort food, there’s nothing like garlic bread or garlic prawns to really hit the spot. Here are some of the amazing reasons you should always have garlic in your home, and new ways you can use it.

Health benefits

Highly nutritious, garlic is a great source of manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and it also has many other health benefits. Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure, and it can also lower cholesterol levels. It is also said to boost immunity, and can even provide relief from cold and flu. For a natural cough syrup, simply mince a clove of garlic and steep it in hot water for five minutes. Then strain out the garlic and drink.

Natural skin treatment

Garlic is packed with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which can help in the treatment of many minor conditions. Rub garlic oil on the skin to soothe a variety of rashes and even psoriasis outbreaks, or massage into the scalp to help calm the itchiness associated with dandruff. Garlic can also be used to treat athlete’s foot – just throw a few crushed garlic cloves in a warm foot bath and soak your feet for about 30 minutes.


If you love gardening and hate the pests that threaten your plants, you’ll be amazed at what a little garlic can do. Many insects hate the smell of garlic, from aphids and ants to caterpillars and slugs, and using garlic is a low-cost, non-toxic way to keep them out of your garden. Simply make a solution of crushed garlic, water and eco-friendly dishwashing soap, then spritz on your plants once a week to keep the bugs away.

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