Garlic III: Garlic Paste

IMG_2319 “And WHAT is garlic paste used for?” you ask. Maybe you’re thinking this is getting just a little too out there.

Well, you put garlic paste on you feet and leave it overnight. Obviously.

Ok, so it’s definitely not a mainstream home remedy. But it’s highly effective, easy to make and use, and really, how mainstream am I? Not very!

If you need convincing that something will penetrate through the skin on your feet, try this:

  • Put on a pair of socks.
  • Put on a pair of shoes.
  • Peel a clove of garlic (don’t crush it) and place it between your sock and shoe.
  • Count how long it is before you can taste garlic in your mouth.

Are you convinced now?

Feet tend to be tough with lots of callouses. Since the skin is hard I used to assume that not much would penetrate, and dismissed any natural remedies that suggested applying anything to the feet.

That was before last winter. Last winter I experimented a lot with herbs, especially with garlic. I was pregnant, it was an exceptionally harsh winter, and we got sick a lot. Not just a little cold here and there, but really sick, coughing-til-you-throw-up kind of sick. I even started contracting at one point from the coughing. That’s when I got really serious about fighting sickness.

Before last winter, while I was learning about herbs and firmly believed that natural was best in most cases, I hadn’t learned to be very aggressive when we got sick. Sure, I did things naturally in the sense that I just let our body’s immune systems fight it (instead of taking over the counter cold medicine to suppress symptoms). But I didn’t do much herbally to actually aid the body in fighting the illness. With a minor cold that’s totally ok. When you’re 7 months pregnant and coughing until you puke, it’s not ok.

I had been to my midwife, Elaine, (a certified nurse-midwife) and gotten one round of antibiotics because I was overwhelmed and scared. Not a good combination. At the end of two weeks the antibiotics were gone and I was even more sick than before I took them. My midwife wanted to give me another round of stronger antibiotics. I decided it was time to quit being a wimp and take the garlic. I told her I would give it three more days and then come get more antibiotics.

I started taking three cloves of garlic a day on a spoon. I put garlic poultices on my chest, back and neck. And I put the garlic paste on my feet at night. Jonathan was also sick, but not nearly as bad I was. Maybe because I was putting the garlic paste on his feet before it progressed that far?

Three days later I was not completely better, but almost. After being sick for two months, I was finally getting healthy again! This experience sold me on the powers of garlic. And I learned to fight illness early and aggressively.

This winter I haven’t forgotten my lesson. If the boys so much as sneeze too many times or fuss more than usual in a day, they get garlic paste on their feet that night. There have been a lot of nasty illnesses going around our community this winter, but we’ve only had an occasional mild cold. I can only think that this is due to the blessings of the Lord and the power of garlic!

Garlic Paste For Your Feet


2 cloves garlic 1 T. petroleum jelly

gauze pads masking tape socks

olive oil

1. Smash garlic with the bottom of a glass and peel. Crush or finely chop garlic and place in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.


2. Add petroleum jelly and mix well. Cut a gauze pad in half (because you’re cheap too, right?) and spread half the garlic paste on each piece of gauze.



3. Get ready for a garlic party! Or, get the person ready. For the boys, I make sure they have clean diapers/pull-ups and their pajamas on. I spread a blanket on the living room floor and lay them both down (we’re all about efficiency around here). I set the oil, socks, garlic gauze and strips of tape on the floor by the blanket.

Tip: Don’t leave the garlic gauze unattended next to the baby. It will get spread everywhere. That’s experience talking!

4. It helps to have an assistant. Rub olive oil liberally on the soles of the feet. Place a piece of gauze on the sole of each foot, garlic paste touching the skin. I place two pieces of tape on each foot, wrapping all the way around to the top of the foot. This is not necessary, but the boys move a lot in their sleep and it helps keep it in place. Gently slide a sock over each foot. Leave on until morning, or at least several hours.

Tip: If you have a child that’s coordinated enough to take his socks off, be sure to have a serious talk about the importance of leaving his socks on all night. Bribery is totally cool in this case!

5. The next morning take the socks off (inside out is good because there’s usually some garlic on the inside of the sock), remove the tape and gauze and wipe any residual garlic paste off. It’s normal for the skin to be red or even peel slightly, but this has never been painful or even tender for us.

Notes: I’ve done this with Joseph when he was very young- 4 or 5 weeks old was the first time, but I only left it on for about four hours. Use your own discretion!

Recipe and method are from Herbal Home Healthcare by John R. Christopher. Instructions are my own.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot give you medical advice and you should always consult with your health care provider. I share what has worked for me and hope that you find it informative and are encouraged to take charge of your own health and make healthy choices.