The secret to relieving back pain may be hiding in plain sight and in your refrigerator. Hint: it involves garlic and milk. Sounds gross, but hear us out. Garlic milk is an ancient natural remedy that is making a comeback in the modern era. Used to treat those diagnosed with sciatica and other back-related maladies, garlic milk is proving to be a less invasive alternative to surgery and prescription pain killers.
Garlic itself was used by our ancient ancestors to treat digestive ailments and infections, and was even prescribed to those with heart problems and tumors. Its healing properties are still hailed by medical professionals today, and according to Consumer Reports, garlic can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol while also building up one’s immune system and reducing the risk for cancer.
One such civilization that reaped the benefits of garlic was ancient India. Over 3,000 years ago, the Indian people crafted their Ayurvedic medical system, which is still in practice today. Ayuverda relies heavily on herbs and diet, and has long preached the importance of garlic, and more specifically, garlic milk.
For those struggling with sciatica, or pain that runs the length of the sciatic nerve through one’s lower back, buttocks, and leg, garlic milk can act as an anti-inflammatory treatment, therefore helping to quell the pain.
Plus, the vitamins present in milk (B12, zinc, thiamin, and niacin) can keep bones strong, reduce blood pressure, and lower one’s risk for stroke and/or cardiovascular disease. But the benefits of garlic milk don’t stop there. According to allayurveda.com, drinking garlic milk can treat acne, prevent bloating and constipation, and can also boost immunity to fight the common cold or flu.
Making a cup of garlic milk is very simple, and although recipes vary, the result is the same.
To make her family recipe, Justyna Serwach from the Garlic Matters blog warms a teaspoon of butter and a cup of milk in a pan, just until the butter melts. (If you’re vegetarian or vegan or aren’t a fan of milk, according to Step to Health, you can use alternative milks such as rice, almond, or soy.) Once the milk has fallen back to room temperature, she then adds one clove’s worth of minced garlic. Finally, she adds two tablespoons of raw honey for added health benefits and taste before drinking.
Serwach notes that it’s important to leave crushed/minced garlic to sit for at least five minutes before mixing it into the milk. This time allows for the allicin, the compound believed by many to harbor healing properties, to develop.
Of course, if you have any dietary concerns about consuming garlic milk, consult your doctor before trying the natural remedy. But if the answer to sciatica and other health issues is as simple as guzzling down a glass of garlic milk, let’s help each other out and spread the word.
If garlic has a special place in your heart, then you’ll probably fall in love with our meatball-stuffed garlic bread recipe.
Oh garlic, we can’t deny thee.