On this 4th of July, I found myself in need of antibiotics. I knew I needed antibiotics because I’d had the exact same symptoms a week prior, and an antibiotic, Cipro, had cured what ailed me. I suppose there’s a chance I could have developed the same symptoms for a completely different ailment within a week, but that seemed unlikely.

The 4th of July being a holiday in America, my doctor was not available to prescribe antibiotics again. And the 4th of July being a Friday this year, my doctor would not be available for 3 days. Faced with a decision between waiting it out or going to an urgent care facility, I sought help from the interwebs. A search for “over the counter antibiotic” soon lead me to an article titled OVER THE GROCERY COUNTER ANTIBIOTIC - WILL ALLICIN REPLACE SOME COMMON ANTIBIOTICS? Allicin is found in garlic, and after reading the article, and determining it to be sufficiently science-y to trust, I decided that yes, it will replace some common antibiotics, for me anyway. So I ate a lot of garlic on the 4th of July.


photo by Zanastardust

When I took Cipro, I had a prescription for 3 days, to prevent super bacteria. Apparently whatever doesn’t kill them makes them stronger? But I felt better within a few minutes of taking the first Cipro pill. The first bite of garlic did not offer such immediate relief, but I kept eating.

I ate a large clove of garlic throughout the day, raw because cooked garlic doesn’t contain allicin. Not tasty, but toward the end of the day I was feeling better. Thanks internet! Thanks science!

Most pages discussing the antibiotic effects of garlic make some disclaimer about talking to your doctor first, but as I said, the whole reason I even started looking at garlic is that my doctor wasn’t available. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend just eating some raw garlic. If it doesn’t help, you’ll just get bad breath and then you can do whatever you would have done without the garlic. But when it does help, it’s much simpler than a prescription for Cipro.