Making a Garlic Press

Garlic PressI’ve shared about garlic presses in a series I did a couple years ago on using garlic in home remedies. But I felt that this handy little trick needed its own post.

Why Use a Garlic Press?

Why is this so awesome? I’m glad you asked.

First, you don’t have to actually eat or swallow garlic to get the awesome powerful benefits of its natural anti-microbial compound, allicin. If you don’t believe that this stuff is potent, check out all of the research on using allicin. You’ll see that it’s featured on research on staph infections *including* MRSA, a bacteria that’s resistant to our most potent antibiotic prescriptions. And it’s also shown to be effective in inhibiting strep bacteria, candida albicans, parasites, and e coli as well.

The other reason that a garlic press is awesome is that it’s super quick to make and apply.

But wait…you’ve heard about other ways of using garlic. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I ‘ve heard them all too. Let me tell you why you want to do this and not that.

How NOT to Use Garlic

Many of the garlic remedies out there rely on either eating garlic or making a paste. The problem with these approaches is that two things deactivate allicin’s potency: heat and time. So a garlic paste you made a few hours ago is not going to be as potent as a fresh clove.

The other problem is that I’ve got 2 friends who have *just this winter* had to have serious medical intervention from swallowing a clove of garlic. Turns out a clove of garlic is pretty much the exact same shape as the esophagus an it makes a mighty fine airhole plug. So unless you want to forget the unpleasantries of a cold with some Heimlich or a trip to the ER, I do not recommend swallowing a whole or half clove of garlic.

And even if you do get fresh garlic into your stomach…your hot, acidic stomach is not going to be the best way to get that good allicin into your bloodstream. More than likely, your stomach will just break it down, which is what a hot, acidic stomach is designed to do. Don’t get me wrong…I’m a big fan of fresh garlic in foods. But there are just better ways to get it into your bloodstream. FAST. And that’s what you want if you’re battling bugs.

How to Make a Garlic Press

Enter the garlic press. It’s the easy button of treating what ails you with garlic.

Here’s a step by step photo tutorial on how to make your own.

easy garlic remedy gwens nest

1. Take a piece of cloth or paper towel, and add a few drops of any type of oil (I like olive oil as it’s on hand in my kitchen)

2. Slice several cloves of garlic in half.

3. Smash.

4. Wrap ends over the garlic.

5. Press oil side against the skin to apply the press.

When and How to Use a Garlic Press

If we’re sharing germs, I will make one garlic press and pass it from one person to the next. Each person applies it only for a minute or so. I like to apply it on the neck or throat area, as that gives you good access to the lymph nodes and several major blood vessels to pull in all of the remedy goodness. Or you can apply it closest to the area that you’re experiencing trouble with.


If you hate the smell, cover the press with a scarf or cloth and wipe the skin well with a warm rag after you’re done applying.

When NOT to Use Garlic

If you’re allergic to garlic or onions, or have issues with sulfur, this is *not* the home remedy for you. If you or your child’s skin burns or is painful when exposed to garlic or onions, this is not the right remedy for you.

If you’re not certain about how a person may respond to a garlic press, err on the side of caution. For those with sensitive skin, or for very young child try the press on the bottom of the foot for a few seconds at a time, closely monitoring their response.

If you or your child have just slight discomfort with the garlic press, try moving it around to a different spot every few seconds or when it gets uncomfortable.

That’s it! My super-duper-easy go to remedy is the garlic press.

Have you tried it? Have you had success treating with garlic?


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. says

    Oh….I was totally confused at first. I’ve always associated a garlic “press” with the kitchen utensil that minces garlic, while this I’ve always heard called a “poultice.”

    But now I get it! That looks very simple to do. Thank you for sharing!

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this ~ I had forgotten about this simple remedy!! Another thing you can do if it gets too ‘hot’ on the skin, is rub some coconut oil over the area where you will be applying the press before you apply it.

  3. JCM says

    Have NEVER heard from applying raw garlic directly (albeit wrapped) to skin. However, next time I get a cold or sore throat, I am definitely going to try it out!

  4. Mari Heverly says

    Super excited about having success with your bread recipe. Had my first batch sitting in the refrig for 5 days, went to cut some off to make bread and the underneath was super wet and sticky. The top had a nice marsh mellow top. Is this normal? I have the dough rising now so not sure if it will rise so I can bake it. BTW, I used white flour.

    • says

      Hi Shawn,
      Great question! I usually go with how the person is feeling. If it’s super early on and they’ve *just* gotten the first hint of a bug, then we may only have to do it once. I won’t reapply if the symptoms go away completely.

      If they are down for the count, then we will do it every hour or two, depending on how their sympmtoms respond. I try to keep just ahead of the game as far as watching the fever and symptoms come back up. If they start feeling really bad again about an hour and a half later, I’d set my timer for an hour. If they feel OK until about 2 1/2 or 3 hours in, I try to redo the compress a good 15 to 30 minutes before. Hope that helps!

  5. says

    Gwen, this is a genius way to get allicin/allin into the blood stream and I know it as a feet compress, but the principal is the same. Something worth knowing with the feet compress is that after several hours after this simple treatment you can experience sensation of garlic taste in your mouth.

    Thanks for sharing – I love your ideas and enthusiasm for natural remedies.

    Hypocrites said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

    So true!

    • says

      Justyna, I’ve actually tried the garlic on the foot to try to taste it in my mouth, and it didn’t work for me. :) I think the feet being absorbent is a myth, but garlic IS a great medicinal herb with long historic use. And the feet idea is actually great for people who have sensitive skin, since the thicker skin on the feet is usually tougher.

  6. says

    I think i have a boil or an abscess in my cheek. it really hurt at first 7 then i did the garlic press on my neck and directly to the cheek. It was hot and tender, but now two hours later the pain seems to have gone. I will do it again before i sleep!
    Thanks so much for this.

  7. luann glass says

    Gwen, I got a blister on my bunion back in May that won’t heal. It became an open wound and got infected. Then cellulitis invaded my leg and I spent 5 days in the hospital on 2 diff antibiotics thru IV. Then another 7 days of 2 diff antibiotics orally at home. As soon as I was done the infection came back. Now I’m doing the garlic press which got rid of the cellulitis but the wound is still open and infected. How often should I be applying the garlic press and how many Cloves of garlic in each? I want this to heal and its taking so long.

    • says

      Hi Luann,
      I use garlic for taking care of infections, but it’s not what I’d reach for for wound healing per se. Maybe look at comfrey to increase the rate of cellular regeneration. You may need professional guidance if you have a more global problem of slow healing and circulation issues.