Garlic ~ History in the Paranormal & Magick
In the 21st century it seems odd to think a vegetable could win such acclaim and be the hero in so many protective-based beliefs. That was the case in much of history as garlic emerged the savior against evil spirits, evil magick, evil predators, and health concerns.
The vegetable that puts vampires to rest, the vegetable that gives you strength and courage, and the vegetable that holds many magickal attributes to its name; garlic. The belief that garlic can do some of these things would require a trip to the past of many European cultures.
Garlic would be placed at where they believed Hecate would be, at the crossroads. Hecate being the goddess of the crossroads as the protector of the home, of all things newly born, and the goddess of witchcraft and magick. Placing an offering of garlic at a crossroads would appease the goddess. Garlic's would-be protective acumen was not only found with Hecate, it could also be found any place where a crime may have been committed.
Egyptians prized garlic as a sacred crop and would use garlic or onions in their oath-taking. Pliny wrote that Ramses III ordered a vast quantity of garlic be dispersed amongst the temples for usage in oath-taking with their gods & goddesses.
Vampires aren’t the only ones fabled to hate garlic, in many countries around the world garlic could protect you from malicious witchcraft or the Evil Eye. Miners of the 16th century took cloves of garlic with them while they mined so they could be safe from evil spirits.
Garlic's medical properties began to take form as ancient peoples believed infant jaundice could be prevented by wearing a garlic clove necklace with 13 cloves for 13 days. Garlic became the silver bullet to any kind of poison in times of the 2nd century. Garlic could make you impervious to all diseases as long as you are carrying it, or so the ancient legends say. Although it may not have been able to cure you of anything and everything, garlic does have its benefits today; many people use it to fight against edema or sunstroke.