Garlic (Allium Sativum) in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Let’s learn about another commonly used culinary herb – garlic! Another ancient favorite for its many medicinal uses, read on to learn more.

Garlic Benefits

Garlic is known as Da Suan in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is native to Central Asia with China being the largest producer. It is very common Acupuncture & TCM Practitioners prescribe garlic to their patients as it is medicinally kills parasites, relieves diarrhea and coughing. It is also used to prevent influenza and colds as it has warming and dispersing actions. These actions help move qi and blood, warms the body and reduces clotting while cleansing the blood. Garlic is great to treat food poisoning from shellfish. It also promotes lactation and is wonderful for new mothers. In Western terms, it supports our immune and digestive systems, lowers cholesterol, relieves fevers (through its dispersing action), and eases coughs. Since ancient times, it has been used as an antidote for poisonous bites, to expel intestinal parasites, for digestive problems and to treat bacterial/fungal/viral infections.

As it moves qi and blood, it is advised by Acupuncture & TCM Practitioners to avoid it within 10 days of surgery or with blood-thinner medications. Avoid excessive use within early stages of pregnancy because of its blood-moving action. Hypersensitivity to garlic (allergy) has been known to occur, keep this is mind if you have other sensitivities or allergies.

How to incorporate it?

Iā€™m sure you already know, garlic is great in everything! It adds a nice flavor to stews, stir frys, curries, soups, casseroles and most savory dishes. Seeing as it is super supportive for your immune system – I love having a batch of fermented garlic honey on hand to drizzle over vegetables or add into immune-boosting teas/elixirs.

Fermented Garlic Honey

  • 12 cloves garlic (about 1 bulb)
  • 1 Ā½ cups honey

Place your peeled garlic cloves in a jar and pour honey over top, stir to ensure the garlic is well-coated. Seal the jar and let it sit on your countertop for 3 days – by this point you will probably see tiny bubbles, meaning the fermentation process has begun. Unscrew the jar to allow any gas build-up to release and give it another stir. Reseal the jar and continue stirring it every other day, it will be ready in one week. It is delicious drizzled on almost everything šŸ™‚

Talk to one of our Acupuncture and TCM Practitioners at CITCM Acupuncture Clinic in Calgary to find out more how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help improve your health overall!

Call us at (403) 520 ā€“ 5258 or book online here!



Allium sativum. Sarah Earm. The Naturopathic Herbalist. 2015. [cited May 16, 2022]
Garlic (Da Suan). White Rabbit Institute of Healing. 2014. [cited May 16, 2022]