Garlic Goodness: Scent may deter bugs

Garlic Goodness: Scent may deter bugs (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It's always been popular for its health benefits, but garlic farmers in Alexandria said the "curing clove" is in very high demand this season.

It's peak season for garlic in June and Greensleeves Farm has harvest days where people can head out and pick their own. There is renewed interest right now because it's peak season for bug bites. A rainy day makes the ground just a little softer at Greensleeves Farm. That's a good thing if people want to pick and pull up their favorite flavor. There are 17 different varieties at Greensleves.

Michael Murphy of Greensleaves Farm said, "There is Bogatier which is the hottest variety of garlic, there's Elephant Garlic, some of the in between are Red Tuck, Spanish Roho, Kalarney Red, Red Russian."

What's hot about garlic these days is that some research shows it has a lot of hidden health benefits.

Jodi Bertke, a certified health coach, said, "Garlic has a lot of antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties."

Greensleeves is a full service farm. What they've been doing is seeing a renewed interest in garlic mainly because of mosquito bites and the Zika virus. Since Zika can be transmitted through mosquito bites, infection control specialists say it's still important to use all forms of mosquito protection from Deet repellent to clothing that covers.

But if people are looking for an additional deterrent with other body benefits. When people eat a lot of garlic the sulfur components act as a natural detox. So it will come through a person's skin and produce a garlic smell and that is what helps repel mosquitoes and ticks and other parasites in and out around the body.

One of the sulfur compounds in garlic is called allacin, it's produced when people chop or crush the cloves and let it sit. The more the garlic sits, the more allacin is produced. Letting garlic sit also produces more garlic scent, another reason to enjoy it among friends.

"A lot of garlic" means up to four cloves a day and that much may not be suggested for pregnant women.

There are topical sprays and repellents with garlic scent on the market but food always gives the real deal. Harvest day at Greensleeves is Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and they also do cooking demonstrations and farm tours.

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