Garlic is a powerful natural medicine in addition to being a strong-flavored seasoning for food. It has abilities to lower cholesterol and reduce clotting of the blood. It can also help lower high blood pressure. In addition raw garlic is a potent antibiotic, especially active against fungal infections, with antibacterial and antiviral effects as well. An effective home remedy for colds is to eat several cloves of raw garlic at the first onset of symptoms. Eating raw garlic does not appeal to everyone, but garlic loses its antibiotic properties when you cook or dry it, and commercial garlic capsules do not preserve the full activity of the fresh bulb. You can make raw garlic more palatable by chopping it fine, mixing it with food, and eating it with a meal. Or cut a clove into chunks and swallow them whole like pills. If it gives you flatulence, eat less. Chewing some fresh parsley after eating garlic also minimizes the odor. A good home remedy for the early stage of ear infections in children is to put a few drops of warm garlic oil in the ear canal, then plug the ear loosely with a piece of cotton. To make the garlic oil, crush a few cloves of garlic into some olive oil, let it sit a few days at room temperature, and strain it. Keep the oil in a container in the refrigerator and warm a bit for use as needed. Do not use garlic oil prepared this way for food preparation or cooking. Some people even suggest putting a small clove or piece of a clove of raw garlic directly into the ear, keeping it in with a plug of cotton. It will eventually dissolve. One or two cloves of garlic a day are recommended for people who suffer from chronic or recurrent infections, frequent yeast infections, or low resistance to infection.