I keep an old mustard jar in my fridge, with olive oil and chopped garlic and a little bit of salt, percolating together. Over time, it comes to have a richer and richer flavour, so that if you just fish out a few drops of the oil after a week, man that oil is so damn garlicy it's like instant flavour for some spinach or something, just even the littlest bit.
I remember reading somewhere that garlic, and onions, incite lust, according to vedic medicine. They excite the nerves. Is that why Molly Steenson loves garlic so much? It's indulgence like any other strong flavours.
But it's got healthy side effects, right? In the cold and fly season I am fond of swallowing a few whole cloves chopped in orange juice with a little cyanne pepper - it seems to keep the cold away (Gergen once remarked that I smelled Meditteranian during one of these periods). If I forget to dose up for a day or two, whammo I get hit by the cold that's been hiding from the spice.
I've begun to study garlic in more detail - it seems old and commonplace enough to warrant some deeper exploration. It seems that garlic has had medicinal properties associated with it from ancient egypt and greece and china all the way up to scientific studies associating increased garlic intake with a lower risk of heart disease and incidence of cancer.
But the author of the book I have been reading, "The Healing Power of Garlic" Paul Bergner, notes that garlic aggravated some of his health problems resulting from a nerve inflammation or something. Chinese medicine associates garlic with "hot" and "dry" so they say it irritates inflammed tissue. In pursuit of garlic side effects this guy also wore out the lining of his anus with super garlic doses until he was shitting blood. So it's a great antibiotic perhaps, and fun for flavour, but it might be kicking the old RSI.