Garlic Necklace

Background: The informant is a 14-year-old high school freshman living in El Segundo, California. The informant is my brother.

Context: After family dinner, my brother overheard a conversation about folklore I was having with my parents and he seemed interested, so I decided to explain the field of folklore to him and even interview him on some of the folklore he was aware of.

Main Piece: My brother described that one time when he got really sick, our grandmother (who is an Italian immigrant) put a garlic necklace around his neck to help him with his sickness. He believes that garlic has health benefits when it comes to illness and Italians used garlic necklaces as a folk remedy.

Interpretation: I did not even know that my grandmother had done this. Because I was interested in this folk remedy, I did a little bit of research and found that garlic necklaces were used to ward off evil spirits. I believe that sickness was likely associated with evil spirits and garlic necklaces were used to ward off the evil spirits and heal the sick. However, interestingly there has been scientific research that has found that garlic contains alliin, which is one of the most powerful antibiotics in the world.