The Garlic Necklace

This touches on folk beliefs, folk medicine, and homeopathic cures for illnesses. The informant spoke about her grandma who was born in 1935. Her grandma was always told by her aunt (the grandma’s mother’s sister) that to not catch a cold or the flue, you would have to put a necklace of raw garlic on around your neck, kind of like warding of vampires with raw cloves of garlic. The grandma never got sick because she would do that. However, it was not really that the clove of garlic warded off disease. It was more so that it wards of people because of how bad it smelled. She heard this from her mom when she was and it was passed from generation to generation. The informant touched on the humor of this specific piece of folklore, saying that though it did work, she laughingly explained it was because no one wants to be around someone who reeks of garlic. For this version of folklore, see the Buzzle article below on “Home Remedies For Common Cold & Cough In Children.” This article features a garlic treatment on how to make the garlic necklace for warding off colds and illnesses. I like this story because of how absurd it is. Clearly no one is going to sick with a garlic necklace on, no one wants to be around someone who smells terrible of garlic.


Bhosale, Shalaka. “Home Remedies For Common Cold & Cough In Children.” Buzzle,, 15 Mar. 2005,