I’d read about using a slice of raw garlic to remove a splinter when working on a previous post  praising the healing powers of garlic. But I didn’t mention it then.
However, I did recall the splinter-removal tip a few nights ago, after hobbling around all day with what I assumed was a sliver of glass stuck in the arch of my left foot. The shard was either too small or too deep to see, but it was extremely painful, sending a shock up my leg each time I stepped down on that foot.
Getting read for bed that evening, I decided to give the old-time remedy a try. I sliced a juicy garlic clove in half, duct-taped one of the halves to the spot on my foot that hurt, pulled a sock on over it, and slipped under the covers for the night.
I had an early morning appointment and rose before dawn. Lo and behold! I pulled the tape from my foot, stepped down hard, and—no pain! Also no sign of swelling or redness at the site of yesterday’s pain, possibly because garlic contains a great diversity of antibiotic and antiinflammatory compounds.
Coincidence? Perhaps. I’d read that the duct tape itself (as well as Elmer’s glue, raw potato, a paste of baking soda, and the inside of a banana peel), might also do the trick.
But I’ll reach for the garlic again next time I get a hard-to-remove splinter.
Margaret Boyles lives in a wood-heated house in central New Hampshire. She grows vegetables, eats weeds, keeps chickens, swims in a backyard pond in summer, snowshoes in the surrounding woods in winter, and commutes by bike whenever possible.