Consumer garlic can come in many formats, including fresh, frozen, dried, fermented (Black Garlic) and shelf stable products (in tubes or jars).
In some cuisine, the young bulbs are pickled for 3–6 weeks in a mixture of sugar, salt, and spices. In eastern Europe, the shoots are pickled and eaten as an appetizer.
In 1858, Louis Pasteur observed garlic's antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity, although the majority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.
Garlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections such as thrush.
Garlic has been found to enhance thiamin absorption and therefore reduce the likelihood for developing the thiamin deficiency beriberi.
In 1924 it was found that garlic is an effective way to prevent scurvy, due to its high vitamin C content.