Finally! Someone who loathes garlic crushers as much as I do has invented a new design. No moving parts. No digging and scraping to get it clean.

And it works easy-peasy. Then, with just a quick swoosh under the faucet, it’s all clean.

It’s called a “Garlic Press Rocker,” described as a “stainless steel mincer crusher chopper.”

It’s configured like a semi-squashed circle with the top half serving as the handle and the bottom half of the circle is like a grater. You simply rock it back and forth over garlic cloves cut into 2-3 slices. Push and rock and there you have it; minced or crushed and easily scraped off. Then a few swishes in the dishpan or under the faucet and ready to put away.

I will now get back to eating raw garlic every day and using it on almost everything. But if it’s cooked or heated, most of the curative properties are destroyed. But the taste is still there. And I use it like most people use ketchup — on everything.

Oh, that reminds me. I just now, after all these decades, learned that I’ve been wasting almost all of the healing properties of garlic.

Never too old to learn something.

To get the full benefits of this marvelous medicine cabinet in bulb form, you have to crush it and then let it “rest” for 10 minutes. Who knew?

That’s because of its main component, allicin. I knew about allicin but not that it was made up of two constituents that won’t talk to one another unless they get smooshed together. These two constituents, alliin and alliinase, have to be allowed to get to know one another to really work their magic.

And then the magic begins. You’d be hard put to come up with an illness or complaint that garlic isn’t famous for healing properties. Whether it’s the heart, lungs, blood. It’s been exhaustively studied and used for thousands of years. The most famous of doctors in the height of the Roman/Greek empires, Galen, also physician to the emperor, not only used garlic on regular illnesses but in conjunction with his charge to keep the soldiers and gladiators in top shape, especially alive.

Garlic was required rations as preventive medicine to stay healthy in the first place. They headed off colds and flues and other chest/lung maladies but also could heal wounds, even reported to cure gangrene. However, in healing open wounds, you do not put the cut garlic directly upon the wound but simply pass the cut garlic over the wound. The tiny oil globules in the vapor do the magic. (The Russians used it for their troops in World War II. It got the knickname “Russian Penicillin.”)

The brain loves garlic. Garlic loves the heart. It helps the brain. Purifies the blood. But mine evidently wasn’t getting much benefit from how I’ve been eating it for 80-plus years. Maybe I found out just in time?

I have not had a cold, sore throat or flu for decades. If we pay attention, when just about any bug is going around, we can head them off at the path by learning how to recognize that forewarning, sharp twinge in the nose. That’s the germs setting up shop, digging a foxhole, as it were, to operate from.

You have a one-hour window to slice a clove of garlic in two and sniff the vapor up each nostril a few times. Repeat every three-four hours. (Do not, I repeat, do not put the actual garlic in the nose. It WILL burn. Guaranteed.)

I’ve been touting the benefits of garlic for decades. And garlic has been a wonder plant, used for food and medicine for thousands of years. But now I’ve found out how to really get all the benefits out of it.

As a preventative, I smoosh — “mince, crush, chop?” — a clove nearly every day and eat it raw. That can burn the mouth if not quickly chased with something — I usually gulp a good swig of lemon water — to get the garlic down to the stomach in hurry.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.

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