Garlic has long been cultivated and used for medicine since time immemorial. Its potent medicinal qualities make it one of the best herbs to have on hand at home for making herbal remedies and for adding nourishing and immune-boosting qualities to our food. It’s certainly one of my must-have herbs no matter the season.
Natural Cold Remedies and The Healing Power of Garlic
Garlic in History
As common an herb as garlic may be, it deserves considerable attention and has for thousands of years as one of the best natural cold remedies.
The use of garlic for common ills date back thousands of years (at least as far back as the ancient Giza Pyramids) and has been a culinary and medicinal staple in many diets around the world, some of which include: Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its pungent flavor has been prized ever since.
Garlic was used to treat many conditions, including respiratory problems, poor digestion, fatigue, and for ridding the body of parasites.
The Healing Power of Garlic, One of My Favorite Natural Cold Remedies
Garlic has so many medicinal uses that it’s hard to know where to start. It reduces blood pressure, improves circulation, prevents yeast infections, colds, and flu. Garlic is even effective against certain types of cancers that affect the colon.
Garlic has high antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immuno-stimulant properties that are especially useful when the garlic is used crushed and raw.
It’s no secret that garlic is astoundingly effective against heart disease, but did you know that it is also effective against the common cold? Yep, garlic is amazing at treating lung conditions where there are infection and mucus.
To treat coughs, simply make a garlic honey. This is pretty tasty stuff (as long as you’re a fan of garlic).
Garlic Honey Preparation
You will need:
• 1 head of fresh, un-sprouted garlic. (if you notice any green shoots forming in the cloves, the garlic has lost some of its potency)
• 1 ½ cups of raw, local honey
Preparation is simple! All you need to do is peel and crush or chop the garlic cloves and cover them with the honey in a nice jar. I like to stir it up with a chopstick to get rid of any air bubbles. This is one of my favorite natural cold remedies.
You can use this honey the next day if the need is great, otherwise, I let mine sit on the kitchen counter for a couple weeks, turning the jar over once a day. The longer it sits, the stronger it gets!
If you need a higher potency sooner, you can simply simmer the garlic honey mixture on the stove in a double boiler or just over very low heat until fragrant. The healing properties of the honey will be lessened, but the healing properties of the garlic will still be strong.
Take a spoonful once a day as a preventative or once an hour while ill until symptoms disappear.
For more cough remedies look below:
Garlic Tea for Coughs and Sore Throat
The effects of this tea can be felt as soon as one starts drinking it! It’s super simple to prepare:
• Finely chop a few cloves of fresh garlic (as many as you like! The more the better)
• Add to a mug of boiling water
• Sip and feel your cough ease!
This tastes really nice if you use chicken broth instead, but for the sake of simplicity, water works just fine.
Sipping this tea will reduce throat inflammation and is very effective against Strep Throat.
For more sore throat remedies look below:
Garlic as a Tasty Preventative
Garlic is great for treating colds and coughs, but it’s also great at preventing them all together. This herb is so versatile that it’s almost hard not to get it into your diet in one way or another.
One of my favorite garlic remedies is:
Four Thieves Vinegar
This vinegar is so tasty! Its use dates back to the bubonic plague where it was believed to prevent the black death.
Whether or not this actually worked is unknown, but the flavor is enough to convince me that this stuff works against all kinds of ills. I love putting it in soups, bone broths, salad dressings, and over steamed vegetables.
Here’s how to make a batch that yields about 1 quart of vinegar: (you can also read my post about it here)
• 2 TBS fresh or dried lavender flowers
• 2 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
• 2 TBS chopped fresh mint (I like spearmint)
• 2 TBS chopped fresh Thyme
• 2 TBS chopped fresh sage
• 5 cloves of chopped or crushed fresh garlic
• 1-quart raw apple cider vinegar
Throw all the herbs and garlic into a mason jar that has a plastic lid (otherwise, the vinegar will react with metal). Pour the vinegar over the top, seal, and shake for a few seconds.
Let it sit pretty in the kitchen for at least a week before straining. I like to bottle mine in fancy vinegar bottles for easy use. This vinegar will help prevent colds with daily use. I recommend using at least 1 TBS a day.
Use this recipe with all dry ingredients (including the garlic) and put them in a good olive oil for a delicious flavored oil that you can drizzle on garlic bread, cook with, or use in salad dressings.
Who said natural cold remedies couldn’t be dynamic?
Get the dried herbs below:
Use the essential oil of each herb (minus the garlic) and mix into white distilled vinegar and use as a cleanser in the kitchen.
• Simply add 5 drops of essential oil from each of the herbs to 2 cups of white distilled vinegar.
Get the essential oils below:
Garlic as a Poultice for Cold, Flu, and Arthritis
Using garlic as a poultice is a great way to fight colds and flu when the stomach is feeling upset or sensitive. It’s also great to use when children are not too keen on taking garlic as a tea or honey.
Garlic is as effective externally as it internally because its medicinal qualities go straight into the blood and then into the lungs, aiding the body’s ability to fight infection.
• Finely chop or form a paste of 1-2 cloves of fresh raw garlic (if this is too hot for sensitive skin, sauté the garlic first)
• Fold the garlic into a thin piece of cloth
• Apply non-petrolium jelly or oil to the soles of the feet
• If you are using raw garlic, dip the cloth in very warm water and squeeze out the excess
• Apply to the soles of the feet and put socks on
• Wear overnight
• You should notice an improvement of symptoms upon waking
Using this poultice for arthritic discomforts will reduce inflammation and ease pain in the joints.
Garlic for Candida
Even though this isn’t considered a cold or flu, candida certainly makes you feel like you’ve contracted one. Garlic once again proves to be one of the best remedies to use. Its high anti-fungal properties will have you feeling better in no time.
To use garlic as a candida remedy, simply:
• Crush 1-5 cloves of fresh raw garlic and add it to your meals daily.
• You can also drink 3-4 cups of garlic tea per day
There are many more awesome medicinal qualities that garlic has, but that would be a long blog post indeed! Enjoy the benefits of these natural cold remedies using garlic.
Looking for more garlic recipes? Check out this great article!
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