“Used daily, garlic aids and supports the body in ways that no other herb can match. It is an effective anti-microbial, acting on bacteria, viruses, and parasites… in general, garlic may be used as a preventative medicine against most infectious conditions, digestive as well as respiratory.” –Medical Herbalism, David Hoffman
Well, need we say more?! There is a very good reason there is such a rich history of folklore associated with Garlic. From warding off the evil eye, to being the most powerful defense against werewolves and vampires, you have likely heard the tales of Garlic’s magical power of protection. And from Ancient Egypt to Rome and beyond, Garlic has long been hailed for it’s medicinal benefits. Come to find out, it’s not all ‘magic’ – there is very good scientific support for counting on Garlic for protection & prevention!
Garlic contains potent compounds, such as volatile oils, enzymes, and nutrients, that we now know are responsible for their important medicinal actions. Most pronounced among these medicinal actions, as mentioned, is Garlic’s ability to act as a natural antimicrobial – primarily thanks to its volatile oils (hello, stinky breath + good health!). These complex chemicals are what give Garlic (and many other plants) it’s strong scent and medicinal benefits. And those volatile oils have the ability to permeate our mucous membranes, i.e. the linings of our nose, throat, lungs, and gut. That means antimicrobial power delivered straight to where you need it most — the exact places that germs love to hang out and reproduce (yuck!).
But what makes garlic so unique, even in comparison to modern pharmaceuticals, is it’s broadspectrum action as an antimicrobial, whereas many medicines (herbal or otherwise) kill a very narrow range of germs. All the more reason in our crazy, modern world to get that Garlic into your diet, friends! About a clove a day is the general consensus of what we should all aim for.
Now the question we’ve all been waiting for… what’s the best way to consume garlic for health benefits?
- Fire Cider – By now we hope it’s clear just why we absolutely pack our deliciously potent Fire Cider with loads of organic Garlic. Infused vinegars, like Fire Cider, are an ancient method for preserving and enjoying herbs, for both their health and flavor! That’s why we love Fire Cider — take it daily by the spoonful for wellness, and mix it into just about anything for a flavorful kick. Our absolutely favorite way to enjoy Fire Cider? As a Morning Lemonade Tonic – it’s sweet, sour, and just what your body needs to start the day. We also make sure to always take a shot after going out in public, so that our respiratory system gets an extra dose of support when we need it most.
- Fermented Garlic Honey – Simply fill a glass jar with fresh cloves of garlic, halved or whole. Add enough raw honey to cover the cloves, stir, and close the lid tight. Let this sit for about a month while the garlic ferments, preserving your cloves for daily doses of herbal goodness! We swear by this stuff. It’s the easiest and tastiest way to get that clove a day into your body. Check out this great blog post for more detailed instructions.
- Fresh Garlic ‘Syrup’ – Chop, grate, or mash a clove of garlic. Mix it with a bit of honey or maple syrup, and enjoy it by the spoonful! That’s it. Fresh garlic contains high amounts of medicinal compounds, so this is a great way to take your garlic if you feel that throat tickle that often predicts a coming illness.
- Spicy Sweet Lemonade – Before you doubt this one, give it a try – it’s delicious! Grate one clove of fresh garlic and a tsp-tbsp of fresh ginger into a mason jar. Fill the jar with boiled water and let steep (lid closed) for 20 min. Strain (re-heat if necessary), and mix in a good serving of honey and lemon juice. You won’t believe how tasty this is – kids love it, and when we have sick ones in our family we have them drink 2-4 cups of this every day until they are well. (Along with their Fire Cider + Elderberry Syrup, of course!)
- Cooking – Maybe this one’s obvious… While this comes naturally to many, we’ve just got to say it: add garlic to all your food, all the time!! It’s one of the simplest ways to enjoy the delicious flavor and potent benefits of Garlic. While it’s all too easy to skip the pesky process of peeling and chopping the cloves, think of it as your personal health investment. It takes barely a minute to process a single clove, and whether it’s in a stirfry or grated fresh into pasta, your body will thank you for making the effort!
How do you like to enjoy your daily clove of Garlic? Share your thoughts in the comments – let’s learn together!