TCM Classic – This story on raw garlic for immunity originally ran in 2012 and has stood the test of time as a fall immunity go-to. The rich comments section inspired this follow-up on how to consume raw garlic with ease. Catch up just in time for cold and flu season…
Most of us love a little roasted garlic in our Italian food, but taking a few cloves straight and raw? That is a whole different story!
During cold and flu season, one popular folk remedy is to eat a spoonful of raw, chopped garlic cloves – or even to gnaw right on a fresh clove! We want to know, if a clove of raw garlic could knock out your cold – would you or wouldn’t you?
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. For colds and flus, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects. While none of garlic’s components have been isolated by science as the sole explanation for garlic’s flu-busting effects, vitamin C, a slew of enzymes, and minerals such as sulphur and selenium, definitely play a role.
Crushing fresh garlic – whether through chopping and letting minced garlic rest, or by chomping down on a clove with your own teeth – causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed and before it is heated! Eating fresh garlic in this state is purported to knock out that terrible feeling associated with the onset of a cold or flu. Some experts even recommend eating a clove or two every 3 to 4 hours until the bug is entirely knocked out!
There are two methods we find most often recommended:
No Holds Barred: This is as old-fashioned and potent as it gets: pop a whole clove of garlic and munch away. Definitely not for the faint of heart! May we suggest that folks with sensitive stomachs do not try this method on an empty stomach. One variation to this simple method is especially helpful for sore throats: take just a slice of the clove and suck on it for 15 minutes, letting the juices work their magic on any pain!
Garlic With Training Wheels: The other more palatable method is to crush up to two cloves and let the minced garlic rest for about 15 minutes, letting the garlic’s enzymes activate. Add honey (also healing) or a touch of olive oil (some say it neutralizes the smell) to the minced garlic and top a small slice of bread or cracker with the mix. Bomb’s away!
Some members of our staff swear by this effective – if not anti-social – method. Have you tried it? Or will you be trying it this winter? We want to know what you think and hear your tips and trials for getting the most out of this powerful remedy!