Oh Garlic, how I love thee… Isn’t it nice when something you love so much loves you right back? Well this is certainly the case with our pungent pal. Even if you’re not getting the love from anyone else after eating it, this love affair is just so worth it! Who needs mistletoe anyway?
Garlic is especially seducing this time of year, when colds and flu run amuck, wielding their volatile viruses at the least suspecting victims. Then Garlic comes to the rescue with its glowing white peaked cap, and promises of healing and speedy recovery, all hidden behind a mask of delicious flavour. My immune system is getting pumped just thinking about it!
Above, I’ve taken a photo of organic verses conventional garlic. Can you tell which one is which? While there is a clear difference in size (the organic one is larger – seriously, check out the size of that clove!), what matters here is the potency, and those are also very different. Organic garlic can be up to 15x more potent than conventional! Holy aioli!
So just what does garlic do for us? Well, for thousands of years, garlic has been used for its medicinal properties. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, actually used to prescribe garlic to treat many different conditions.
A sulfur compound in garlic called allicin, which gives garlic its smell, provides most of the health effects. Allicin is formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed. It strengthens the immune system, and helps to prevent and reduce recovery time of chest infections, coughs, colds and flu. At the the first signs of a cold, an old folk remedy is to eat a garlic clove dipped in honey. ….yummy. Eating garlic daily can reduce your chances of getting a cold by up to 65%! As well, fungal and bacterial infections don’t stand a chance since allicin is a natural antibiotic. Fast Fact: Apparently WWI soldiers used crushed garlic on infected wounds!
So besides fighting off the winter nasties what else is garlic good for?
- Helps prevent chronic disease and multiple types of cancer
- Rich in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B
- Contains antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, which contribute to ageing
- Protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicityReduces cholesterol and blood pressure
So the next time you feel that tickle on your tonsil, make yourself a delicious garlic ginger tea.
A minced garlic clove
Some minced ginger
A squeeze of lemon
A heaping teaspoon of honey
Steep a in hot water for several minutes. No need to strain as all the bits sink to the bottom. Enjoy!