7 Ways to Eat Raw Garlic {Flu Fighting Food}

The past three Wednesdays have been oriented towards helping you fight the flu (or cold) naturally. Each Wednesday we have been revealing a different food that is purported to support your immune system in the fight against the cold and flu viruses that run rampant this time of year.

So far we have talked about the immune boosting benefits of pumpkin, the importance of eating breakfast, and green tea. I have thoroughly enjoyed perusing all the amazing recipes that have been linked up.

Before I jump into this week’s immune boosting food, I want to highlight some of my favorite recipes shared from the previous weeks.

My Favorite Pumpkin Recipe

Pumpkin and Spinach Macaroni and Cheese from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body looks scrumptious (and so creative)! It is also freezer friendly – score!

My Favorite Breakfast Recipe

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal from Nutmeg Nanny – This tugs at my heart strings. I love blueberries, and I love oatmeal. The ultimate comfort food in my opinion.

 My Favorite Green Tea Recipe

Vanilla Green Tea Latte from The Purposed Heart – I tried this the day it posted! So yummy, and very easy to make!

Now for this week’s flu fighting food – garlic.

  Garlic
I love garlic. Garlic is truly one of the most fascinating foods I have ever encountered. It is hands down my favorite flu fightin’, throat scratchin’, nose runnin’ fighter pilot. Garlic is amazing, ya’ll!

The compounds in garlic that make it stink the most is what makes it work the best. I have yet to encounter a quicker, more effective way of not only preventing the cold or flu, but treating it as well.

Garlic is most commonly known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Practically speaking, garlic is a natural antibiotic that your body does not grow resistance to, which means it has on-going positive benefits.

For medicinal use, garlic should be consumed raw. Yes, you read that right. You gotta eat it raw if you want to REALLY fight the flu. However, don’t stop cooking with it. Though most of the medicinal properties will be lost, cooked garlic will still retain some amazing benefits. Plus, it makes for some tasty meals.

Here are 7 ways to consume raw garlic:

1. A spoon full of sugar honey helps the medicine go down.

Take 1-2 (or 3) cloves of garlic and chop into small bits. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of honey.

Then, enjoy. The hubster just so happened to need to take a couple of cloves of garlic last night. So, I took pictures. Perks of being the husband of a blogger. ;)

See. He lived. This is our preferred method of consuming raw garlic. We’ve tried several ways, but this one is quick and easy easiest.

2. I would like to make a toast.

Butter a piece of toast and garnish with a couple of cloves of garlic. We found that if you roll up the toast it’s easier to stomach.

3. Take it like a man.

Neither of us are man enough, but some folks just chew a piece or two of garlic up, swallow, and call it a day. If you’ve done this, then you are my hero.

4. Oil her up.

Mince some garlic up in your favorite dressing. Our favorite is my Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing.

Leigh Ann’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing:

In a pint size mason jar combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (you can substitute Balsamic Vinegar as well)
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • minced garlic (1-3 cloves)
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t basil
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  •  t dry mustard (optional)

Put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake. Store in refrigerator.

Note: It will solidify in the refrigerator. I will just pull the jar out when I start cooking to let it come to room temperature (or at least liquify).

5. Holy moly guacamole.

Do you have a favorite guacamole recipe? If not, then Stacy Makes Cents has a great one – Holy Guacamole. Add a few cloves of garlic in to help make consuming your raw garlic more palatable.

6. Meet in the middle.

Make a sandwich, and stuff a few cloves of garlic in the middle. Now, that’s a spicy sandwich!

7. Bottoms up.

The thought of this one makes me a little sick (pardon the pun), BUT I have to mention it. Take a glass of lukewarm water, mince a few cloves into it, give it a good swish and shoot! Woweeeee!!! *shudder*

Update: I’ve since learned that this mixture makes for a great enema for children {Source: The ABC Herbal: A Simplified Guide to Natural Health Care for Children by Steven H. Horne} I’ve not personally used it yet, but I will certainly keep it in mind the next time our little one gets sick.

When to take garlic as a “medicine.”

You should eat raw garlic at the onset of a cold. For example, is your throat getting a tickle? EAT GARLIC! I promise you that you will not regret it.

Mark and I have kicked ourselves for the past two weeks for not heeding our own advice. I got sick. He got sick (see picture above). In the past, we would have been faithful little children and eaten our garlic. Instead, this time we were lazy, and thought, “Ohhh, I never get sick. I’m fine.” Yea right. God has a funny way of working things out. ;)

Once you get sick because you didn’t eat your garlic at the onset, you should eat raw garlic every 2-3 hours. Be sure you don’t do this on an empty stomach though, or you’ll have more troubles than just your stuffy head and scratchy throat.

Also, you should be careful if you are nursing. Samuel has shown sensitivity to onion and garlic. So this time when I got sick, I couldn’t take garlic every 2-3 hours because I am still nursing. I do not want to try to get over a cold again without garlic. It was painful!

 

What about you? Do you have any creative tips for consuming raw garlic?

—-

Be sure to check out the other great garlic recipes and tips shared by the other amazing ladies hosting this series with me. They have some great stuff that you don’t want to miss!

Garlic Lemon Salad {& Baked White Fish Recipe} @ Christian Mommy Blogger
Easy Garlic Salsa @ Day 2 Day Joys
Garlic Potato Soup @ Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy
Creamy Roasted Garlic Soup @ The Purposed Heart
Better than Red Lobster Garlic Cheese Biscuits @ The Humbled Homemaker

 

 

Comments

  1. Stacy Makes Cents says

    Thanks for the link baby cakes! :-) Never eaten raw garlic any of those ways……I think I’d rather take a garlic pill. Thoughts?

    • says

      Garlic pill is a good option. Not the best. But it’s good. :) Just be sure to get a high quality garlic pill. I’ve never taken garlic pills, so I can’t recommend one. That’s just what I’ve read!

      • says

        the healing properties of garlic occur soon after crushing/cutting, best eaten after 20 minutes when the allicin has been activated. Pill form does not give you that needed potency.

  2. says

    Ok, the second pic of Mark looks as though he is looking up to Jesus and asking for some serious help! LOL….prayers are all that would get me to do that!!!! I just ate my garlic salad (that I shared in the link up too) and I have a strong taste of garlic in my mouth….like it? yes. Swallow a whole clove whole? No. I had a friend who tried it once. She burped garlic for a whole day!

  3. Valerie B. says

    Mince up the raw garlic, stuff it in an EMPTY GELATIN CAPSULE and swallow as many as you want!!! The best of all worlds! (Of course, natural vegetable origin capsules are even better.)

  4. guestx8923 says

    chopping it up and adding olive oil is the way to go for me
    the olive oil takes much of the taste and leaves all the medicinal properties ^^

  5. Webdude says

    Just popping a bit into your mouth and chewing gets the job done, but OOOOhhhhh is it painful. It feels like your mouth is on some kind of fire.

    That, plus the pain of peeling are the reasons I have never managed to get as serious about garlic as I would like. But now I have a cold, or perhaps bronchitis, and I need something serious to fight it with, so I just chewed up one of the little buggers, and will try again in a few hours with another. Maybe I’ll see if we have any honey, and try that instead of the chewing.

    Meanwhile, I wonder how long garlic lasts? I have had this clove sitting in my nightstand for about a year now, and the cloves seem just as fresh, just as strong, and just as herd to peel as they were a year ago.

    • says

      Sounds like the never ending bulb of garlic. I’m not sure how long a bulb of garlic lasts! I usually just smell it and take a look. I hope you get to feeling better!

    • Ashley G says

      I know this is a SUPER old comment, but if you put your garlic in a bowl and cover it with another bowl (same size) and shake like the dickens, it peels the garlic effortlessly :-D I saw a video on it, tried it, and now it’s the only way I peel it! It’s fun, too, man! Like MAGIC. lol

  6. Lane says

    I started eating raw garlic recently. I can’t stand the taste so I wash it down with some apple cider vinegar. I’m taking them both for the health benefits. But I’m worried that the acidity of the apple cider vinegar will neutralize the positive effects of the raw garlic. Is that possible ?

  7. GarlicEater says

    Don’t just go swallowing whole cloves, they’ll pass right through you (think about corn for a second, kinda like that). You have to cut it up. Gonna try it with honey tonight since I’m feeling under the weather. NIce tips.

  8. Kalki says

    Some thoughts: First, garlic is super potent so just downing it could cause some problems!!! I highly recommend it with food. Another item of note: for the benefits to be active – you should crush with a knife or mince. This activates the healing properties. Also, if you use vinegar or lemon you are “cooking” the garlic if you let it sit. It’s an acid cook – like ceviche.
    Lastly – I think garlic is still healing when cooked – it just looks different on tests. I make a 2 cup tea of 8 cloves of crushed garlic and 8 cloves of clove and simmer for a half hour and sip. This has knocked out many a cold in it’s first step.
    Lastly – my favorite recipe for eating raw garlic is tzaziki! A cup of plain yoghurt with a chopped clove of garlic. I grate one small cucumber (I use middle eastern ones – not as much liquid in them and they taste great) and add it in. If you use a regular cucumber – some people squeeze out the liquid but i don’t mind it and like to get all the nutrition out of my food :-).
    Spices are great – mint, cilantro, oregano or anything else you like would be work. I tend to use cilantro or parsley for health. Parsley also tames the garlic breath!
    I also add salt to taste and a little olive oil.
    You can serve this as a dip and it is usually served with toasted pita. I just eat it straight.
    It takes about 10 minutes to make.
    If you want to more authentic – you should drain the yoghurt through some cheese clothe before hand to make it really creamy. The amount of time you do it – like overnight – will affect its’ density. So it’s a preference thing. But overnight is how I used to do it.

  9. says

    I always eat garlic before bed (luxury of being young and not yet married).
    I more often eat raw garlic cloves than have them in amongst other things. It’s spicy for the first few times but whatever will boost your immune through the roof and make your nose run at the same time…
    If possible, if you’re frequently eating them raw, have a solid base ingredient to go with it, cause whole raw garlic can be hard on weaker, non-Bear Grylls stomaches.
    God bless!

  10. Brittany says

    Yep, my father in law swears by it… eats garlic cloves whole and eats onions like they are apples. He never gets sick… and a side benefit? He never gets bug bites either! Lol I am out of honey… so I opted for #3 .. 2 cloves since they were on the small side. YOWZA! I thought since I eat pickled garlic like its candy it wouldn’t be so bad…. boy was I wrong!

  11. Jayadev says

    it was nice seeing all ur comments.. My mom tells me that I am kinda unique in this aspect. I love raw garlic.. Along with my rice and lentils , I just have 4 pieces of garlic raw, chew them well and really enjoy myself in the process.
    Love the taste so much that I sometimes have nearly 8 to 9 cloves. Can have raw garlic with anything salty.. just plain old potato chips are enuff for me to chew, enjoy and swallow that wondrous white little thing :)

    • Mike says

      Personally, I eat a clove of garlic every time I eat a meal. I simply cut a clove in half and peel it (it’s much easier once it’s cut in half.) Then, I eat like half my meal, then chew up one half in my mouth thoroughly (so that all the chemicals mix together and it’s thoroughly crushed, but I chew quickly), then chase it with a mouthful of water. Take another bite or two of food, then take the second half or sometimes, I’ll take them back to back depending on how big my meal is. It improves my blood circulation significantly, quite amazing really. I also don’t get garlic breath this way unless I end up eating or drinking something that makes me burp (fizzy drinks or a couple beers), then I get garlic burps. I get slight nausea when I eat the garlic this way sometimes, but it goes away quickly as more food gets piled on top of it. It also has antibacterial effects in the mouth when chewed up this way, so it might just improve your oral health as well. :)

      I also take vitamins every day, so things like B complex, Zinc and a combo of Vitamin C/Lysine/Vitamin E, then taking 2,000mg of vitamin C randomly throughout the day means I haven’t been sick with anything significant in almost 10 years and I never get sick even when I’m around people who are.

      Chewing it up was pretty hard at first, but you get used to it and the more it burns your mouth and the quicker it does, the stronger and more effective it will be from a health perspective. So, I like when it burns a little. This is usually the times I get slight nausea, but I feel healthier and I know garlic is responsible. I don’t trust the supplements and don’t believe they are effective, so personally, I think this is the best way to consume it. Just chew it up real good so its entirely crushed up before you chase that water down. :)

      Take care, all.

  12. Jennifer Walters says

    Leigh Ann, I just did some “Googling” to find articles for confirmation to back up why I’m eating raw garlic cloves today to fight whatever is making me sick. In the middle of reading your article, I noticed I was looking at Mark swallowing the garlic! Rachel Parrish mentioned a while back you had a blog, but I had yet to look into it. I am now a subscriber. :) Hope you guys are doing well! We miss you! – your former neighbor, Jennifer & Grayson & Chad :)

    • says

      This garlic post is my top referral to this site, which is funny because it’s not really what I blog about a lot. haha! But either way, I’m glad it’s here because you found me! I talked to Rachel the other day and she said you’ve been coming to their office. She is a dear friend! Glad to have you join our little community. :) We miss you guys too and think about you often!

  13. Daniel says

    Will eating the whole cloves 2-3 without chopping them (swallowing them like pills) be effective? Or is it bad for the digestive to swallow it hole? If it can be consumed that way, are they effective just like crushing them? Because if swallowed there will be no bad taste. Thanks.

    • JONATHAN says

      crushing them releases the active chemicals with is good, and will kill bacteria in your mouth as well. You should always eat first before taking raw garlic.

    • says

      I’m sure it will be somewhat helpful, but crushing them first will give you more bang for you buck. The crushing releases the active compounds so it’s beneficial the second it hits your belly. The taste can be easily chased with juice or honey. Plus, honey is full of amazing enzymes, making it even more beneficial!

  14. JONATHAN says

    I should be eating garlic everyday…my grandma use to eat it everyday along with eating aloe. But sadly I only take whenever I am sick..which is good as well but preventing it would be better. And it’s safe to say that I take about 3 cloves chew them in my mouth and chase it with juice and honey and do this about every 3-4hours. It literally makes me feel better within the next day.

  15. Jon says

    Leigh Ann,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your informative article, I only wish more people around me would heed this useful advice! I have been taking raw garlic for the past year, and I have not gotten a cold, flu, or intestinal parasites either! I also have noticed that bugs do not bother me, and go straight to bite the arms and legs of others!

    Lately, everyone around me has had a seemingly endless battle with head colds, sniffles and stuffed up noses that don’t seem to go away. I tell them once, I tell them twice about garlic, but people seem to have this built-in, pre-programmed notion that eating garlic ISN’T good for you. I am living proof that garlic is the best preventative medicine there is. My morning ritual: crush 2 cloves of garlic, wait 10 minutes for active compounds to form, then take it like a pill with juice (preferably pineapple, another miracle food) or just plain water or even coffee.

  16. April says

    I did this for the first time last night after hearing and reading about it. I felt horrible last night, tired, cold, headache, lightheaded, stuffed up nose and sore throat. Woke up at 5 am feeling great and breathing clear! About to take my second dose now bc the flu has been running rampant through my work place. I just found the smallest clove in the head and cut off each end to make it a friendlier “pill” shape and downed it with a swig of sprite. I tasted nothing! And trust me I am not the best at taking pills and I did fine! Try it that way was as easy as could be and I feel awesome today!
    Good Luck!

  17. Mike says

    I’ve had a nasal nightmare for the past 4 days. Started chomping away at whole garlic cloves last night and woke up today noticeably better. The first clove was difficult if only because of how spicy it was. But I love the taste of garlic so much I’ve adapted and now I kind of enjoy it.

  18. says

    I had no idea that garlic was so beneficial! Making a Garlic Aioli would be an easy way to work it in into your diet. Just peal 2-3 garlic cloves and roughly chop. On a cutting board, sprinkle the chopped garlic with kosher salt and mash with the flat edge of a chef knife until you create a “paste”. Mix this garlic “paste” with a couple tablespoons of mayo and spread on nearly any type of meat or veggie sandwich or wrap.
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  19. Laura says

    I woke up sick this morning, new to take garlic, but wasn’t sure how often. Thank you for the post! I had no voice at 7 am. It’s now 10 am and my voice is getting stronger! I’m also taking oregano oil, so I smell extra yummy today! (My poor husband doesn’t know what he’s coming home to!)

  20. Gillian J says

    I had some garlic recently to fight a cold and, honestly, the best way in my mind to down some raw garlic is in a dip. Mince or chop a clove or two and mix it with some sour cream, mayonase or an onion dip.( the onion dip will really hid the garlic tast quite well.) Eat the dip with some chips or crackers and voila! Done! Also,if youdont like the taste of the dip you’ve created, eat it wit some strongly flavoured chips like ketchup, all-dressed, bbq. the flavour of the chip will mask the taste of the garlic.

  21. åslaug says

    This posts comments sure has been going on for a while! Lovely article.
    After breakfast, I noticed I had the start of a cold. Normally would have let it go, but it seems a mama of a 13 month old can’t call in sick. So, googled garlic = here I am.

    But you know what, the most delicious way EVER to eat garlic is:
    *drumroll, please*
    chocolate. (no, not the candy bar kind…)

    Take two generous teaspoons of raw honey in a small bowl, add some sea salt, chili powder, cinnamon (those two can very well be left out) and enough cocoa powder to make it taste chocolatey. Mince 3 cloves of garlic. Mix in. Chase the paste down with water (I take two glasses). Because it’s a paste I find it diffucult to swallow without water. You can chew it two, but that way you taste the garlic.

    Soo delicious, taste like chocolate, not garlic, and so nice and soothing down your throat.
    *Think I’m in love*
    and I’m looking forward to my next dose in two hours….

    Go chase that cold away!!

  22. Lisa says

    I take chopped garlic about three times a day and also put it in empty capsules and give to my kids. My son has Down syndrome an low immune system and this keeps him healthy and he doesn’t miss much school anymore.

  23. Jarrett Tarlton says

    If I’m in a hurry I have no problem just chewing it up and swallowing. My favorite way though is to crush 2-3 cloves into 2 cups water, add cayenne pepper, let simmer on the stove for about 15 mins. Add fresh lemon juice and raw honey… Makes a great tea… I PROMISE IT WORKS AND TASTES BETTER THAN IT SOUNDS…

  24. coacervate says

    Sorry, i hit the wrong key…

    An important change happens with garlic is crushed. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1173136/

    Here is my recipe: While sipping cold-brewed green tea, smash 2 large cloves under a broad blade. Start chopping….Smash 1 or 2 walnuts, add to the chopping…add one medium swiss chard leaf, small bunch of chives, lots of fresh basil, oregano, rocket…keep choppppping.

    Go away, finish your tea slowly. give it 10 min min

    Follow the wonderus pong of health back to the board and ….chop
    Drip a half squeeze of 1/2 lemon over the rapidly forming paste….need I say choppp awayyyy. Spread over a slice of wholewheat toast….If I am bad I prespread with bencol or similar phytosterol-marg. I am officailly addicted. Of course you can add Kale or any darn thing you like. try cashews and you will be forever vampire proofed!

    Great webpages BTW, thanks!

  25. Tara says

    I’m here to put in a vote for crushing garlic and chopping in half (or quarters, if it’s a large clove), swallowing it like a pill, and then chasing it with something to drink (I used an orange-mango smoothie). I’ve take it minced with garlic, and due to it’s thick consistency, I have a really tough time swallowing and gaaaaaggg about 10 times before I finally get it down. Thanks for this link–just took another commenters advice and liked it much more than with honey. Since it wasn’t so bad, I’ll definitely be more likely to do it when I feel something coming on instead of just to treat an active illness.

  26. Tina says

    I’ve got the flu and just ate 2 cloves chopped up and wrapped in a couples of slices of deli turkey. Tastes yummy and hopefully will help me get better!

  27. Sarah says

    I just discovered if I chop up the garlic in small bits and then wrap a little bit at a time in a piece of cheese I can barely taste the garlic.

  28. Erin says

    I just chopped up 2 cloves with a handful of pecans. Then I poured some honey over it and added cinnamon. It was actually pretty good!!

  29. Amanda Zeitler says

    Woke up this morning miserable and read this… Now I will see if I have any garlic in my house so I can give this a try!

  30. Sue says

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned my favorite way to take garlic. Get a slice of your favorite bread and butter one side, add 3 cloves minced fresh garlic. I fold the bread in half & the garlic is noticeable but not overwhelming.

  31. Charity says

    Really wish I would’ve found this site before I just chomped down on 2 large cloves. Ick, but at least the burn made me feel like it was attacking my sore throat germs :) Next time I’ll opt for the honey method! Once was enough for me!!!

  32. Sheila Rhodes says

    I love garlic. Too bad that I get really bloated from it – even when it’s used as an ingredient in food. If I could find a way around that….

  33. Priya says

    Just roast the garlic with skin without oil for 2minutes and then peel it and have it daily morning. Even kids can eat easily. Dont over cook.

  34. Romana says

    3 cloves of raw garlic,minced
    2 Tbsp of cream cheese
    Mix together,eat with your favorite crackers-pretzels

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