It’s that time of year when it seems like everyone around you is either coughing, sneezing or are flat out knocked out by the ‘lurgy’ (a rotten cold). This often means that colleagues are off work or the kids are too ill to get into school – and extra stress for everyone.
There’s also been lots in the news recently about the over-prescribing of antibiotics by GPs. Often dashing to the doctors and expecting antibiotics is a real ‘own goal’. Our bodies build up an immunity to antibiotics and often what we think is an infection is really a virus. Yes, we still need to fight these bugs but reaching for antibiotics is not the answer, especially when alternatives are available… in your kitchen cupboard, fridge or pantry.
One of the most confusing viruses is the cold virus – it can make us feel so bad that we are convinced we have a major infection (rather than a virus) as it often hits our throat, chest and gives us a rocketing tempature.
The cold virus is very contagious and often something most of us resign ourselves to catching at least twice in a year too. But what if I told you that you could avoid the dreaded ‘lurgy’, that viruses such as the common cold brings on, for as little as 30 pence and a few minutes of your time? Sounds far fetched doesn’t it?
The Garlic cure:
I too was very cynical about the raw garlic method as a way of knocking a cold in its tracks or to avoid one all together but I am now a convert. Normally by this time of year I will have had at least three bad colds in the last six months and most certainly an awful bout of the lurgy over Christmas. Not this year – not since being introduced to the garlic method.
Over the years I’ve heard how powerful the onion family is for its antibacterial qualities and garlic in particular is considered the knock-out bullet when shooting down a cold in its tracks. But as with lots of information and health stories, I would read them and never actually put them into practice. However, around this time last year I was forced to give it a try. I was so ill and bunged up with a cold that I felt unable to make a really important meeting in London for work. I mentioned this to my friend, a yoga teacher and someone who glows good health. She told me to buy a clove of garlic on the way home from work and to do the ‘garlic cure’ straight away. I was actually feeling so rough that I didn’t mind giving what I thought was a quirky cold cure a try.
I decided to do my research first and discovered that garlic has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic benefits: garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, infections and fevers. The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance enhancing” agents used in sports. So, with that in mind, I gave it a go and now use it whenever I have the signs of a cold. Some people choose to do it monthyly and swear by it for a host of health benefits. I am not into promoting anything I have not tried myself on here and since it did work a treat and continues to do so, I am happy to share the method here. Anything that stops us over-consuming antibiotics has got to be a good thing!
How to do the garlic method to knock that cold on its head…
It’s so simple and even if you don’t like garlic you can stomach this as you don’t actually eat/chew the garlic, you swallow it with water in less than three seconds.
1) Peel and chop really finely about 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (crushing the cloves is okay too but only if you can stomach mashed garlic). Leave the chopped garlic for about 10 minutes – this oxidates the garlic and activates the extra powerful antibacterial properties in it.
2) Get a tumbler of water at the ready and spoon some of the finely chopped garlic into a spoon. Pop the garlic into your mouth and knock it back with a glug or two of water. Don’t push yourself to take anymore if you found that a bit icky but if it was okay, knock back the remainder of the garlic and drink some more water to rinse your mouth and help digest the garlic.
3) It’s best to not eat anything for a hour while your digestive system processes the garlic and gets its nutrients and natural ‘anti-biotic’ properties into your system. I like to make a bit of a hot toddy after I’ve knocked back the garlic – I grate a bit of ginger, squeeze some lemon into a mug and poor hot water on top – add some honey too if that’s your preference. Fluids are very important when you have a cold or bug, so drink plenty.
4) Within an hour or two, like many who follow the method, you start to feel a real difference. Somehow, and it is a bit of an ancient mystery, but the garlic stops the cold in its tracks or for those who do the garlic method regularly, totally stops colds from getting a hold in the first place. It’s cheap, fast and effective.
Note: garlic is so good for a whole host of other health issues making it a great food to consume anyway using the method. Eating garlic within food (frying, stewing etc) does not have the same power as the raw garlic method but is still good for you and certainly makes food taste extra delicious, depending on your tastes!
Word to the wise – if your symptoms persist do definitely go and see your GP and get medically checked over – don’t suffer needlessly; antibiotics still have a vital role to play in fighting bad infections but should not be taken when not necessary.