Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eating Garlic to cure a cold

Eating lots of garlic can stop or shorten a cold.

Sometimes we hear the body whine, “oh no, I’m getting a cold.” At that very first moment, go eat a lot of garlic. The garlic will boost our immune system and stop the cold from settling in.

Garlic contains 30 antiviral and antibacterial compounds. Garlic is a bulb, like a daffodil, that lives underground. When the bulb gets nicked or cut by a bug, it creates strong chemicals that resists unhelpful bacteria so the plant survives. Also, living underground, the plant needs to have strong anti-decaying properties so it doesn’t rot.

Garlic has different properties cooked and raw. Garlic is more powerful when raw, but it’s harder on the stomach. It’s good to a few cloves raw, and then a few full heads of garlic cooked. (The individual garlic bulbs are called cloves and the clusters of a dozen or so cloves are called heads of garlic.) If I’m trying to block a on-setting cold, I’ll eat two cloves raw, and two or three heads of garlic cooked, which is about 30-40 cloves. If I’ve got an established cold, I’ll eat this regiment everyday.

Here are a few ways to prepare garlic.

When cold fighting, I like to eat one or two cloves chopped fine and mixed with a spoonful of raw honey.

The easiest way to eat a bunch of garlic is to chop it and put it atop toast in the toaster over. As the bread toasts, it usually cooks the garlic enough to take the acidic burn off the garlic. After toasting, add some olive oil, sea salt, and nutritional yeast atop the “garlic bread” sweetens the deal.

Another way to cook voluminous garlic is to bake it covered in olive oil. Peal a couple heads of garlic, put it in over-safe bowl, cover it in cheaper olive oil. Try 300 degrees for 20 or so minutes until spreadable by fork. Add sea salt. The leftover oil can be reused for cooking and bread dipping.

Another easy way to eat your medicine is cooking garlic amidst fried eggs. In the sauté pan, add some olive oil and the garlic. Crack the eggs into the pan atop the garlic. Throw in some sea salt and herbs. Flip it overeasy. Done.

The easiest way to peel garlic is to squash the garlic glove with the tail of a big knife until the peal loosens. Another method is chopping off the knobby root end of the garlic and then pealing back the paper. The knobby bottoms are worth the effort to cut off if they are big and unpalatable.

Interestingly, garlic doesn’t respond to human breeding attempts, and so the plant we see are similar to what our Italian caveman ancestors ate.

Garlic is easy to grow. Stick single cloves in the ground, six inches apart. Plant four-to-six weeks before the ground freezes hard in the fall. Garlic likes hay mulch, as the delicate roots benefit from lack of weed-pressure competition. Harvest in the beginning of August when the leaves go brown.

Throw out moldy garlic and be sure to cut away any imperfections from the white flesh of the garlic where decay has started. Any mold that grows on antibacterial garlic is strong and we certainly don’t want to eat it or even breathe it too much.

It’s probably best not to eat tons of garlic all the time, though. As a medicine, we want to let our body reset. Though our body does appreciate antiviral and antibacterial boosts when needed, in general we are trying to cultivate in the body a garden of good bacteria. Kombucha, probiotic supplements, yogurt, fermented foods all create digester allies that that help our body. When a lot of garlic hits the digester gullet of the large intestine, our natural microherd of intestinal flora will notice.

Some people say garlic makes us smell, but I think it just makes us smell of garlic, and I like that smell. Perhaps garlic’s odorous reputation has been amplified by Big Pharma to keep people buying cold medicine that works less well than garlic.

Garlic is a helpful ally in stopping a cold, but it should be used along with other practices too. Other helpful cold-defeating habits include Echinacea tea with raw honey, rest, water. Vitamin C in large quantities can help. I like the fizzy Emergence-C packets. And it’s good to keep warm, and ideally, raise the body’s heat up, as some viruses live at lower temperatures. A good hot shower,or a sauna, or even being bundled up beneath ten blankets, can hot box our bodies to encourage the baddies move out.

Good luck and be well!


nihaty said...

useful is a plant garlic in turkey, we use almost all the dishes and he's my taste wonderful natural antibiotic.

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