I can’t imagine preparing a meal without garlic! But garlic is so much more than a flavor enhancement! Just as some foods can harm our health, others have the ability to heal and garlic is one of those foods.
Garlic’s healthful and healing properties are numerous and go back thousands of years. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties, which make it a powerful remedy for colds and flu. It also eases ear infections and may relieve asthma symptoms. It is an effective, broad-spectrum antibiotic, which can heal infections. In World War II, garlic earned the nickname “Russian Penicillin” because it was used when the Russian soldiers ran out of penicillin for their wounds.
Research has shown that garlic can boost the immune system and help prevent some of the conditions associated with aging. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and thin the blood, which may prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. And there is increasing evidence that garlic may reduce the risk for and treat certain cancers.
It doesn’t matter how you consume garlic to benefit from its healthful properties – raw, cooked or as a supplement (good for massive doses or if you don’t like the odor). When my children were sick with a cold or flu, I cut slivers and put them between apple slices for them to eat. They didn’t like it, but it definitely lessened the severity of their sickness. Make sure you cut garlic finely to release the protective compound allicin and cook only lightly so that beneficial compounds aren’t destroyed.
Garlic is abundant this time of year – I’ve found some wonderful, pungent new varieties at the Farmer’s market. September is the time of year to plant garlic for harvesting next summer. It’s easy to do – simply put several cloves in your garden and wait. You’ll be nicely surprised!
Add lots of garlic to your diet for a healthier you!
Information compiled from The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies and The Healing Home by Gina Lazenby.
Anti-infection Garlic Soup
This soup is a great preventative if you feel a cold or flu coming on, but also works if you already have an infection. It tastes good too!
2 Tbs olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled, separated and chopped
1 box organic chicken broth, or enough to make a quart
1 medium bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the chicken broth and parsley, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Drink a cup of soup every hour.
Recipe from Melissa Wood, ND, a naturopathic doctor in San Antonio, Texas