Garlic has been a commonly used natural remedy in the case of colds, cough, and flu, for millennia. Allicin, its chemical constituent, is responsible for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
A study conducted at the Washington State University found that garlic is 100 times more effective than two of the most commonly used antibiotics at fighting bacteria- caused diseases.
As soon as the garlic is crushed, alliin becomes allicin, which has been shown to prevent blood clots and to regulate high cholesterol and blood pressure.
Garlic effectively lowers the risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is the condition of hardening of the arteries, and it destroys kill many organisms, including bacteria and viruses that lead to colds, flu, and earaches. Moreover, researchers found that garlic effectively treats diarrhea and digestive issues, and suggest that it can prevent the onset of cancer.
According to Helen Bond, a Derbyshire-based consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, ‘This chemical has been known for a long time for its antibacterial and antifungal powers.
Because of this, people assume it is going to boost their immune systems. Lots of people are simply mashing up garlic, mixing it with olive oil and spreading it on bread. But how or whether it may actually work has still not been proven categorically.’
Yet, experts are divided when it comes to its ability to fight colds and flu.
Yet, as found by the global research organization the Cochrane Database, increasing the intake of garlic intake during winter can cut the duration of cold symptoms — from 5 ½ days to 4 ½. However, the report stated that there is a need of large-scale, authoritative research to prove these findings.
The major issue is that the large pharmaceutical companies would not fund big, expensive trials, as they cannot patent garlic and profit from its use.
Yet, as we previously mentioned, the medicinal properties of garlic have been valued and used for millennia. It has been used in the treatment of 22 ailments in the ancient Egypt. In a papyrus dated 1500BC, the laborers who worked on the building of the pyramids consumed garlic to promote overall health and boost their stamina. Moreover, the Ancient Greeks used it to treat leprosy, lung and blood issues, infections, and insect bites.
The Roman sailors and soldiers used it to improve their endurance as well, Its medicinal properties have been recorded in the five-volume treatise by Dioscorides, the personal physician to Emperor Nero.
Recently, scientists have found that garlic raises the levels of antioxidants in the body. Garlic, or Allium Sativa, was a popular remedy in the case of viruses and bacteria throughout the history. Since the Middle Ages, garlic has been used to treat wounds and prevent the spread of infection.
The Russians regard this amazing vegetable as the Russian penicillin. In 1858, Louis Pasteur noted that bacteria were destroyed as soon as they were doused with garlic.
Nowadays, numerous studies provide evidence that garlic can act in many ways and help us prevent and treat various kinds of health issues.
The team of nutrition scientists at the University of Florida showed that the consumption of garlic improves the number of T-cells in the bloodstream, and they are vital for a strong immune system and protection from viruses.
A study conducted in Australia, which involved 80 patients and was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a diet rich in garlic effectively reduce high blood pressure.
Additionally, pharmacologists at the University of California discovered that the active ingredient in garlic, allicin, destroys infections. It also improves the blood flow, prevents heart issues, like high cholesterol, and makes the blood vessels dilate.
Another study in Brazil, done in 2007, showed that gargling with garlic water (made by steeping crushed garlic cloves in warm water) can destroy the germs that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Also, it has been shown that it kills slugs and snails, and a study conducted at the University of Newcastle showed that oils in garlic may cripple the nervous systems of those slimy creatures.
How to prepare garlic
When it comes to the method of preparation of garlic, two schools suggest two different ways in order to get the most of its beneficial properties.
According to Argentinian experts, garlic releases its allicin-type compounds while the cloves are baked, while the scientists at South Carolina Medical University claim that one should peel it and leave it uncovered for 15 minutes in order to get the highest levels of infection-fighting compounds.
The garlic soup we are suggesting today is a delicious homemade meal with potent cold-preventing powers. Due to the high content of virus-killing compounds, the regular consumption will keep you free of winter ailments.
This is how to prepare it:
Garlic Soup Recipe
- 26 organic garlic cloves (unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) organic butter (grass fed)
- 2 1/4 cups sliced onions
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup fresh ginger
- 26 organic garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
- 4 lemon wedges
Method of preparation:
Initially, preheat the oven to 350F. In a small glass baking dish, add the 26b garlic cloves, and add the olive oil. Then, sprinkle with sea salt and toss to coat.
Cover the dish with foil and bake the garlic for about 45 minutes, until it becomes tender and brownish. Then, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool. Squeeze the garlic between fingertips to release the cloves, and put them in another small bowl.
In a heavy and big saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the ginger, onions, thyme, and cayenne powder. Cook for 6 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the roasted garlic and the 26 raw garlic cloves and cook for 3 more minutes.
Next, add the vegetable broth, cover the saucepan and let it simmer for 20 minutes until the garlic is very tender. Then, puree the soup in the blender until it is smooth, and transfer it back to the saucepan. Add the coconut milk, let it to simmer, and season with pepper and salt. The soup is ready!
You can prepare it a day ahead, cover it, and store it in the fridge. Whenever you need, you can rewarm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
You can squeeze the juice of a lemon wedge into each bowl before you serve the soup.
Enjoy and boost your immune system!