I hear a lot of people have been suffering this winter from colds that stay and stay. I hear about stuffy or running noses, annoying coughs, and general exhaustion.
My recommendations for knocking this virus out of the body are simple: Garlic tea and vitamins D and C.
Garlic tea has an amazing anti-viral properties and couldn’t be easier to make. Mince or smash a few cloves of garlic and place in a mug. Fill with boiling water and allow to steep for 10 minutes covered with a plate. Add the juice from 1/4-1/2 lemon and enough honey or cane sugar to sweeten.
The most common questions I field about garlic tea are does it make you smell like garlic and does it taste awful? Yes and no. Yes, you will reek of garlic, but hey, you’re sick. How close do you really want to be to other people? And no, when I need it I find it tastes sweet. If you don’t like the taste, add more honey and lemon and plug your nose when you drink it.
I usually eat the garlic at the bottom of my tea, but you don’t need to. Repeat as often as needed.
If your immune system is working overtime, give it a hand up with a booster dose of vitamin D. I like to use 5000 IU of vitamin D3 during times of immune stress. Unless you are normally immune compromised, only take this high of a dose of vitamin D for 5 days at a time.
I prefer to use liquid vitamin D3 rather than capsules because it is easier to measure the dosage.
Acerola cherries are one of the most bio-available sources of vitamin C. Almost 40 years ago, Linus Pauling introduced us to the idea that vitamin C could influence health. His theories have stood the test of time and it is now common knowledge that vitamin C can help you avoid or recover from colds.
I give my kids 1 Tablespoon of acerola cherry powder mixed in water or juice each day when they start to exhibit symptoms of a cold until the symptoms disappear.
For booting unwanted invaders out of your body, there’s almost nothing better than Garlic Tea. Particularly when combined with a good sleep that gives the body a chance to heal.
Garlic has long been known to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties besides its qualities as an aromatic flavoring. It also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and it is the only aphrodisiac food that actually works for encouraging and maintaining an erection — a natural Viagra. No wonder the Italians are so passionate!
The superstition of wearing leis of garlic around ones neck to ward of vampires likely came from the practice of using garlic to ward off the plague in the middle ages. It could have been fairly effective, too, as garlic can be used as an insect repellent in an organic garden and the plague was spread by fleas.
But back to the Garlic Tea… I learned about this during the summer I spent waiting tables on the Greek island of Rhodes. I was hanging out with an Australian woman who was steadily feeling worse one day; by nightfall she had a headache, stuffy nose, cough, fatigue and just generally didn’t feel well. She clearly looked sick. At dinner that evening, she ordered an empty glass, 3 garlic cloves, and a lemon. She sliced and ate the raw garlic. She halved and squeezed the lemon into the glass, and then drank the juice and went to bed. The next day she was completely well. It was amazing.
I’ve taken this concept and made it a little more palatable by steeping crushed garlic in boiling water and adding the fresh juice from 1/2 lemon and honey. The garlic/lemon combo is surprisingly sweet and sippable, though add some local honey if you have a cough or need to alter the flavor.
Garlic Tea Instructions
1. Peel and crush/chop/mince 3-5 cloves of fresh garlic.
2. Place garlic into a mug and then fill with boiling water.
3. Let steep for 5 minutes or more, and then add the juice from 1/2-1 lemon.
4. Stir in enough honey to make it palatable.
5. Sip. Eat the garlic if desired, but not necessary.
6. Repeat after 12-24 hours, if needed.
The tea seems to be as effective as eating the garlic raw, however if you need a more powerful remedy you might try some raw, too. I’ve been known to drink Garlic Tea two or three nights in succession when necessary.
The first question I always get when I tell people about this remedy is: Won’t you just reek of garlic? Who will want to be around you?
My response: You’re sick! You don’t want anyone around you anyway! Who cares if your breath stinks! Let’s just focus on getting well.
If you’re that concerned with stinky breath, eat some parsley afterwards. But know that the scent of garlic will emanate from your pores as your body flushes toxins from your system. I consider this a good thing, personally.
I recommended this remedy to my stepfather last week when he was fighting off the current mega-cold. He didn’t have any fresh garlic in the house so he substituted garlic powder. After he said, That was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted, he did say he thought it had helped his recovery. It sounds pretty gross to me, and I’m not sure how much of the nutritional properties are retained once garlic is dried and ground. I wouldn’t suggest using garlic powder: stick with the fresh cloves and you can’t go wrong!