By Rebecca Mullins RHN
Did you know that garlic is one of nature’s most potent and healing super foods and immune boosters?
Garlic has been celebrated throughout history for its ability to fight off viruses. Louis Pasteur noted in 1858 that bacteria died when doused with garlic. Since the Middle Ages, ground garlic has been used on wounds to inhibit infection.
Researchers at Washington State University, in a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, found that garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics for attacking some common disease-causing food-borne bacteria such as C. Jejuni (the most common type of campylobacter bacteria involved in human illness), listeria and E.coli in both our food supply and our environment – and also works much more rapidly than antibiotics.
Up to two cloves of raw garlic daily is considered an acceptable dosage. Consult a health care practitioner if taking blood thinning medication.
Easy lacto-fermented garlic recipe
The abundant minerals in garlic are even more easily digested when consuming fermented garlic, plus you also benefit from the helpful probiotics as a result of fermentation.
Raw garlic cloves
Unrefined Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
Wash hands thoroughly and any utensils you will be using. Sterilize a glass jar and lid and set aside. Peel enough garlic cloves to fill your jar. Create brine by combining one cup of filtered water with ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir to dissolve. Place cloves in sterilized jar and fill with water, making sure to cover the cloves completely with the brine. Loosely fit lid on jar and let sit on kitchen counter. Daily remove the lid to release any pressure that may be building up, then twist lid back on. Fermentation may take several days to begin. Tiny bubbles in the brine indicate fermentation has started. The brine will eventually turn a golden colour. Ferment at least one month, although two months of fermenting is even better. Once fermented, tighten the lid and refrigerate.
Use anywhere you would use fresh garlic.
Hint: Don’t toss the brine once the garlic is all gone. Instead, use it to add to dressings, sauces, or even blend in butter to make garlic butter.
Garlic’s super powers
The main active ingredient in garlic is allicin, which can only be produced by cutting the garlic tissues. Once chemically activated, allicin can easily penetrate and destroy bacterial cells.
Therefore, the best way to prepare garlic is to slice, chop, mince or press it first. Also always allow garlic to sit for 5-10 minutes after cutting to maximize chemical properties.
Here are a few more reasons to consume garlic:
*Garlic fights off cold/flu – boosts immune system by increasing natural killer cells
*Garlic prevents yeast infections – inhibits growth of candida albicans
*Garlic reduces cholesterol – the powerful antioxidant properties prevent free-radical damage and plaque build-up in the arteries
*Garlic reduces homocysteine levels in the blood – high levels are linked with cardiovascular disease
*Garlic lowers blood pressure – increases circulation by decreasing platelet aggregation
*Garlic regulates blood sugar levels – has a proven stabilizing effect on levels of those experiencing Type 2 Diabetes
Rebecca Mullins RHN is a British Columbia-based Registered Holistic Nutritionist.