To date, there is no known cure for the common cold or influenza. Meanwhile scores of over-the-counter medicines are available for treating symptoms with mixed success. Preventative measures include; leading a healthy lifestyle and washing hands frequently. The influenza vaccine remains unreliable.
For many people, the most effective and reliable known preventative of colds and flu may be to ingest raw garlic on a regular basis with increased frequency during the colder months.
My personal routine of dosing two or three cloves, every week or so, has effectively ended my chances of contracting a full-blown cold or flu. Additionally, I find that dosing shortly after the first sign of symptoms will often stop a cold in its tracks.
Certain medications (particularly anticoagulants) may have adverse interactions when taken along with garlic; so always consult a physician before starting a raw garlic regiment.
Medicinal Properties, Health Benefits, and Side Effects of Garlic
Garlic’s medicinal value was first recognized in ancient times, and its reputation through the years has ranged from wizardry and folk medicine to medical fact. Modern research has identified Allicin and Diallyl Sulphides as active medicinal properties..
Allicin is the ‘stronger’ of the two properties, but it breaks down significantly when cooked; usually to the point of ineffectiveness. Diallyl Sulphides will endure the cooking process better, and has been proven to boost the immune system.
Garlic is also an anti-biotic and has been shown to resist biotic mutations, unlike penicillin, which can lose its effectiveness over time with continued use.
Other potential health benefits of garlic include; reducing the chance of cardio-vascular disease by reducing high blood pressure and treating atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and preventing cancer, while some have suggested that garlic can reduce LDL (bad cholesterol).
A relatively thin slice of the populace are allergic to garlic. Possible side effects range from minor inconveniences, such as garlicky breath, and heartburn, to serious conditions like hemorrhagic stroke.
Raw Garlic vs. Garlic Supplements
Many cultures worldwide cook with garlic, and it has become an important flavoring of many cuisines. However eating raw garlic is not a pleasant experience; the pungent odor and acute burning sensation, that it leaves in the mouth, can be excruciatingly unpleasant. But there are ways to minimize and practically eliminate the discomfort associated with eating raw garlic. Remember – medicinal garlic should always be eaten fresh and raw—in order to maximize its health benefits.
Some people choose to take garlic supplements such as pills. While supplements can minimize the quandary of ‘garlic breath’, their medicinal effectiveness are questionable at best.
Preparation and Dosing
To maximize effectiveness, the cloves should be sliced into several pieces, diced, or crushed; this will not only make it easier to swallow – the cutting, or crushing, will release the full potency of the allicin. In sum, never swallow a clove whole!
Preparation: Have some ‘accompaniment’ food ready before dosing (perhaps a piece of bread, or cheese, or meat, or a sandwich, etc.). Choose any food that will help hide the ‘burning’ taste of the raw garlic. Secondly, peel two or three cloves of fresh garlic, then chop, dice, or crush all the cloves.
Dosing: Start by taking a small bite of the ‘accompaniment’ food or simultaneously chew it with a ‘pinch’ of the garlic. Repeat this process until you have ingested all of the garlic. The first attempt may be difficult or unpleasant—but you should find it easier to dose with experience.
Some people add fresh raw garlic to their vegetables and fruits, when juicing. I find this method difficult since I find that it fouls the taste of my juice; but this method should be equally as effective medicinally. Through trial and error, you should be able to find the most comfortable way for you.
As long as the garlic enters the bloodstream raw – you are immediately boosting your immune system.
If Raw Garlic Can Prevent Colds and Flu – Why Isn’t This Common Knowledge?
Pharmaceutical companies, medical service corporations, and their investors have a vested interest in selling meds that treat symptoms, and producing and disseminating flu vaccines. Despite years of disinformation campaigns attempting to downplay the medicinal value of garlic, unbiased studies have revealed or confirmed many of its health benefits.
A well-publicized study at Stanford University in 2007, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), concluded that garlic does not definitively reduce LDL. This conclusion is based on a placebo-controlled study of 169 patients.
Even if garlic really does offer little or no benefits for lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), it’s anti-biotic, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anticoagulant (blood-thinning), immune boosting, and blood pressure lowering properties, etc., are much too evident to ignore or suppress. So before that dreaded cold and flu season comes around, get to the produce section of your favorite food mart and pick up a few garlic bulbs. Just don’t forget the mouthwash and breath mints.