As soon as anyone around me complains of feeling under the weather, of a cold catching up to them or generally feeling without energy, the first words to leave my lips are "GARLIC TEA!"
The usual response is a look of disgust and bewilderment,
"Urgh, Garlic tea?" they ask with a wrinkled nose and wide eyes. And then the inevitable question ensues, "Doesn’t that make you stink?" to which I just roll my eyes.
I have been using garlic tea as my medicine of choice for the past 5 or so years and have not had to take one tablet, one round of antibiotics, or one trip to the doctors since. For me, it works wonders and nips any cold/flu in the bud within a day or so. It is for this reason that I have become an advocate for garlic and suggest it to everyone I encounter, because I have tried it and it has worked.
The benefits of drinking garlic tea are numerous and many people have written articles on the subject, but I tend to find the same mistake in most of them. And that is: How it should be prepared if you want the full weight of its healing properties to have an effect.
Most articles tell you to slice the clove in half and brew in water. This shows a misunderstanding of how the healing properties of garlic present themselves.
So before I tell you how to prepare this wondrous brew, allow me first to give you a quick crash course in the basics of garlic.
Garlic contains a sulphur based enzyme called allicin. This enzyme is stored within tiny cells of the clove’s flesh and is only released when the clove is sliced or crushed. This compound is also responsible for the strong smell that is particular to garlic.
Now when I say sliced, I mean sliced and diced and not merely cut in half.
The more you crush or slice the garlic the more allicin it releases. This is what we want, as it is the allicin which is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral characteristics, and which can promote a general immune boost to the body.
So, given that it is this release in allicin that makes garlic tea beneficial to increased health, it is reasonable to say that you must (literally) crush the life out of the clove in order to obtain its beautiful life-giving force.
Here is my recommended method for making a real healing garlic tea (which has been tried and tested on many unwilling friends and family who, having experienced the benefits for themselves, have now become converts!):
I recommend one cup before bed as the drink will enter your system and work its magic much more efficiently whilst you sleep in a relaxed state. (Drinking before bed also alleviates any fear of stinking of garlic the next day!)
Take one large or two small cloves of organic garlic (please do not use Chinese garlic as it is rarely the real stuff) and peel the fine papery skin off.
Peeled Garlic Cloves
Finely slice or crush the cloves using the back of a fork or spoon. The more tiny bits you have, the better.
Do not chop it in half and think the job is done!
This does not help release the needed allicin.
This is the way to do it :-)
Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the allicin to release to its full potential.
Allow the allicin time to develop.
Put the crushed garlic into a tea strainer and pour boiling water over it until covered.
Leave the garlic brewing for approximately half an hour. This is to allow the water to take on the chemical structure of the garlic, and more appropriately, the allicin enzyme.
Cover thr chopped garlic and let brew.
Remove the strainer and drink… whilst holding your nose if you have to!
Enjoy the healing benefits of garlic.
The cloudier the water, the better the tea!
Personally I think it tastes like sweet water but you can add honey to the mix if it makes it go down better.
Little word of warning:
As with everything, too much of something is not good. It is possible to overdose on too much garlic. My mother did it and still to this day cannot eat any, and she used to love it! Take a cup as and when is needed but do not overdo it every day over a long period of time.
Experiment and see what dosage suits your body.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I am an advocate of natural remedies and I only recommend based on my personal experience and research. Everyone's body is individual to them and what works for one may not work for another. This is not medical advice.