Flu and Garlic

The cold and flu season is upon us and many people prefer to use natural methods to fend off germs and stay well. You may have heard about effective natural remedies and would like to know how garlic can fight off flu bugs to keep you feeling great during this season of the year.

Flu, no matter which strain, can be dangerous if your body is already weakened due to other medical conditions or a weakened immune system. However, most people who come down with the flu usually recover within a week or so.

Of course, you know to cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough, wash your hands often, get plenty of fluids, eat a healthy diet, and get plenty of rest when you feel a cold or flu coming on. You can also add garlic to your repertoire of cold and flu season knowledge.

Garlic has been used for hundreds of years in herbal medicine because it is a broad spectrum antibiotic. While doctors won’t generally prescribe antibiotics for viruses, garlic is much more than an antibiotic. The compound allicin has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties which may provide more benefits than fighting off a flu bug.

Garlic may also bolster the immune system as a whole, which could mean garlic could help the body fight off illnesses that modern antibiotics aren’t appropriate for. You can find many supplements on the market which contain garlic. Quite often it’s mixed with Echinacea, which also acts to boost the immune system.

You don’t have to wait until you’re in the throes of the flu to start taking garlic. In fact, if you start taking garlic before you catch a cold or flu, it may be even more effective in preventing the infection in the first place. Some research recommends taking large amounts of garlic to reduce recovery time, but you may want to discuss doing so with a doctor since garlic can interfere with some prescriptions.

Eating raw garlic is probably the best way to get the most benefit from it; however, making a tincture of 1/4 pound of peeled and separated garlic in 1/2 quart of brandy might be less offensive to others. Place the ingredients in a clean glass jar with a lid. Seal the jar tightly and shake the mixture every day for two weeks. After the time is up, strain the jar and put the tincture in a bottle with a dropper. Take 25-30 drops a day to build up immunity.

You can also make a cough syrup out of garlic. Slice a pound of garlic and place it into a glass bowl. Pour one quart of boiling water over it and allow it to sit for 12 hours. Drain the water and add sugar to it until a syrup consistency is obtained. You can also add honey to make it taste better. Use this in place of over-the-counter cough syrups.

While you can get odorless garlic tablets so your breath isn’t offensive, some of the essential ingredients which make garlic beneficial are removed in these. Taking enteric-coated garlic tablets will enable the garlic to remain intact until it reaches the location in the digestive tract where flu bugs, or viruses, reside.

If you’ve wondered how garlic can fight off flu bugs, it does so by having antibacterial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. Start taking garlic before you get the flu and the illness may not stick around as long as if you let it run its course naturally.