Garlic is commonly used as a natural alternative to antibiotics – it can be used to treat infections and viruses, but it’s important to understand how to properly use this natural cure in order to get the full effect.
Mistakes When Using Garlic as a Medicine
Using garlic as a pill
To avoid the smell and potent taste, some people decide to take garlic pills instead. As is often the case, the easy way doesn’t really work. As mentioned earlier, to activate the garlic’s healing compound, you need to ingest raw, crushed garlic. No pill, powder or dried form can match the therapeutic potential of garlic in its natural state.
The smelly phosphorus gas disappears when garlic is dried, processed or cooked, but so do some of the health benefits. Dried garlic retains anti-oxidant properties and can help fight free radicals – but never to the same extent as raw garlic does. If you struggle with raw garlic, just remind yourself that chewing it has been proven to be as effective as taking penicillin in some cases.
Using cooked garlic
Using garlic cooked is probably the most common form of garlic consumption, because people usually use it as an addition in their food. The truth is that cooking is eliminating one of the most important ingredients in garlic – allicin. Allicin can only be activated if you are using garlic in its raw form. Therefore, if you are looking for health benefits you need to chew garlic.
Forgetting to replenish the stomach flora
Since garlic acts as an antibiotic, large quantities of it can affect the gut flora and deplete the friendly bacteria. As with other antibiotics, you need a good supply of probiotics to get your gut back into balance. The best way to do this is by consuming fermented foods that contain plenty of probiotics. Some examples include natural yoghurt, kombucha, miso and fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi). If you find it difficult to find real fermented food, you can buy probiotic supplements.
Taking small amounts of garlic
If you want to feel the real effects of using garlic, you need to take more than a small clove of garlic every day. Garlic is a powerful immunity booster, but only if you eat it in great amounts. According to some experts, two or three middle-sized cloves per day should do the trick. Some people claim that this dose has helped them overcome some serious infections in a short period.
Using old garlic that has lost its freshness
Make sure that the bulbs you get are fresh and haven’t been sitting around for a long time. Fresh garlic has a green strip that runs in the middle of the cloves. As always, organic garlic is by far the healthier option.
Take care of your stomach flora
Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic, which means that regular consumption in large quantities can have negative impact on the stomach flora and eliminate useful bacteria. The best idea is to consume probiotics together with garlic. In this way, you will create balance in your metabolism. Kombucha and miso are good examples of fermented foods that contain large quantities of probiotics.
If the idea of eating raw garlic turns you off because of the taste and smell, try mixing it with yogurt, honey, or another carrier agent to make it more palatable. To control the dreaded garlic breath, eat some fresh parsley afterwards to get your fresh, pleasant-smelling breath back.
Additionally, while some people have had good results from taking garlic first thing in the morning, many others find that taking garlic on an empty stomach can cause digestive irritation. Start with small amounts and try to gauge how your body reacts; if you notice any bloating, nausea, diarrhoea or skin reactions such as a rash, consult your doctor – some people have an allergy to garlic, but are still able to consume it in small amounts.