Garlic has been used for centuries in many different cultures to treat a variety of health issues, including the common cold. Caused by viral infection, the common cold is characterized by runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose and throat.
There are plenty of commercial cold medicines available, but their effects are minimal and short-lived, and they come with unwanted side effects. Why use those when you can prevent and treat the common cold with something as safe, simple, and effective as garlic? Want to know how it works? Let’s take a look.
Does Garlic help to treat Cold?
Yes, Garlic is naturally anti-bacterial and antiviral. It fights the germs that cause the common cold while providing your body with anti-oxidants it needs to function properly.
- Garlic has antiseptic properties that help the immune system protect against the cold virus.
- Garlic contains Allicine, a powerful antibacterial anti-oxidant that kills the cold virus.
- The oil in garlic is a natural expectorant that breaks up mucus to clear congestion.
- It also contains vitamin C, sulfur, selenium, and various other enzymes and minerals that help the body fight the common cold.
- It contains antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties which help to treat the cold and its symptoms.
How to Use Garlic to Treat the Common Cold
For best results, consume raw, crushed garlic on a daily basis, and regularly use garlic to season your cooking. In addition to those two methods, try the recipes and home treatments to treat the common cold outlined below.
1. Raw Garlic
- Crush one garlic clove and suck on it like a lozenge for 15 minutes.
- Also eat one or two fresh garlic clove every 4 hours.
2. Garlic and Honey Toast
- Mince garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes so the enzymes have time to activate.
- Meanwhile, make toast and spread raw honey on it.
- Sprinkle the minced garlic on the toast and eat it.
- Eat regularly to prevent cold.
3. Garlic and Water
- Mince 2 cloves garlic and stir them into a glass of water.
- Drink daily to get rid of cold.
4. Garlic and Honey Paste
Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal which helps honey to fight against the cold.
- Mince 7 cloves garlic.
- Mix with 1 tablespoon of raw honey.
- Eat 1 teaspoon of this mixture whenever you need relief from cold symptoms.
- Peel few garlic cloves and add them to a jar.
- Pour honey and allow them to infuse for several days before using.
- Store it in the refrigerator and you can use it for a year.
- Have 6 cloves and a tablespoon of honey in a day to treat cold.
5. Garlic and Orange Juice
- Mince garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Eat one teaspoon.
- Immediately drink 1 glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
- Repeat nightly before bed.
6. Garlic and Tomato
- Chop 3 cloves garlic, ½ onion, 1 celery stalk, and 2 tomatoes.
- Put all ingredients into a blender with 1 teaspoon dried basil.
- Blend until smooth and drink.
- Add minced garlic to honey or apple cider vinegar and steep for few minutes.
- Use a tablespoon of this as a dressing.
- Repeat daily to reduce clod.
7. Garlic Tea
- Mince 2 cloves garlic and 1 teaspoon ginger root.
- Boil a cup of water and stir in garlic and ginger.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes.
- Strain, add 1 teaspoon raw honey, and drink.
- Add 3 cloves of garlic to 3 cups of water.
- Boil for few minutes and turn off the heat.
- Add ½ cup of honey and 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice.
- Strain the tea and drink ½ cup of warm tea 3 times a day.
- Drink this regularly to get rid of cold.
8. Garlic Socks
- Mince 3 garlic cloves.
- Mix garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Rub mixture on soles of feet and put on socks.
- Leave on overnight.
9. Garlic Soup
- Pour 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth into a large soup pot.
- Stir in 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, 1 whole head of peeled and chopped garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, and a pinch of dried sage.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain.
- Add salt for taste.
- Drink this soup 3 times a day.
10. Garlic Shrimp
Method – 1:
- 24 peeled shrimp
- 6 peeled and minced garlic cloves
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Salt and Pepper
- Season shrimp with salt and black pepper and leave for few minutes.
- Place a large sauce pan on high heat.
- Add olive oil and shrimp.
- Saute 2 minutes or until shrimp are half-cooked.
- Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
- Add garlic and saute 2 more minutes.
- Add butter and reduce heat to medium.
- Cook for few more minutes until they cooked completely.
- Stir in parsley and lemon.
- Have it when it is hot.
Method – 2:
- 1 ¼ pounds of cooked shrimp
- 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/4 cup of minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Add oil to skillet then add garlic.
- Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Now add lemon juice, salt, parsley and pepper
- Toss with shrimp in a large bowl and chill until you are ready to eat it
- This process helps to cure the cold.
Taking garlic supplements on a regular basis will help prevent the common cold. A study from University of Maryland Medical Center found that people who regularly took garlic supplements during cold and flu season were less likely to suffer from colds, and if they did, their symptoms subsided faster than those who were not taking garlic. Supplements are available at most pharmacies and grocery stores. Consult a doctor before starting your garlic regimen in order to determine proper dosage for your individual health needs.
Tips and Precautions
Although garlic is very safe and highly effective, some may experience side effects. Follow the tips below to ensure a positive experience.
- When taken in excessive amounts, garlic causes bad breath, body odor, indigestion, and mouth irritation.
- Garlic also thins the blood, so avoid taking it with other blood thinners.
- Garlic lowers glucose levels and increases the release of insulin, so it should not be used by those taking drugs that lower blood sugar.
- People who are allergic to onions, leeks, and chives may also be allergic to garlic. Use it in very small amounts at first, and if you see signs of allergic reaction, stop right away.
- Because garlic increases the risk of bleeding, pregnant women should not use it as a cold remedy.
- Over-cooking garlic may destroy its medicinal properties, so whenever possible, crush or mince it and eat it raw.
- Drink plenty of water while taking garlic supplements.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Get regular exercise.
Have you tried any of these methods for treating a common cold with garlic? Which ones worked best for you? Share your experience with us!
When I feel a cold coming on, first day, do the following: take 5-6 tabs. garlic-400mg + up to 5,000 mg Vit C and lots of water every 4 – 6 hours during the day. I’m 84, a diabetic and on blood thinners but I still do this. You may get soft stools. This is the fast way to stop a cold, Stay away from Orange Juice, it works a negative effect on the body. Use Grapefruit juices diluted 50/50 with water but don’t gulp it dawn, sip it and mix with saliva – helps in digestion.
What does apple cider vinegar do to help my 2 year old
If it is for cold, consumption of ACV is safe for a 2 year old kid. But make sure to reduce the quantity of it as concentrated form can cause irritation and other discomforts. Start by giving a very small dose and increase it to 1/2 tablespoon gradually.
When i am down with Flu or common cold,on and off,it takes about 3,4 weeks to subside. I am 72 yrs.old.plz advice.Xavier
You can try 3, 7, or 9th method mentioned above in the article. Apart from treating the common cold, it also helps to improve your immunity.
I love garlic and honey mixture … easy to make and I take a spoonful daily to help with whatever my body needs on daily basis morning and night.. the key is to take it on an empty stomach with fluids. .. great stuff.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Could you explain the garlic socks one? Why would rubbing it on your feet help?
The bottom of our feet have direct access points to the internal organs of our body. These points are called meridians as per Chinese Medicine. As we wear shoes and don’t get enough acupuncture (pressure on points) they become dormant. Once of the best ways to activate them is by rubbing garlic. The phosphorous present in garlic enters the blood stream which purifies blood and kills any flu causing germs.