Eating raw garlic may not sound too appealing, but MAN is it effective in kicking germs to the curb. And that’s why so many of us have at least attempted to suffer through eating raw garlic in times of dire discomfort or pain. Maybe you’re wondering:
Why Would You Eat Raw Garlic?
Well, the quick answer is that it’s a potent anti-infection remedy. I share my experience with using garlic for what was more than likely whooping cough here. And M is for Mama wrote an excellent post on using raw garlic successfully for mastitis.
Garlic is also often recommended for:
- colds & flu
- sore throat
- high blood pressure
- lowers bad cholesterol levels
- killing pinworms/parasites
- regulating blood sugar
- ear infection
- increasing bile flow
- immune stimulation
- anti-microbial (allicin content)
It has been an impressive and loyal little herbal healing companion that’s easy to get my hands on anytime and anywhere. Even on vacation! But what’s the best way to eat it? The interwebs are rife with what I consider bad advice. At worst, it can be dangerous and at best it’s just downright nasty. Let’s look at the wrong ways to eat garlic:
Eating Raw Garlic: The Wrong Way
Chew it up and swallow it: I’ve seen this recommended SO many times, and I can only assume that there are people who really have stainless steel mouths. <flashback to the 007 villian!>Garlic is a HOT little number, and chewing it will coat your mouth in the sulfuric flames from you know where. If you are of the teflon coated variety, then more power to you. But this does *not* work for me. <P-tooey!>
Swallowing a whole clove: This is not so uncommon…it sounds like a more pleasant way of getting all of the good potency of raw garlic without the unpleasant side effects of chewing it. But don’t do it! Last year, at least 2 people that I know personally tried this and one ended in the heimlich maneuver and the other with an ER trip. Why? Because a clove of garlic is roughly the exact circumference of your esophagus.
The BEST Ways to Eat Raw Garlic
Garlic Pills: Simply chop a clove up into small pill sized shapes, and swallow with a drink of your choice. I usually only do half a clove at a time. Since raw garlic can be a little tough on the stomach, I use a smaller amount and work up if needed.
Tip: Choosing a drink with fat in it will help blunt the flavor. A thick smoothie, milkshake, or kefir consistency makes it a lot easier to get pills down.
Garlic Crush: So, technically, this isn’t eating garlic, but it’s been very, very effective for throat/ear/mouth type infections here. Basically, you place a whole uncut clove between your back molars (it can even be a small clove) and gently press down *just* enough to bruise or crack it a bit. You *don’t* have to chew it at all. The crushing action begins the production of allicin, the potent anti-microbial component of garlic. You do get a slight flavor, but it’s not nearly as bad as chewing a clove, since the juices are basically going down the side of the throat as you swallow, and not coating your tongue. I hold it there for about a minute, and then spit it out. It’s toast. And speaking of toast…this is our favorite way:
Fresh Garlic Toast: Dice your garlic up finely, and add to 2 teaspoons of melted butter or softened butter. Pour over or spread on toast. This idea came directly from my favorite Italian restaurant, who serves their super soft rolls drenched in melted butter with raw garlic. You may be very surprised at how the butter mellows out the flavors of garlic, and it’s SUPER yummy! Even my tender tongued kids love this garlic remedy.
I’d love to hear your raw garlic success story in the comments. What’s YOUR favorite way to use raw garlic?
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