garlic. keep it raw and keep it real.
Normally I don't do raw garlic. It's just always been "a little bit yuck" for me, as Nettie says. Mostly because of the breath thing and also, if you eat enough of it, the sweat thing. But Nettie came down with a respiratory virus last Saturday night, and although she's been really good about it, it hasn't been pleasant. Mama's got things to do besides shivering, coughing, and wiping my nose. So I've been on a raw-garlic-eating binge all week. It's a potent immunity booster, and since I never make time to gather the flowers and herbs and plants that you can use to make immunity-boosting tinctures and teas and tonics (even though most of them are growing right outside my door), garlic is all I've got to work with. Thankfully, I don't see people often.
We're six days in from Nettie's first symptoms, actually almost seven as I write this, and I'm crediting raw garlic, as well as tons of citrus fruit, lemon water, herbal tea, and fluids, with staving it off. But mostly the garlic. (In case you don't know, raw garlic contains powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral compounds. It's also anti-inflammatory. Which means it's literally good for just about anything that ails you.)
I'm not saying I won't end up getting sick. I still might. And I know some of you might think I'm being a nut. But I'm hopeful and feeling good after eating immunity-boosting food all week. And I want to share with you because even if the garlic doesn't end up saving me this virus, it HAS helped with my extreme tooth/gum sensitivity. (Before you suggest I go to the dentist, I was just there in December, and they didn't find any problems.) I've been sucking on little pieces of raw garlic a few times a day and for some reason that seems to have done the trick, or at least helped a lot. Maybe I had some inflammation in my gums?
So Sunday morning I got up ready to do battle this virus. I threw ten or twelve cloves of garlic in the blender, along with a big chunk of fresh ginger, and maybe a quarter cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) and a tablespoon of raw honey. Blended that up and started putting it in everything. My smoothie, my lemon water, my salad. It's potent stuff, but actually pretty tasty.
So if you do try the garlic/ginger puree, here's an idea for how to eat it in an enjoyable way. Drinking it in warm water or lemon water is doable, but not delicious. It's pretty okay in a smoothie with a few oranges. But I thought it was good this way. I took some
cooked cauliflower florets,
chopped fresh celery,
chopped fresh dill,
and mashed it all up with
a few teaspoons of the puree,
a squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder,
a bit of nutritional yeast,
and some sea salt.
For those of you who are low-carb, or sometimes low carb, (I'm very NOT low-carb), this is like potato salad without the sugars. But potatoes would be great in addition to or in substitution of the cauliflower. And of course you could add some sort of mustard or avocado, too. Fresh parsley helps with the garlic breath, so add that if you have it.
One other natural treatment that people swear by is garlic in the ears for ear infection. I haven't had to try this yet, but if you do, I've read that you should string a piece of thread through the clove so that you can pull it out easily.
Stay well, and let me know what you do with garlic!
P.S. Growing garlic is easy, if you can remember to do it in the fall. Hmm. We seem to forget most years. This year I hope to make it an activity with Nettie. Here's a great article by Mother Earth News on how to grow and store garlic.
P.P.S. Yeah, I know honey isn't vegan. My partner and I choose to eat local honey for health benefits, as it helps with allergy symptoms.