It has been a cold Autumn in Melbourne thus far, and upper respiratory infections are returning.
I usually recommend preparing a little natural remedies cabinet at this time of year so that when the virus season hits, you’ll be well and truly ready and won’t have to resort to immune-suppressing, artificial-flavoring laden, over-the-counter medication.
Here’s what I believe to be the best natural cure for a cold. This is a garlic oxymel, and it’s easy to make. The ingredients may already be in your fridge or pantry.
Oxymel is a traditional preparation that combines honey and vinegar with medicinal herbs.
Honey was traditionally used as a flavoring agent and a preservative to mask stronger-tasting herbs. On the other hand, vinegar served as a solvent and preservative.
Making your garlic oxymel has many benefits. It is inexpensive and simple to make. And it will last for years because garlic is a strong antibacterial agent.
This is a wonderful remedy for a sore throat, cold, or cough. I suggest you keep a small amount in your pantry.
Garlic is an antibacterial superfood.
Garlic has been revered for its health benefits throughout the centuries.
The Egyptians and Romans were aware of its medicinal properties. However, it was considered food of the lower class because the nobility did not like its unpleasant smell. It was even used to save lives during the Tudor-age plague.
Modern technology has allowed herbal manufacturers to analyze the incredible phytochemical compositions of garlic, confirming its antibacterial, immune-enhancing, and antiviral properties.
Garlic also has strong anticoagulant qualities, which make it an excellent herb for high blood pressure or cardiovascular health.
The prebiotic effects of garlic
Another great thing about garlic is its high level of inulin. This fructan is what beneficial gut bacteria like Bifido or Lactobacilli love to eat. Inulin can make up to 16% of a clove of garlic. This means you get a high dose of both antibacterial compounds and prebiotic effects from garlic.
How to make garlic
Raw garlic is the best way to get the most from it. Allicin is a sulfur compound that gives garlic its antibacterial properties. It is created only when the garlic is freshly chopped and crushed.
Allicin is produced by the enzyme alliinase when garlic is crushed. Alliinase can be heat sensitive, so don’t fry the garlic until it is cooled.
To avoid alliinase being destroyed by heat, chop the garlic finely. Then let it rest for ten mins before you cook.
A second fact you may not know about garlic is its mineral richness. It contains sulfur, as well as calcium, magnesium and iron.
10 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
One heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional).
One heaped teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional).
One cup apple cider vinegar (Get a high-quality one such as Melrose).
1/3 cup Manuka honey. A good quality, unheated raw honey is an alternative to Manuka honey.
Allow the vinegar to warm the seeds, if necessary, for a few moments before boiling.
Place the ginger and garlic in a glass container with a lid. Use a plastic lid, as the vinegar can corrode metal lids.
Place the vinegar and seeds in the jar. Add the vinegar and seeds to the jar. Stir well.
Mix the mixture 2 to 3 times daily for approximately 2 weeks.
After two weeks, strain the herbs with a cheesecloth.
Mix the honey with the water.
Place the contents in a clean container and cover them with a lid. Label the container with the date and preparation.
Please keep it in the dark place until you are necessary.