THE HEALING POWERS OF GARLIC

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There are many things I do that I know my clients think are weird. Probably the one I get the most reaction to is when I feel a cold coming on – I drink garlic tea. I swear it keeps the cold/flu from going into a full blown event.

This idea was shared with me by one of my past clients. She was a midwife who would prescribe garlic tea to her new mom’s with mastitis. She would have them try 24 hours of the tea before prescribing antibiotics. She said only one mom came back after the 24 hours asking for the big guns.

This lead me to make garlic tea whenever I feel a bad cold coming on. I just fill a sauce pan 3/4 full and place an entire bulb of garlic (papery skin removed) and boil until the water is reduced in half. Then I drink the tea and eat the garlic. 

I know to some of  you this sounds disgusting but the boiling actually mellows out the flavor of the garlic.

In a time when there is a fear of prescribing and taking too many antibiotics garlic may be useful. While I would not say it would knock out everything it might help with some milder illnesses.

In recent years there have been many studies on the benefits of garlic not only with cold/flu prevention but with other health claims as well. Here are just a couple of reasons that garlic maybe good for your health.

  • Cold & Flu : A 2001 study placed 146 volunteers on either a placebo supplement or an allicin -containing garlic supplement daily for 12 weeks. They found the garlic group had fewer colds (24 vs 65) and shorter duration if they did become ill. (1.)
  •  Hypertension: May help to reduce hypertension. Specifically systolic blood pressure. (2.)
  •  Cholesterol Reducing: Studies have shown it can reduce total and/or LDL by 10 %. (3.)

Garlic is available all year however the ‘in’ season of garlic is Summertime. When picking out garlic make sure there are no black spots, its firm, and does not have a garlic aroma. When storing your garlic place it in a cool dark place, not the refrigerator.

Garlic powder and granulated garlic can be substituted into recipes. 1 clove = 1/4 tsp of either. If you are worried that these are artificial in any way don’t! Granulated garlic is just fresh garlic that has been minced, and  dehydrated. Garlic powder is dehydrated garlic ground into a powder. 

I wanted to find a fancier way to make my garlic soup so, of course I went to the master Julia Childs. In her first book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” she has a very simple recipe for garlic soup. Below is my version of her recipe. I used fresh herbs since I have an over abundance of herbs right now. In her book she gives you options for dried.


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Garlic Soup

Ingredients:

2 heads of Garlic, peeled 

2 quarts of water

3 whole cloves

2 TBSP of fresh sage, minced

2 TBSP of fresh thyme, minced

1 Bay leaf

1 TBSP of fresh parsley, minced

Salt and Pepper

3 Egg yolks

3-4 TBSP of Olive oil

1. Place the first 8 ingredients in a saucepan. Boil for 30 minutes.

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2. While the soup is cooking whisk the eggs until they are thick. Very slowly add the olive oil in one drop at a time will whisking slowly turning the eggs into a mayonnaise.

3. Once the soup is done strain through a strainer. Pushing as much garlic as you can through.

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4. Next take just a ladleful of soup out and put in a smaller bowl. Drop in the mayonnaise mixture slowly into the soup slowly incorporating it. You have to be very careful with this one since you don’t want to make egg drop soup! After the egg mixture has been incorporate add the smaller bowl to the larger bowl of soup and whisk together.

5. Enjoy your soup with some hard cheese such as parmesan or bread of your choice.

This soup is mild and extremely yummy!

Next month’s veggie: Pumpkin! 

 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697022
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20594781
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17328819

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