Why is garlic an important natural immune remedy?
Garlic has been used by many cultures throughout history as a food and medicine. It was used in Ancient Egypt and in China for over 3000 years. Additionally Sanskrit records document its use approximately 5000 years ago.1 Today, garlic continues to be eaten as a food and is still taken by many to support their immune systems. Taking garlic may even help you get through the winter season relatively unscathed. So what is it about this odd shaped, pungent herb that makes it so special?
3 ways garlic helps guard you against cold and flu
- Garlic supports a healthy immune system. The Ancient Egyptians were onto something, as a sulfur component in garlic known as allicin, helps to protect against nasty winter bugs.
- Garlic helps to relieve cold symptoms. If you do come down with a cold over winter, which is pretty likely considering that on average adults experience 2‐4 colds per year,2 garlic may help relieve some of your frustrating symptoms including mucous congestion and coughs.
- Garlic has antioxidant properties and may help protect against free radical damage and strengthen your immune defences.
When should I start taking garlic?
Garlic should be a staple ingredient in your kitchen as it will not only add flavour to your food but will also help keep your immune system in tip top shape. If you do suffer from regular colds or other upper respiratory tract infections, or you want to support your immune system through winter, then you may benefit from taking a high strength garlic supplement throughout the year or at least through the colder months or when colds are more frequently passed around.
Garlic supplements are usually available on their own or in combination with other ingredients like vitamin C or horseradish that help support the immune system and relieve the symptoms of colds. Because garlic is notoriously pungent, some formulas are ‘low odour’ to reduce the garlic aftertaste (and fear of garlic breath!).