Since I discovered raw garlic to fend off colds and flu I've had way fewer illnesses than before. A few times I've felt a really big nasty coming on real fast, and thanks to a few cloves of garlic I actually nipped them in the bud. Eating raw garlic has also prevented my sore throats from getting to that absolutely terrible I-can't-bear-to-swallow-or-be-alive stage which I used to go through a few times a year, and it's also fended off that horrible nose-and-eyes-drip-constantly mid-part of a cold. It doesn't always work - if your immune system is trashed, see traditional foods for how to build it up again.
So, here's how to take it. It's got to be fresh raw garlic - don't buy capsules or powder or anything like that. Whatever you do, don't chew it - you'll have garlic breath for hours with even a single chomp of your front teeth, and it seems to cause stomach upsets sometimes too - go figure. Get small cloves and swallow them whole, if possible, but crush them a bit first so they don't come out completely undigested. A good way is to chew up a decent mouthful of food, then just before you swallow, pop the garlic in the back of your mouth and swallow it down with the rest of the food. Otherwise, chop the garlic into pieces and swallow them down with water, without chewing. If you do it this way, eat something first to line your stomach so it's not too full on.
To get kids to eat it, or to make it easier for yourself, mix finely chopped pieces with honey before swallowing down with water. If your stomach is sensitive, take the garlic with food, and avoid chewing it. Bigger pieces seems to cause less stomach upset than smaller pieces.
Some people take a clove of raw garlic once a week as a preventative measure. If you feel a real nasty coming on, try to take three cloves of garlic between the first symptoms and when you go to bed for the night. In the morning, take another one, and by mid afternoon you'll probably feel heaps better. Continue with one or two a day till your bug has gone. Sometimes I feel the beginnings of a mild sore throat or a tingle in my nose, and in that case, often a single clove of garlic is enough to have me better by morning.
While I don't get garlic breath from taking garlic in this way, twenty-four hours later, if I fart, it'll stink like garlic, and if I've had a few doses, even my wee and sweat smell like garlic. This is kinda gross, but I believe it's far less gross than oozing snot for the next two weeks.
You'll get best results if you rest at the same time. Eating garlic and resting in the face of a nasty cold often throws it off without it even reaching its peak. If it's a mild one sometimes I can cheat and keep working full tilt, thanks to the garlic, but it sometimes comes back after a few days. So tuck yourself into bed with a book for the afternoon or turn off the light earlier at night. Goodluck!
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