I feel like everyone is coughing and sniffing this time of year, so I want to show many ways you can enhance your immune system with plants and fight off colds and flus naturally!
Garlic (Allium sativum) and onions (Allium cepa) have both been traditionally used to treat colds and flus and have been used medicinally for thousands of years, garlic in particular is also anti-fungal so can be use to treat a wide range of infections. Garlic gives the best immune-bosting results when eaten raw, as this is when the main active constituent allicin is unlocked but disappears when cooked and when exposed to air for too long. (I've done a more in depth post of my love of garlic here!) Today I'm going to show how to consume raw garlic and onion in a much more palatable way by infusing it with honey. Honey itself is very good for as it is naturally antispetic and antibacterial, raw honey is best for as it is less refined however if you can't get your hands on it or want to do a cheap home remedy using what's already in your kitchen cupboard, any honey will be fine. You'll also need a couple of cloves of fresh garlic and half a small onion.
Peel and roughly chop up your garlic and onion, leave for about 10 minutes to ensure the allicin is activated, then pop into a clean glass jar and cover with honey. I found it easier to add a teaspoon or so at a time, mix it altogether then add a bit more until the jar is full. Leave overnight to infuse and it is ready to be taken. After a week or so you can strain it but I like to leave the galric and onion in there to keep infusing. All you need to do is to take 1 teaspoon of the honey at the first signs of a cold or during an acute infection up to 5 X a day.
You can feel the actions of this garlic and onion honey working immediately as the honey coats the throat so relieves sore throats and tickly coughs, as well as sweetening and disguising the potent taste of raw garlic! The honey also helps to preserve the garlic and onion in their raw state so will boost that immune system faster and stronger!
This will last a few months in the fridge so is perfect to get you through the Winter months! Let me know if you give it a try and how you got on with it in the comments below!
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.