As you cough and sneeze your way through these dark months of contagious viruses, garlic is being praised for its incredible power to stop viruses in their tracks. Allicin – a chemical compound found in garlic, is responsible for its potent anti-virus properties.
When combined with few other healthy ingredients, you get a soup that might even replace the flu shot.
Before telling you how to make this soup to defeat colds, flu, and even fight the norovirus, here are few words about the tremendous health benefits of garlic.
Why Is Garlic One of the Healthiest Foods on the Planet
One research suggests that the antimicrobial properties of garlic fight the Campylobacter jejuni bacteria – responsible for foodborne illnesses, 100 times more efficiently than popular antibiotics.
Garlic contains alliin, but when crushed, it becomes allicin – a compound which helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Moreover, it contains compounds which destroy many bacteria and viruses responsible for colds, flu, and earaches. Consuming this vegetable helps help treat diarrhea and other digestive issues. It might even help prevent the development of cancer.
According to the Cochrane Database, increasing the intake of garlic during winter can lower the duration of cold symptoms. Still, more scholarly research is needed to confirm this.
But, the pharmaceutical companies can’t profit from garlic in any way, so they don’t run huge, expensive trials about it.
Garlic as a Medicine throughout the History
Ancient Egyptians have used this bulb to treat 22 health conditions, and the people who built the pyramids consumed it to become stronger and healthier.
On the other hand, the ancient Greeks used it for all sorts of problems, from treating lung and blood disorders and infections to healing insect bites.
Roman soldiers and sailors had to eat garlic to improve their endurance.
In 1858, Louis Pasteur wrote that garlic killed bacteria. It’s been used for treating and speeding up the healing of wounds from the middle ages on. Also, people in Russia call it the Russian penicillin.
A few years ago, researchers found that garlic can increase the number of T-cells, or lymphocytes, in the bloodstream. This, in turn, boosts the immune system and fights viruses.
Furthermore, allicin helps kill infections, dilate the blood vessels, and enhance the blood circulation. This mproves the cardiovascular health and prevents high cholesterol.
Eating plenty of garlic can also beat gum disease and tooth decay. In fact, one old study proved that gargling with warm garlic water can kill the tooth decay and gum disease-causing germs.
How to Make Garlic Soup to Fight the Cold, Flu, and Norovirus
This soup is one of the best ways to use most of garlic’s therapeutic properties. Here’s how to make a garlic soup for four people that will keep you healthy through the winter cold and flu season:
- 26 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 26 peeled garlic cloves
- Half a teaspoon of cayenne powder
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups of organic vegetable broth
- 2 1/4 cups of onion slices
- Half a cup of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons of grass-fed organic butter
- Half a cup of coconut milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
- 4 lemon wedges
Take a small baking dish and add the unpeeled garlic cloves. Then, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt. Toss to coat and cover with foil. Bake the cloves in a preheated oven (350 °F) for 45 minutes, or until they become tender and golden brown.
Next, let them cool before squeezing them to remove the peel. Transfer them to another bowl.
Now, take a large saucepan and melt butter over medium heat. Add the thyme, cayenne powder, ginger, and onions. Cook for six minutes, or until the onions become translucent. Then, add the raw and roasted cloves and cook for three minutes.
Then, pour the vegetable broth in the saucepan, cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the cloves are very tender. Puree everything in a blender to get a creamy consistency.
Finally, put the pureed soup back into the saucepan together with the coconut milk and bring to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon wedges into the bowls and enjoy the soup.
You can even make it one day ahead if you like. In that case, refrigerate it and rewarm it over medium heat the following day.