Using Raw Garlic to Build Immunity

Cold and flu season are suddenly upon us, but we’re well equipped to make it through thanks to a favorite traditional remedy: eating raw garlic.

This post is part of an ongoing content swap with The Chalkboard Mag.

A few things are clear. Raw garlic can be effective at fighting off a cold. And, it is for this very reason, that people have concocted some very clever ways to make eating it as pleasant as possible. 

Crushing fresh garlic – by chopping or by chewing – causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial present only shortly after garlic is crushed and before it is heated. Eating fresh garlic is purported to knock out that terrible feeling associated with the onset of a cold or flu. Some experts even recommend eating garlic every 3 to 4 hours until your bug is entirely knocked out.

TCM readers took to the comments section of a previously published garlic story to share their tricks:


I made special “immunity” honey with raw honey, lemon slices, fresh ginger, and lots of garlic. Put it in your tea or your oatmeal!

I love a clove of garlic, sliced very thin, and placed between two apple slices! Works like a charm.

Chop it small enough to swallow it and take it like a tablet with water. A small clove can just be crushed a little, then swallow it down. Your breath is not affected, and the garlic still does its thing.

I found the best way to take the garlic is finely chopped in a spoonful of applesauce. You can’t taste it at all this way and I never get garlic breath!

I put the garlic inside a date. I was once on tour as a sound engineer and was so sick I couldn’t walk. I ate a couple cloves of garlic and within minutes was good to go. 

I crush up 3 cloves and mix with avocado (zinc). It helps mask the taste but gets the garlic right into your system… with the added benefits of avocado!

I cut a clove in half and put one half in each cheek. I suck on em for a few minutes then crush the halves between my molars and let the juices drip to the back of my throat. 

I used to eat a clove or three at the first sign of a cold. Chopped or mashed into a paste (a little salt helps). Let it sit for a few minutes, then spread on bread.

My method involves cutting up two garlic cloves (finely chopped), leaving them 15-20 minutes to let the allicin release — this is a compound found in garlic that is released once it has been chopped or crushed. I then put the chopped garlic into a small glass with vitamin C powder and fill with a little water. Then drink like it’s a shot!

Cut the garlic. Let it soak in water for 10 minutes and then add hot water, lemon and honey. Good tea.

I can attest to cloves of garlic with honey/olive oil working well. I also take it with some pieces of ginger and ground cinnamon, as well. The anti-inflammatory properties have a wonderful effect.

I make gluten-free toast, buttered and topped with minced fresh garlic. The butter helps soften the bite of the garlic. 

I mix garlic with kale, shallots and dried cranberries (along with a homemade dressing of white vinegar, olive oil and a dash of orange juice). I eat it every time I get a cold or sinus infection, and I feel better afterward! 

Stuffed garlic clove in large olives. Love them. Two per day keeps the doctor away. Double up while traveling.

I prefer to chew a clove slowly – keeping it in my cheek and gently chomping until it’s all gone. Yes, it’s pretty hot, but no more unpleasant than a sore throat or nasty chest bug.


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Fun tips! I’d stick to only eating raw garlic at night if I knew I didn’t have to go out the next day though haha! ❤️✨

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog