Garlic Cold Remedies

Garlic is considered by many to be a "superfood" and contains powerful antioxidants to help your body ward off infection and disease. A member of the allium family, the garlic bulb is used in cooking to add flavor to meats, vegetables, sauces and dips. Garlic is also used as a remedy for the common cold and flu.

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Garlic With Honey

Pair these two natural antibiotics to relieve your cold symptoms. There are several methods of delivery for this combination. The simplest is to chop a clove of garlic and put it on a spoon. Add a little honey just on top of the garlic and swallow the two together. Chopping the garlic releases the allicin within; this is a compound that acts as an antibiotic. The honey helps the garlic go down and also acts as an antibacterial agent.

Garlic in Tea

Honey and lemon in a cup of tea can relieve your cold symptoms, but adding a little garlic will boost this remedy’s effectiveness. The flavor of steeped garlic, however, may be too strong for young children and adults who are sensitive to powerful aromas. For the tea to be most effective, first breathe in the steam from the hot tea. The pungent aroma of steeped garlic may be overwhelming for some. But if you can get past that, this makes for a strong brew to fight off your cold.

Garlic Rub

Though there are variations on the delivery of this remedy, it comes down to rubbing garlic on your feet. Crush and mince several cloves of garlic and put them in a bowl. Add just enough olive oil to cover and let it stand for 30 minutes. Rub the mixture onto the bottom of your feet and then put on a pair of socks. Go to bed for the night. This application is best used when you don’t need to go out in public, as the odor is rather heady. Garlic “gets under your skin," so through the night the garlic’s antibiotic properties have made their way through your body and you should wake with clear lungs and nasal passages. You will, however, have very bad morning breath.

Garlic Soup

The standard garlic soup, in which you would use several heads of roasted garlic tastes wonderful, and is a good use of garlic as a preventative. But for treating a cold, the garlic should not be roasted, as this lessens its impact as an antibacterial agent. Instead, make a garlic soup using chicken or vegetable broth, chopped garlic and a little ginger or hot peppers. Bring 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to a boil. Chop two to three cloves of garlic and drop them into the broth and reduce the heat to simmer. Grate 1 tsp. of ginger and add to the broth. Let it for 15 minutes and remove from the heat. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then sip the soup slowly. It doesn’t taste very good, but it will clear your head.


Garlic is an herb and as such may interact negatively with medications or supplements you take on a daily basis. Garlic does thin the blood, so if you take blood thinners to treat hypertension or cardiovascular disease, swallowing raw garlic or rubbing it on your feet may treat your cold, but it could exasperate other, more serious conditions. You should also take garlic in moderation, both as a preventative and as a remedy. Try any of these remedies when your cold first comes on, but don’t continue to treat your cold with several doses of raw garlic and honey. This may result in intestinal discomfort or even damage to your intestinal lining.


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