| Article Summary:
Ward Off Colds With This Common Ingredient Found In Your Spice Rack
With cold and flu season still underway, more and more people are starting to look at natural approaches to fighting off colds. Supplementing your diet with Echinacea is one common method for helping prevent colds, while other people feel that keeping a high intake of vitamin C rich foods is a great method for keeping their immune system strong.
Now, there is a new method of treating colds that many individuals are starting to make note of. This method is garlic supplementation.
Studies On Garlic Supplementation
studies have suggested other health benefits of taking
garlic such as a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease as well as enhanced memory abilities, causing this herb to become a mainstay in most households. Add to the fact that it adds a great flavor to many of your favorite dishes, and you really can't go wrong (although you may want to stock up on the breath mints).
It's been demonstrated that individuals who are taking a daily garlic supplement typically will face a decreased number of colds during the cold season compared with those who don't. For example, in one such study, researchers had one hundred and forty six volunteers who were randomly assigned to a treatment group or a placebo control group.
The test group then received an allicin-containing garlic supplement over the course of a 12 week period (between the months of November and December).
While the study was conducted, the researchers used a five point scale to assess the health demonstrated by the subjects while measuring any common cold infections or symptoms that were present during the 12 week period.
From the results, it was seen that the treatment group had a significantly decreased number of common colds compare with the placebo group and the placebo group also was much more challenged virally, showing symptoms of colds that were experienced for a longer period of time.
Of the subjects in the treatment group who did happen to become infected with the common cold virus, they also showed better recovery rates.
This is primarily due to the allicin found in garlic, which is an active ingredient that is produced by the garlic plant. Therefore, when you are looking for a garlic supplement to take for cold-fighting purposes, you will want to be sure this active ingredient is included.
Individuals who do choose to supplement with this typically experience a 50% reduction in frequency of catching this prevalent infection, which has more than 200 known variations.
In addition to cold prevention, taking garlic on a daily basis also helps to fight MRSA infections, which is a dermatological staph infection that often occurs in patients who are currently in a health care setting. This is a very important finding because of the fact that the MRSA virus is becoming more and more resistant to antibiotic treatments, making it a hard illness to treat if caught.
Steps For Using Garlic To Prevent Colds
garlic effectively to help prevent colds, here are some things you must keep in mind.
- First, the garlic should be taken immediately when you first notice the symptoms are present. Catching it right off the bat will be critical for the garlic to exert its full effects. You can do so by either taking a garlic supplement, or drinking a garlic tea, which will also help to ease any throat pain you're currently experiencing.
- For cold prevention, aim to take in 1-2 whole cloves of garlic each day. These can easily be added in to your meals throughout the day, or taken at once if you're okay with a more potent punch.
- If you are seeing signs of a cold, you may want to increase that dosage beyond the 1-2 whole cloves for extra protection. It seems as though these high doses of garlic when symptoms are spotted can really go a long way to decreasing the severity or duration of the cold.
If you would prefer to take your garlic in tea form, then to prepare this you need to first chop one clove of garlic as finely as possible. This will help to bring out the allicin so that it can get into the cells of the body easier and start exerting its effects.
| Why Is Allicin So Important?
This compound exhibits antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Allicin is garlic's defense mechanism against attacks by pests.
After that, add the chopped garlic to boiling water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Most people find that allowing the tea to cool slightly, then reheating it until it's warm will help bring out the best taste.
Ideally, you would repeat this process daily during the colder winter months for both the treatment of a cold, as well as to help prevent yourself from suffering in the first place.
So, rather than going to the drugstore to stock up on boxes of cold pills, consider this natural treatment instead. Along with helping to treat your common cold, you'll also experience many other positive side effects as mentioned earlier.
- Haleem, DJ. Et al. (2008) Repeated administration of fresh garlic increases memory retention in rats. J Med Food. Dec;11(4):675-9.
- Gardner, CD. Et al. (2003). Soy, garlic, and ginko biloba: their potential role in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment. Curr Atheroscler Rep. Nov;5(6):468-75.
- Josling, P. (2001). Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. July-Aug;18(4):189-93.