I recently met a garlic farmer who introduced me to a wonderful chemical in garlic called “allicin.” He explained how there were two chemicals in the garlic, “allinase” and “alliin” which remain separated within each garlic clove. They are there to protect the garlic from pathogens in the soil. When the garlic is attacked by microbial pathogens these two chemicals are mixed, which creates allicin.
I was told that allicin was anti-bacterial, and could help you fight off a cold or illness just as it was getting started. Shortly after meeting this farmer, I began to get a cold. I decided to try his technique.
It goes as follows:
When you think you’re getting sick, crush a clove of raw garlic. Leave it for 10 minutes for the chemical reaction of allinase and alliin to reach its peak. Take the garlic raw (I ate it on a cracker, which helped to shield my tongue from its spiciness!) He warned that I should take it promptly after the 10 minute mark, as the allicin has a half-life (meaning it becomes less potent as time passes).
So, with nothing to lose and a larder full of garlic, I took the remedy. I had 3 days of not feeling quite myself. On the second day, I felt the worst; a bit achy with a sore throat, so I took two doses. I didn’t get the cold! The children all have it, and Rob’s been fighting it too. His solution was to drink kraut juice. The jury is out as to whether his remedy was as effective, but I like to think the garlic pulled ahead! As the one who wakes several times a night to feed the baby, I consider it a resounding success to be the healthiest one of our bunch!
I looked up allicin online to see if there were other benefits to taking it. Research shows it to be lipid-lowering, good for anti-blood coagulation, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, and an antioxidant in addition to its anti-microbial effects!
Nature is beautiful.