A soup based on more than 50 cloves of garlic, onions, thyme and lemon will destroy almost any virus that enters its path including colds, flu and even norovirus.
This article will explain how to make the soup and why it works! As we sneeze and cough our way through these dark months of contagious nasties, garlic is being hailed for its powers to halt viruses in their tracks. It has gained its reputation as a virus buster thanks to one of its chemical constituents, allicin.
The amazing benefits of Allicin
A recent and significant finding from Washington State University shows that garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting disease causing bacteria commonly responsible for foodborne illness.
When the garlic is crushed, alliin becomes allicin. Research shows that allicin helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and also helps prevents blood clots. Garlic can also reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Compounds in this familiar bulb kill many organisms, including bacteria and viruses that cause earaches, flu and colds. Research indicates that garlic is also effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea. What’s more, further studies suggest that this common and familiar herb may help prevent the onset of cancers.
‘This chemical has been known for a long time for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal powers,’ says Helen Bond, a Derbyshire-based consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association.
‘Because of this, people assume it is going to boost their immune systems. Lots of people are simply mashing up garlic, mixing it with olive oil and spreading it on bread.
‘But how or whether it may actually work has still not been proven categorically.’
Indeed, scientists remain divided on garlic’s ability to combat colds and flu. Last March, a major investigation by the respected global research organisation, the Cochrane Database, found that increasing your garlic intake during winter can cut the duration of cold symptoms — from five-and-a-half days to four-and-a-half.
But the report, which amalgamated all previous scientific studies on garlic, said it could not draw solid conclusions because there is a lack of large-scale, authoritative research.
The problem is that pharmaceutical companies are not interested in running huge, expensive trials — as they would with promising new drug compounds — because there is nothing in garlic that they can patent, package and sell at a profit.
Garlic as Medicine
Nevertheless, garlic has a long and proud tradition as a medicine. The Ancient Egyptians recommended it for 22 ailments. In a papyrus dated 1500BC, the labourers who built the pyramids ate it to increase their stamina and keep them healthy.
The Ancient Greeks advocated garlic for everything from curing infections, and lung and blood disorders to healing insect bites and even treating leprosy.
The Romans fed it to soldiers and sailors to improve their endurance. Dioscorides, the personal physician to Emperor Nero, wrote a five-volume treatise extolling its virtues.
One of the most interesting of the recent findings is that garlic increases the overall antioxidant levels of the body. Scientifically known as Allium sativa, garlic has been famous throughout history for its ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Louis Pasteur noted in 1858 that bacteria died when they were doused with garlic. From the Middle Ages on, garlic has been used to treat wounds, being ground or sliced and applied directly to wounds to inhibit the spread of infection. The Russians refer to garlic as Russian penicillin.
More recently, researchers have unearthed evidence to show garlic may help us to stay hale and hearty in a number of ways.