My two pantry apothecary essentials for winter are honey fermented garlic and elderberry syrup. Garlic gets to work on microbial (including bacterial) infections while elderberry works against the cold and flu virus.
Stock up on fresh local garlic when you can. It will be readily available and reasonably priced at your farmer’s market when in abundance. Garlic is also super easy to grow either in a small plot in the garden or a large open pot.
Garlic deserves its massive reputation in traditional systems of medicine all over the world. Science backs its health effects:
- Prevention and Treatment of Infections and Enhancing Immune Function – to treat many common infections: bacterial, fungal and viral. Also useful to prevent the common cold.
- Cardiovascular Tonic – for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Cancer Prevention – compounds in garlic are linked to cancer prevention, enhancing the immune system function.
- Antidiabetic – garlic aids in decreasing blood insulin and increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Liver Tonic – compounds in garlic are linked to protecting the structure and function of the liver.
Here are two recipes you can use to get some raw garlic into your diet:
Honey Fermented Garlic
Garlic Cloves, peeled
Local Raw Honey
This can be a very fizzy ferment. If you have a fermentation lock use it here. Otherwise, use a regular jar and prepare to burp it once or twice a day. Keep it on the kitchen sink, out of direct sunlight so you remember.
- Use a sterile jar, fill 1/2 – 2/3 full with raw garlic cloves.
- Pour honey over the top so that the jar is 3/4 full. Stir the cloves through the honey, make sure they are thoroughly coated. If your honey is too crystallised to mix with the cloves, stand the honey container in a bowl of warm water until it softens enough to use – don’t worry if it is thick, it will liquefy very quickly as the ferment ramps up.
- Place the jar on a plate to catch any overflow, out of direct sunlight.
- You will need to stir and burp your ferment twice a day until the active fermentation period lessens, after which you can do this once a day. Stir the ferment with a clean stainless steel spoon and use another one to strip excess honey from the first spoon back into the jar.
- After 3 – 4 weeks, your cloves will be golden brown and the active fermentation period will be over.
- Store the jar in the fridge or a cool dark place for up to a year ours never lasts that long ;-)
You can take the honey and the cloves to prevent and treat bacterial infections, especially those related to upper respiratory tract infections. Swish the honey up around the opening where your nose drains into the back of your mouth. Swishing like this can work a treat when you have a sinus/nasal infection. Chewing on the fermented cloves is also great for bacterial infection of your gums/mouth.
You can take up to 3 – 4 teaspoons of honey and 3 – 4 cloves a day when you have an acute infection. 1 – 2 cloves a day and a teaspoon of honey is also good general health tonic and preventative.
Many medications can interact with medicinal quantities of garlic. Check with your healthcare practitioner before taking larger doses. Children can have half these doses. Infants under three years of age should only be administered these preparations under the supervision of a health professional. Children under 1 year should not be given this preparation.
Don’t only think of this gorgeous ferment as medicinal; you can add it to all variety of foods. The honey portion can be drizzled over baked carrots and pumpkin, chicken and lamb. The cloves are great chopped into salad dressings, hummus and marinades
Honey garlic mash is fast and easy. You can take it to prevent and treat bacterial infections, especially those related to bacterial upper respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis.
Honey Garlic Mash
If you are not a super fermenter/super organised person and do not have a ready stash of fermented garlic in your pantry, never fear … garlic mash is here!!
6 cloves of raw garlic, peeled and finely grated/mashed
1/4 cup medicinal (jellybush, Manuka etc …) or local raw honey
- Mix garlic with honey and store in a jar in your fridge until used up or for up to two weeks.
You can take the honey garlic mash to prevent and treat bacterial infections, especially those related to upper respiratory tract infections. Swish the honey up around where your nose drains into the back of your mouth. This can work well for sinus/nasal infections. You can also swish it around your mouth for bacterial infections of the gums or mouth.
You can take up to 3 – 4 teaspoons of honey when you have an acute infection. A teaspoon of honey is also good general health/immune/cardiovascular tonic and preventative.
Many medications can interact with medicinal quantities of garlic. Check with your healthcare practitioner before taking larger doses. Halve these doses for children three years and up. Only give children under three these preparations under the supervision of a health professional, and under one year, not at all.
The fresh garlic in this preparation can be quite spicy, so make sure you do not take it on an empty stomach. If you find it burns a little, you can take some cow or coconut milk to relieve the sensation.
Enjoy your honey Fermented garlic and honey garlic mash. You will also have no fear of infecting anyone else once they have a whiff of your breath!
Do you have any favourite tricks for secreting raw garlic into your day?
Hi Sarah. I have heard of fermenting garlic in honey before, but never actually tried. Thanks for sharing this info. Really interesting. Glad to connect on Blog with Pip.
Hello fellow Pipster! If you love the funky fermented taste and you love garlic – you will love it! Ohhhh, I am going over to yours now to see what is happening x
This sounds incredible! I’m a garlic fiend. Seriously, you’ll find me sniffing my fingers long after I’ve chopped some up. Great to know more about the medicinal benefits too! Yum.
You will love it! I am the worst offender for garlic breath. Love me, love my garlic breath I say!!
Beautiful recipes! Thanks for posting them in such clear and authentic voice :)
Thank you Niina. I hope all that garlicky goodness served you well :)