It’s that time of year again when everyone seems to be coughing and spluttering, especially when you’re stuck on a packed train in peak-hour. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, before reaching for over-the-counter medicines or antibiotics, have a go at making this immune-enhancing, antimicrobial syrup that tastes a whole lot better than it sounds.
Garlic oxymel is an old home remedy and is one of my go-to elixirs when I feel the dreaded lurgy starting to lurk. It’s easy to make, using only four or five ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen. Garlic has been used for more than 5000 years as a remedy for respiratory infections, skin conditions and parasitic infections. During World War Two it was used as a topical antiseptic treatment for soldiers’ wounds. More recently, studies have confirmed garlic’s uses as an antimicrobial, immune-enhancing, anticancer, hypolipidemic and antihypertensive medicinal food.
Garlic is most effective when it is raw and fresh. If garlic is stored or heated for too long, the antimicrobial activity is greatly reduced, so theoretically you’ll benefit most from chomping on a bunch of whole raw cloves every morning. For those of us who would prefer to avoid repelling everyone we know with our revolting garlic breath, having a few spoonfuls of garlic oxymel every day is the next best thing.