It's that time of year again! I call it sniffle season. People are sneezing and coughing left and right and all you can do is hold your breath (and hope it's not covid 😬). But I do have to brag a little bit here, because I can't remember the last time I had more than the sniffles! Maybe it's thanks to a strong immune system, or maybe it's... my magic tea? Either way, my magic tea is filled with ingredients that contribute to the strength of the immune system. So as soon as I start to feel the slightest tickle in the back of my throat or my body fighting something (I have developed a highly keen awareness of this), or even if I am around people who might be sick, I brew up this warm elixir immediately, and nip it right in the bud. Whatever it was getting ready to attack me gets stopped in its tracks and never turns into a full-blown cold, sore throat, or anything else for that matter. And it usually only takes about two days to feel totally back to normal. For sickness prevention, I swear by this (and my DoTerra OnGuard, but that's another story).
Okay, okay, I'll get to the point. What's actually in this magical mystery tea, you must be wondering? Brace yourself because you might cringe at the thought of drinking it... but the main and most important ingredient is: garlic. When my (health-nut) brother first introduced me to garlic tea, I too could not imagine myself enjoying slowly sipping on a warm mug of it like I do other teas. Don't get me wrong - I am a huge fan of garlic in food (I even enjoyed the garlic ice cream at the Gilroy Garlic festival!), but drinking it just sounded like something I wanted to get over with as fast as possible. Not to mention the body odor that I was worried would follow. But over time, and with the ingredients I added to improve the taste, I have come to actually enjoy the garlic flavor (or at least hardly notice it).
For centuries and across continents and empires, garlic has inspired belief in its ability to heal. In fact, it is one of the earliest documented examples of plants being used to treat disease or maintain health. And now, some of those ancient health benefits are supported by current research (the jury is still out on its ability to enhance physical strength as the Greeks and many other cultures believed, however). Garlic is most widely known for its antimicrobial properties, which makes it antibacterial, antiviral, and antibiotic. It is also a diuretic which can help with poor digestion, an aphrodisiac (stimulates sexual desire), antipyretic (reduces fever), hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anti-cancerous, antioxidative, and prophylactic (prevents illness). Most of these health benefits are caused by sulfur compounds that form when raw garlic is crushed, chopped, or chewed. Additionally, garlic is low in calories, while being rich in vitamins and nutrients. It is worth noting that in Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, garlic is not recommended as a common dietary item due to it's supposed energetic effects, being Rajastic (disrupting sleep, draining energy, and producing excessive heat). However, it is recognized as a medicine, and more specifically as a blood purifier, in this ancient Indian philosophy as well.
It is notable that many cultures who never came into contact with one another all came to the same conclusions about the powers of garlic. No wonder why European folklore used it to keep the vampires away. This is yet another reminder of the value held in some aspects of ancient wisdom and the respect and attention it deserves. Get why I call this tea "magic" now? So go for it, enjoy a little extra garlic in your food this season as well!
And finally, what you've all been waiting for.... the sweet and simple elixir that will save you this cold season and for the rest of your life. Not kidding, we drink pots at a time of this in my household. I give you... my Magic Tea recipe: Aka Garlic water, but make it Yum.
Disclaimer: Garlic consumption, especially in high doses or in garlic supplements, may interfere with some medications. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist before consuming garlic tea if you are taking any medications.
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