Using Garlic for Flu Prevention

By on April 29, 2009
garlic for flu prevention

Can you use Garlic for Flu Prevention? With the Swine Flu now looming as a Pandemic, there is lots of information and misinformation about what to do about the flu. How to prevent it and how to limit its effects if you DO get the flu should be primary concern for everyone right now. While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US is preaching avoidance of those who are sick, and handwashing, they Completely Ignore means of strengthening the immune system as a means of prevention. While avoidance and handwashing are powerful tools to keep from getting the flu- if the people that DO HAVE the flu knew who to avoid- don’t you think that they would have? Also, be sure to read the post on the Is it Influenza or the Flu?  to know the difference between the respiratory flu and a ‘stomach flu’. Both of these are called ‘the flu’ but they are entirely different things.

It’s not always obvious who has the flu, and people may be able to spread the flu BEFORE they have any symptoms, so if you have to go to work or school and shop for groceries, then who do you avoid- EVERYONE? We live in a society- especially right now in this difficult economy – where it is simply not practical to stay home from work. And right now, a large part of the US economy is driven by health care. So, the millions who actually work directly in the health care industry AND those who actually work with patients are not going to just be able to stay home. They will also have increased susceptibility to contracting the flu and increased ability to TRANSMIT the flu as well.

So, the rational and practical thing to do is to make your immune system as strong as possible right now AND start to take specific natural immune boosting and antiviral supplements that will improve your chances of fighting off the flu if your ARE exposed to it. So, this is the first in a series of blog posts that will tell you more about antiviral and immune boosting supplements, like Selenium and Influenza, that may help you to ward off the flu and/or decrease the severity of your illness if you DO happen to get the flu. There is a great article on Strengthening the Immune System on the Ora Media website. The owner, Tom only talks about dental health on his site, but amazingly, most of the techniques that Tom talks about to prevent and treat Periodontal Disease and cavities are EXACTLY the same things that you would do to help prevent the flu! And garlic for flu is one of those things.


Garlic for Flu Prevention

The first supplement that I will discuss with you today is Garlic for flu. Garlic, also known by its botanical name of Allium sativum is a very old and very well known antiviral, antibacterial and immune system modulator. Garlic contains a wide variety of ingredients that may contribute to its effects. Among them are: Selenium, sulphur, germanium and magnesium. Many of these particular compounds are sorely missing in the typical westerners diet and each of these compounds, individually, have been widely studied for their beneficial effects. But put together, they produce an amazing product whose properties are matched no where else.


How to Take Garlic for Flu and why it works

One account of health care workers in Japan during a 1970’s flu epidemic showed that many who did not get the flu were taking garlic. The ‘traditional’ way that they were taking it is illustrated below:

This garlic preparation [of minced garlic and honey] is chewed and retained in the oral cavity as long as possible for the liberated volatile compounds to penetrate and be absorbed by the tissues of the mouth, nasopharynx, and sinuses

This preparation is in agreement with a study done of 125 traditional healers in which 94% stated that the best way to use garlic medicinally is to mince it and eat it raw- mixing in butter or honey was acceptable. But only 20% used it cooked or steeped, while still agreeing that it negatively affected it’s medicinal value.

Garlic MAY help to coat the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose when taken this way, effecting a so called antiviral barrier that could potentially kill the flu virus when and if it were to come into contact with the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose- the most likely way to contract the flu.Taken this way, garlic may also have the potent effect of keeping  people far enough away from you to keep you from being able to inhale their exhaled viruses!! While garlic is DIRECTLY an antiviral and antibacterial on contact, as shown in many studies, garlic is ALSO an immune system booster in its own right. Many studies show that it can significantly boost the effects of the immune system when taken orally. One study on AIDS patients who had a decrease in the level of their ‘Natural Killer Cells’, a potent immune system cell, before treatment- showed EVERY PATIENT to have NORMAL levels after 12 weeks of taking garlic for flu orally!

Aside from the antiviral and immunomodulating effects of garlic for flu, another reason that it is potent protection from diseases is its detoxification abilities. Garlic has sulphur containing amino acids which act of the liver to help with detoxification. In fact, it is such a potent detoxifier that studies show it has good effects on getting rid of lead and cadmium! This effect of garlic could generally produce an effect of making the body work less and allowing it to heal rather than to detoxify. All of these reasons put together make garlic a powerful protector against possible infections and possibly even the flu. Garlic for flu prevention, therefore, appears to be a safe and effective antiviral, immune system modulator and detoxifier that you could consider adding to your arsenal of herbal preparations for protection from the flu and other illnesses this winter.


  • Money by the Mouthful– If you take care of your teeth, then you automatically boost your immune system. Learn what dentists simply DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW!
  • Vitamin D Supplements– If I could only choose ONE supplement to get me through flu season, it would be Vitamin D. Vitamin D is probably one of the BEST immune system stimulants that there is. Seriously, if you are not taking Vitamin D, then you are setting yourself up for getting the flu. You heard it here first, and don’t blame me if you get the flu and you are not on Vitamin D!

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.

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