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Garlic Honey Tonic

22 July

Garlic Photo Blogpost

It’s the bane of vampiric existence, and can make for an embarrassing first date. My grandma, who is 84 and the daughter of Italian immigrants, still remembers being called a “stinking garlic eater” in her schoolhouse.

Garlic. It leaves an impression.

But it’s exactly the properties that make it stick to your fingers when you’re trying to mince it, and ooze from your pores the next day that make it your best friend in the quest to stay healthy.

Those sticky oils are full of sulfur compounds and flavonoids, which give garlic its anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant properties.

Some studies also show that garlic can stop the liver from producing LDL {the “bad” cholesterol}, and help make the blood flow cleaner and smoother – hence its fame for blood pressure and heart disease help.

Garlic is a source of the mineral selenium, and may help our bodies absorb iron.

But the thing we love most about garlic is its antibacterial, anti-fungal & antiviral properties.

It stimulates the immune system to help detoxify the body and protect it against infection. And its antimicrobial properties mean it also aids in the treatment of colds and flu by creating an environment that the germs can’t live and thrive in. Which means you can eat it to keep yourself healthy AND use it to make yourself better when you are sick.

Garlic is an immune superhero! Plus, it makes food taste GOOD!

One of the reasons we think it sucks worse to be sick in the summer is that you don’t want to eat the stuff you know will help you feel better when it’s 95 degrees and humid outside. Just holding a mug of steaming broth while wearing shorts feels weird and wrong.

Once again, garlic comes to the rescue.

Here are 3 ways we incorporate garlic into our daily, sickness-fighting lives:

1. According to herbalist Richo Cech, its raw properties are most helpful in fighting bacterial infection, which makes it perfect to add a few chopped cloves to your next salad dressing. If you’re sensitive to raw garlic’s spiciness, try grating it with a microplane; this releases more oils, but also ensures that you won’t get a big chunk all at once. Garlic is also a great addition to marinades.

2. Try it minced and added to the skillet of your 3-Minute Collards {or any green you’ve got in the skillet} at the very end – it will warm up, and the spicy kick will chill out a teeny bit, but it won’t cook, which leaves you with a nice pungent bite.

IMG_25853. In our house, swimmer’s ear, and the threat of ear infection, hang in the air like daily afternoon thunderheads. Whenever my husband or daughter feel funny in their ears, we put a bit of garlic oil on a Q-Tip and swab away. When there’s serious pain, we stick a garlic clove in the ear and lay it down on a hot water bottle {a heating pad on low will work too}.

{Super Resourceful Tip of the Day: If you don’t “double-dip” your Q-Tips, you can use the oil in a skillet or add it to salad dressing, too.}

To make garlic oil
, coarsely chop a big clove of garlic and add it to a few Tablespoons of coconut or olive oil {we use coconut oil since it’s summer and it’s constantly in a melted state}.   Let it sit for at least a few hours, but a few weeks will make it stronger, then strain out the garlic, and use.

You know we always say that eating healthy is delicious. But, thanks to garlic, staying healthy can be delicious too! Which is why we’re sharing herbalist Kathryn Waple’s recipe for Garlic Honey Tonic below; it makes a great salad topping, a splash of extra flavor to a stir-fry, or an easy way to gulp down some of garlic’s anti-bacterial properties.

And if you can’t wait 6 weeks for the Garlic Honey Tonic to be ready, we’ve got some 1 and 2 ounce bottles for sale at GRUB to tide you over. You can pick some up when you come to DIY: Salad Dressings and Marinades this Thursday!

Don’t forget to share your favorite way to use garlic below in the Comments – it might be the most humble superhero in the world!


Garlic Honey Tonic (courtesy of Kathryn Waple & Red Moon Herbs)

3-5 heads organic garlic
3/4 cup raw honey
2 cups apple cider vinegar

1. Combine honey and apple cider vinegar in a quart Mason jar.
2. Crush each clove of garlic, but leave the skin as this helps prevent clumping during the brewing process, and add the garlic to the vinegar honey mixture.
3. Leave about 1” between the top of the vinegar level and the top of the jar, and mix with a wooden spoon.
4. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap, screw lid on, and let sit in a dark spot for 2- 6 weeks.
5. Using cheesecloth or a fine strainer, strain the heads of garlic from the honey vinegar mixture, put in a sealable bottle, and consume freely as is or as an addition to foods.

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Liz Flint-Somerville, Nutritional Consultant

Liz was a partner in Grub for 3 amazing years and helped author many of our most beloved recipes and posts. She is now dedicating her time to caring for her family, writing poetry, and continuing to cook delicious Real Foods.

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8 Responses to “Garlic Honey Tonic”

  1. Lania November 15, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Ooh thanks for sharing, I’m going to make this after I pick up some more heads of garlic at the store. Do I need to refrigerate it after it steeps for 6 weeks?

    • Liz Flint-Somerville November 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      Yes, Lania, keep in the fridge. Enjoy!

      • Aunt Laurie March 30, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

        I guess I’m going to need way more quart jars!!! : ) And an addition refrigerator. Anyone reading this who has not tried Water Kefir or Infused Ginger, I strongly recommend it! I have more energy than I have had in a while (I have Lupus) and my belly feels so much better. I was hesitant at first about the Kefir but I love the taste and knowing it is so good for me is an added bonus. Feeling better is such a blessing as Liz and Ryanna know, so don’t put it off another minute! You will only feel better!

        • Liz Flint-Somerville March 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

          See? You don’t just have to take our words for it! Gut healing is sweeping the nation! Thank you, Laurie – you are rocking!

  2. Joanne September 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    how long will it take for this tonic to work?

    • Liz Flint-Somerville, Nutritional Consultant September 8, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Joanne! Great question!

      A tonic is something you take regularly as preventative medicine; this one in particular will help to strengthen your immune system so you can fight off germs better, or reduce your sick time when you do get a bug. You can take a lot of it when you are sick to help speed up the healing process, but how long it takes depends on your body, the particular sickness and what else you’re doing for self-care {ie: resting, hydrating, eating well}.


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