Garlic tea is a herbal tonic made from lemon, honey, and garlic. The tea, served hot is a popular remedy for cold symptoms, such as congestion and cough.
Several medicinal uses of garlic are supported by scientific research, but not all garlic tea benefits have been proven in human studies.
Garlic at a glance
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial plant originally from Central Asia. The plant produces a bulb that is used in cooking and in health treatments around the world.
Historians believe that Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Japanese, and Native Americans used garlic for dietary and medicinal purposes throughout history. Garlic is low in calories and high in nutrients, containing vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, manganese and selenium. It contains a compound known as allicin, which has been proved to prevent blood clotting, lower cholesterol levels, and found to have antibacterial properties. This very spice is a natural immunity booster that helps the body fight infections. From consuming raw garlic cloves to adding them for flavors, every application of this spice comes with a host of health benefits. And, sipping a cup of garlic tea very morning is known to work wonders on your body.
Garlic powder, garlic oil, and garlic supplements are readily available. Garlic supplements can either be made from garlic oil or from fresh, dried, or aged garlic. According to Penn State Medical Center, each may have a different effect on the body.
Garlic tea can be made with a variety of different ingredients even though garlic, lemon, and honey are the most common combination. Unless you combine garlic tea with another type of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant, garlic tea does not contain caffeine.
How to make garlic tea
You might find garlic tea bags online or in the health food store. However, garlic tea can easily made at home with simple ingredients that you will find at any market.
To make garlic tea, you will need 3-4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup honey.
Fill a saucepan with three cups of water. Add garlic cloves that have been peeled and cut in half. Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and honey. Take out the garlic and serve warm or store to reheat for later.
There are variations to this garlic tea recipe. For example, some people add ginger to the tea for added flavor and increased health benefits. Also, the ginger reduces the strong garlic odor.
Health benefits of garlic tea
Laboratory studies have shown that raw garlic can kill bacteria, reduce blood lipid levels, slow blood clotting, and potentially reduce blood pressure.
Some studies have also shown that garlic may be able to stimulate the immune system and decrease tumor growth in some cancers.
In lab studies, raw garlic has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal qualities. It is important to remember that drinking garlic tea may not provide the same benefits as consuming raw garlic.
Here are some benefits of consuming garlic tea:
Keeps Heart Healthy: LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) is a bad cholesterol and is known to spell doom for the heart as it triggers Arteriosclerosis. Daily consumption of garlic tea can help lower down the LDL levels significantly, keeping the heart healthy and disease free.
Boosts Immunity: Garlic, scientific name Allium sativum, contains the active compound Allicin. Allicin comes packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties and is known to strengthen the immune system significantly. Thus, a cup of garlic tea can help shield the body from various harmful infections and pathogens.
Aids weight loss: Garlic tea stimulates the metabolism, which can increase passive fat burning and aid weight loss efforts, while also partially suppressing the appetite.
Improves Respiratory System: If cold, cough, chest or sinus congestion and related complications are giving you sleepless night, a cup of garlic tea is all that you need to keep all these problems at bay.
Slows Down The Skin-aging Process: Skin aging can be quite frustrating. But not anymore. Laden with antioxidants, vitamin A, C, B1, and B2, garlic tea protects the skin from the oxidative damage triggered by the free radicals, thereby slowing down the skin-aging process considerably.
Anti-Cancer Properties: Research suggests that garlic has anti-carcinogenic properties. Thus, drinking a cup of garlic tea early in the morning (on empty stomach) can work wonders to prevent different types of cancer.
Keeps Your Liver Healthy: Drink a cup of garlic tea daily and your liver will thank you for long. Garlic contains Allicin and Selenium, both of which play a pivotal role in keeping the liver healthy.
Regulates Blood Pressure: Many people with a high blood pressure have benefited immensely from drinking garlic tea.
Side effects of garlic tea
Garlic is probably safe for most people in typical amounts. Common side effects of consuming garlic include bad breath and body odour, heartburn, and upset stomach. It is possible to be allergic to garlic and people with a garlic allergy will experience more severe symptoms.
Health practitioners advise that taking garlic may increase your risk of bleeding. If you take a blood thinner such as warfarin or if you will be undergoing surgery, discuss garlic supplements, garlic or garlic tea with your healthcare provider before including it in your diet. Also, garlic has been found to interfere with the effectiveness of some drugs that are used to used to treat HIV infection.