Mother Earth's Medicine Cabinet: The Healing Power of Garlic & Honey

Garlic and honey are both individually renowned for their medicinal properties, a few of which include antibacterial components as well as components that increase health. Garlic and honey are both very well-known for being great ancient medicines  Ancient cultures and traditions have used both garlic and honey as staples to holistic healing. Turns out, they can be even more powerful together. When combined, garlic and honey can pack some serious healing power into even just a little spoonful. This article will provide an overview of the healing properties of each, as well as some recipes for common ailments.

Honey has been documented in the world's oldest medical literature, and as far back as ancient times. Honey and garlic have both been used by people from every corner of the world. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Native Americans, and the list goes on. Both honey and garlic are still used today and are even incorporated into traditional medicine. Doctors will even tell you they’re good for you.

So what's so great about honey? Honey has many medicinal properties and provides many benefits. Here are just a few of the qualities and properties honey is known for:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Nutritional Benefits
  • Preservation Properties
  • Immunomodulatory

According to several scientific studies, the antimicrobial activity in some honey is due to the enzymatic production of Hydrogen Peroxide – sound familiar? That's right --  putting honey on a cut or scrape has the same effect as using the brown bottle of peroxide, without the bubbles of course.

The viscosity (thick and stickiness) of the honey provides a nice protective layer, creating a barrier that prevents infection. Simply spread a thin layer over a scrape or cut and cover with gauze or a bandage. The honey also helps the bandage stick better and the amount of moisture in the honey itself helps the healing process speed up.

Honey is nature's cough medicine. The anti-inflammatory properties cause honey to soothe coughs, as well as reduce allergy symptoms and sinus swelling. Add some raw crushed garlic to the mix and you have a cough & cold suppressant. Here are some other ways honey can be used:

It is also a really good natural energy booster.

Now let's discuss garlic. Garlic can be thought of as nature’s penicillin. At the end of this article, you will find a couple of recipes so you can make your own medicine using the ancient duo of honey & garlic. Garlic has the following healing propeties, uses, and benefits:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-fungal
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Immune Booster
  • Contains cancer-fighting properties
  • Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
  • Regulates High & Low Blood Pressure
  • Improves Asthma
  • Fights Cold & Flu

Garlic also contains vitamins and minerals such as zinc, selenium, and vitamin C.

Studies show that it is the allicin found within the garlic that is responsible for the antioxidants provided. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that sneak in and make you sick and wear down your immune system. Allicin is dubbed one of the most potent antioxidants found in foods. Allicin is also where garlic's strong unmistakable scent comes from. In order to release and activate the allicin, the garlic must be crushed, releasing the oils.

Making Medicine

1. Honey Infused Garlic

4 Ounce Glass Jar

Head Of Garlic

Raw Honey

A butcher knife

Peel the garlic. Using the flat side of the knife crush the garlic, releasing the allicin. Scoop your crushed cloves and put them in the jar, being sure to get as much of the oil and juices as you can. Leave this to sit for about 10-20 minutes, allowing the oils to flow.

Fill the jar to the fill line with honey, screw on the lid, shake, and leave it to rest in a cool dark place for about 3-5 days, allowing the garlic and honey to intertwine, each absorbing the other’s healing properties.  When 3-5 days have passed you can now store your medicine in the refrigerator and use when needed. Because of honey's natural preservative properties the medicine can last indefinitely.

Using the Honey Infused Garlic

Use a spoonful of honey including a crushed clove. It is best to chew up the clove well before swallowing it. The garlic’s infusion into the honey will take away the strong garlic flavor and make it more pleasant. For children, you can just administer a teaspoon of honey, minus the clove.

When you feel the onset of illness, try to take at least 6 cloves a day. The honey infused garlic is a natural cough syrup as well.

2. Honey Infused Garlic Tonic

1 teaspoon of honey mixture

1 teaspoon of ACV

Boiling water

Place your honey and ACV in a cup. I like to mix them together before pouring in the hot water. Add hot water and slowly sip. For the kids, I sometimes add a little extra raw honey.

3. Elaina Garcia's Garlic Honey Poppers

I like to make these nice and fresh when I start feeling down.

1-2 large cloves of garlic


High-rimmed plate

A baking sheet lined with wax paper or a plate depending on how much you're making.

Raw honey – Manuka works well. I also like to find the purple honey that bees make when they've been feeding on elderberries.

Remove the garlic peel. Use the flat side of a knife or a flat bottomed cup to crush the garlic. I like to mince mine up really well – the tinier the better.

Place the minced garlic onto a high-rimmed plate and spread it out. Slowly add the honey, mixing the garlic and honey together until the garlic is sticky and well-coated. You DO NOT want to have it too runny.

I then cover the mix and place in the refrigerator until it is somewhat dense and more solid. Now here comes the fun part! I pinch out some of the honey, being sure to get a healthy dose of garlic with it. I then form it into a little round ball about the size of a small pill.

Place your little Garlic Honey Poppers on the lined pan or plate. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to let them solidify more. This is my generic honey pill. When you feel a little ill, pop one down the hatch and rinse down with water. It is easier to get older kids and those who just don't like garlic to take these.

Honey and garlic are the great ancients of medicine, providing healing since the beginning of time. Next time you feel a cold coming on, give this duo a try -- you'll be surprised at the results.

Photo Credit: "Garlic Honey" by Janine is licensed under CC BY 2.0