These Garlic Shots with honey and lemon juice are a potent combo of ingredients that makes an excellent natural remedy for fighting off colds, flu, and other viral infections.
Just one shot a day provides a quick boost to your immune system. I do this easy trick when I feel my body is weaker than usual or at the beginning of cold and flu season. At this time, my kitchen turns into a natural booster corner when I ferment garlic with honey, and make echinacea tea and rosehip syrup.
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While they are a delicious and soothing way to support your body, taking a Garlic Shot is a quick and efficient way to deliver a high dose of immune-boosting compounds. It is similar to a fire cider without soaking all the ingredients for a week before consumption.
Another great advantage of these wellness shots is that all the ingredients are always in my pantry, and the recipe is ready in five minutes.
Garlic Shot ingredients and their health benefits
An immune system booster is a drink, juice, elixir, or remedy that boosts your immunity if you're feeling weak or sick and strengthens your body.
Garlic has a long history of uses for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, thanks to allicin.
Allicin is an unstable compound present only in fresh cloves that are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Researchers in this study found that when garlic juice is used daily, it reduces the number of colds by 63% compared with a placebo.
Another study found that a high dose of garlic extract reduces the number of days sick with a cold or flu by 61%.
In addition to allicin, garlic contains various nutrients, including vitamins C and B6, selenium, and manganese, essential for fighting off infections.
Thus incorporating organic garlic into your daily diet is a great way to support your immune system and reduce your risk of infections. However, some people find the taste of fresh garlic too strong and intense. That is why honey and lemon come into action. Another great idea is to make these pickled garlic scapes.
Honey is a delicious and nutritious natural sweetener with numerous health benefits. With its powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties, honey can help boost immunity, soothe sore throats, and even aid wound healing.
Raw honey is more potent than processed honey because most enzymes, antioxidants, and other antibacterial compounds are destroyed during processing.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can mask the intense and pungent taste of garlic. In addition, it aids digestion and potentially lower cholesterol.
It contains a compound called piperine, which helps increase the absorption and effectiveness of allicin.
Similarly, we have used it in these lemon ginger turmeric shots because piperine enhances the bioavailability of curcumin (found in turmeric).
Use fresh lemons, preferably of organic quality. Fruit juice can help mask garlic's intense taste and is high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
How to make garlic shots - immune system boosters
First step - crush the garlic.
Peel raw garlic cloves and add them to a small blender, press, juicer, or food processor. Place crushed garlic in a small bowl or jar and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the compound allicin to activate.
Second step - juice the lemon.
Cut fresh, preferably organic, citrus in half and squeeze all its juices.
Third step - add honey.
Once the garlic has rested, pour over honey and mix it well.
Fourth step - add all ingredients.
Now add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and freshly grated black pepper. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Consume immediately for maximum benefits.
Tips and tricks for best wellness juice shots
- Let the chopped garlic stand for 10-15 minutes before mixing with other ingredients. Cutting a garlic clove breaks its cells and activates allicin enzymes. Let the chopped garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes to allow these compounds to develop fully.
- Use a blender, press or food processor - the more you damage its cell walls, the more sulfide-transforming enzymes you'll release and, with them, more intense flavor.
- Use freshly grated black pepper. It has a more potent and complex flavor than pre-ground and contains more piperine.
- Use fresh juice instead of bottled. Fresh lemon juice contains more enzymes and antioxidants that help support the immune system. It aids digestion and promotes healthy skin.
- Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is better than processed ACV because it contains the "mother" - a cloudy, stringy substance that contains beneficial enzymes, proteins, and friendly bacteria. The mother forms naturally due to fermentation, which turns the apple cider into vinegar.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
This recipe is the most potent when fresh. Allicin, the most important immune-boosting compound, is most concentrated in fresh cloves.
However, you can make it ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then, consume it within 2-3 days.
Variations with other immunity boosters
Here are a few variations you may consider:
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a small piece of fresh ginger to the recipe for an added kick.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the recipe to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Replace the lemon juice with fresh orange juice for a citrusy twist.
Substitutions for potent cold and flu drink
If you don't like its taste, you can substitute it with supplements or powder. However, remember that the health benefits may not be as potent as consuming raw garlic.
If you're vegan or prefer not to use honey, you can substitute it with other natural sweeteners such as maple syrup or agave nectar.
You can use bottled juice instead of fresh. However, fresh juice is preferred since it contains more nutrients and antioxidants.
you can substitute it with cayenne pepper, sea salt or cinnamon, which have immune-boosting properties.
Apple cider vinegar.
It can be substituted with other types of vinegar, such as white wine vinegar or rice vinegar. However, remember that apple cider vinegar has unique health benefits that other kinds of vinegar may not provide.
How does the ginger shot taste?
Frankly, this is a potent antibiotic shot, not a cocktail you would want to enjoy during a night out. Some people may find intense, pungent flavor overpowering or unpleasant, while others may enjoy the distinctive flavor of garlic. Adding lemon, ACV, and honey can help balance the spicy flavor, making it more palatable.
Start with one serving per day. It contains enough nutrients to support your body's immunity. If you are feeling unwell or desire an additional immune system boost, a second shot in the evening can also be beneficial.