According to flu.gov, the height of the flu season is officially upon us, and this January and February roughly 5-20% of U.S. residents will fall prey to the flu bug. So start building your immunity, stocking up on remedies, and hide yo childen, and hide yo wives.
Okay, now those of you who know me know that my pet peeve – I mean, the crawling under my skin, wanna hurl a beer bottle at the computer screen pet peeve – is when crunchy moms slavishly promote something or try a remedy simply because, “It’s ancient Chinese medicine.”
Seriously?! Yeah, you know what else was ancient Chinese medicine? Dangerous levels of opium, letting live bees sting you in the face in bee venom acupuncture, rubbing dead scorpions on your body and eating live frogs for detoxification. Sooooo, yeah.
Anyway, my point is, I’m all for ancient remedies that work. And not just “random conjecture” work, but remedies that work verifiably and in a scientifically explainable way. That being said – this recipe is one of the oldest tonics in written history, commonly used in ancient traditional Chinese medicine for health maintenance and medical use.
Coming back to my main point (how DO I manage to get all wibbly-wobbly when it comes to staying on topic?!) this tonic is especially good for fighting the flu!
When it comes to a cold or the flu, modern medicine can’t really do much for you. Vaccines are poison. (Seriously, don’t get me started.) Over the counter cough syrups don’t do squat. And antibiotics are only helpful for bacterial infections. So your best bet when it comes to prevention and relief is to turn to holistic, natural methods.
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has the broadest spectrum of any antimicrobial substance on the planet. Literally. Like, no exaggeration. It’s a scientific fact. Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan and antiviral.
So when it comes to the flu, garlic is a powerful remedy, cutting down on your sick time and helping to prevent any secondary infections, like a sinus infection or pneumonia. (It’s also worth noting that garlic is effective against drug-resistant bacteria!)
Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant that provides decongestant and expectorant effects. Other immunity boosting qualities of garlic include: healthy doses of vitamin C, a ton of active enzymes, and minerals such as sulphur and selenium.
Benefits of Rice Vinegar
While apple cider vinegar rules the Western world, the realm of Eastern holistic remedies in ruled by rice vinegar. I will go on the record as saying that I much prefer the healing and well-rounded qualities of apple cider vinegar, but rice vinegar is a close second. It is especially rich in flavor, being one of the sweeter vinegars, and it is chock full of amino acids, making it tastier in foods while still sporting many of the healing properties of it’s Western equivalent.
Rice vinegars strong point is that it has 20 unique amino acids that help to aid the body in achieving optimum health. These amino acids are essential for fighting free radicals and maintaining (and boosting) a healthy immune system. In addition to containing amino acids, rice vinegar also contains over a dozen organic acids that help restore natural body pH balances and optimize health.
How to Make the Tonic
Get a clean glass jar, and fill it exactly half way to the top with freshly peeled and lightly crushed garlic. Fill the jar to the brim with rice vinegar. Seal tightly and store in a dark, cool place for at least 4 weeks. (The garlic should start out floating, then slowly sink at the end of the four weeks.) This tonic has a decade-long shelf life.
How To Use The Tonic
Leading up to the flu season, to boost your immunity, take one teaspoon of the tonic a day. This could be done all in one brave gulp, or you could mix the vinegar in a salad dressing, or spruce up your steamed veggies. Just don’t cook it at a high temperature because this will destroy the garlic’s medicinal properties.
If you feel the flu actively creeping up, it’s time to get aggressive! Take two tablespoons of the tonic, either straight or diluted with warm water. You can do this up to four times a day. Repeat until the flu is gone.
In addition to drinking the tonic, try eating a clove or two! Crushing fresh garlic causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed. Eating the rice vinegar saturated garlic is purported to knock out the flu – and quickly. Some experts even recommend eating a clove or two every 3 to 4 hours until the bug is entirely knocked out!
So there you have it! Ancient Chinese medicine! (I think this is the full crunchy momma assimilation mantra, kind of like zombies and braaaaaains…)