The trinity roots/herbs garlic, onions and ginger are a powerhouse combo good for just about anything that ails you. To maintain vigor, potency, health and immune strength enjoy these healing gifts regularly and liberally!
There are many many remedies from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and other traditions using onions, garlic and ginger. Avoid needing remedies and eat these powerful antioxidant, blood purifying, detoxifying, and immune strengthening foods every day! Garlic, onions and ginger can be cooked or eaten raw (more potent this way) though you may have to develop a taste for the bite of raw. Shoot for daily doses of one raw onion (eaten throughout the day, in salads, chopped on top of foods, sliced in sandwiches, etc.), one big clove of garlic, and a few slices of ginger (chew a slice of ginger before meals as digestive aid).
Garlic is good for just about everything, and when it comes time to build immune strength and fight off colds and flu, you definitely want it in your health arsenal. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-coagulant, antiviral, antibiotic, and also boosts blood circulation. Garlic does all this without creating bacterial/organism resistance. It’s been used as a gentle, persistent healer for thousands of years.
The key is persistence; you must include it in your diet on a regular basis. Add it to soups, vegetables, tofu, and grains. Knead it into your bread dough. I love to spread garlic paste (or ginger-garlic paste) on toast (this is a great way to get in your clove a day of garlic). Always use a little more garlic than your recipe calls for. By the way, kids can learn to love garlic too. Get them started with garlic bread/toast and pasta or pizza sauce. Roasted garlic is sweet and delicious.
Roast at least a few whole bulbs at a time. Peel off all the loose papery skins without breaking the cloves apart. Mostly only the skins on the individual cloves should remain. Turn the bulb on its side and using a sharp knife cut about 1/4″ or so off the tips of cloves (keep stem end intact). Place the whole bulbs stem side down on a baking sheet or muffin tin. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes until the cloves are soft.
To eat, you can suck or squeeze the pudding-like garlic right out of each clove (that’s why the tops are sliced off). Enjoy plain or squeeze the garlic onto toast, potatoes, or other foods.
According to Ayurveda, onion’s many properties include working to reduce inflammation, preventing/helping to resolve diarrhea, improving circulation, liquefying mucus, and purifying the blood. A saying is that one raw onion a day keeps cancer and digestive problems away. This is important to remember because according to Eastern medicine, all disease begins in the colon. Take care of yours!
Besides adding onion to salads, sautéed veggies, curries, soups, and the like… you can take the juice of onions (or just puree onions in food processor or blender with a little water) and use this instead of all or part of water when making rice, chapattis or other breads.
Of note, do not store onions in the refrigerator! Keep them in a basket or bowl on your counter or pantry. Refrigeration changes the flavor and properties of onions. For the same reason, always chop onions right before using them in your recipe (Note: eating refrigerated onions whether whole or chopped is not harmful; just not as beneficial). Ginger and garlic are OK to prep in advance (e.g., Ginger-Garlic Paste) but not onions! Onions are best chopped with a sharp knife or slicing disk on your food processor. Don’t chop with the chopping blade or grate them. This changes the onions chemically, makes your eyes water more, and also changes the flavor (so this is especially important if you are eating them raw).
Considered one of the most sattvic foods, ginger strengthens the immune system and relieves indigestion, colds, flu, fevers, headaches, belly aches, morning sickness, and menstrual cramps. It is antibacterial and increases blood circulation. As a digestive aid, it also helps to reduce gas and enhances absorption of nutrients.
Below are some yogic remedies using garlic, ginger and/or onions. I must inform you that none of this information and none of these remedies should be taken as medical advice! If you are sick or feeling symptoms coming on, always consult your health practitioner.
The easiest way to use ginger as a remedy is to brew up a batch of Ginger Tea. Besides helping to soothe colds and respiratory bugs, Ginger Tea is a common remedy for menstrual cramps. Heat a few cups of water with an inch or so of fresh ginger cut in thin slices and boil for at least 10 minutes. Add a little milk and return to boiling point. Strain and add a little sweetener if desired. If you enjoy chai, boil the ginger along with a few green cardamom pods for 8-10 minutes, add milk, return to a boil, remove from heat, and then add gunpowder black tea and steep a few minutes. Sweeten as desired.
Ginger, garlic and honey mixed together make an effective expectorant cough syrup. Blend equal parts peeled fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and lemon juice to a smooth puree. Add honey. You may use ginger syrup or extract purchased at your natural foods store instead of fresh ginger. You can also add a few drops of the extract or syrup to hot water or herbal tea, smoothies, or to whatever you’ve got cooking.
Sore Throat Quencher
For 1-2 servings, blend 12 oz. water with juice of 1 lemon, 3-4 cloves raw garlic, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, and honey to taste.
From my own experience I can attest that this remedy from Yogi Bhajan, as unorthodox as it sounds, really helps knock out flu and other viruses at onset, and provides some relief if you’re already down and under the weather. Combine 1 oz. fresh ginger juice, 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, and 12-16 ounces of Classic Coke and drink slowly.
Gastrointestinal Bug Remedy
Mix a spoonful of onion juice with a cup of chamomile tea (if quick pulse) or mint tea (regular/low pulse) and a little honey. Sip slowly over a period of about an hour.