If you’re interested in the health-boosting properties of fermented food but not sure where to start, we have the easiest starter recipe! Fermented honey is one of the easiest ferments to make and has great medicinal properties.
Because of the natural fermentation process, your body gets natural energy and an incredible immune boost from fermented foods – especially garlic and honey. But how, exactly, do honey and garlic undergo fermentation? Simply put, there are naturally occurring bacteria present on garlic that will convert sugars into lactic acid. This acid is a natural preservative and begins the Lacto-fermentation process. Lacto-fermentation also increases and preserves the beneficial vitamin and enzyme levels, and digestibility of fermented food.
Why it’s Good for You
- For centuries, garlic has been used to heal diseases and minor ailments. Allicin, the active ingredient in garlic helps digestive and respiratory issues, immune issues, and joint-related diseases.
- Both garlic and honey have strong medicinal properties, so it makes sense to use it as an immune booster or if you feel a cold or flu coming on.
Garlic contains vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidants such as allicin. The allicin makes garlic an effective antibiotic! In fact, the antibiotic activity in garlic is also helped by the diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and ajoene (a substance created when allicin and diallyl disulfide combine). Preparations of fresh garlic are effective against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. The juice of the herb diluted to a very small degree inhibits bacterial growth. Allicin is unstable, so it quickly converts to other sulfur-containing compounds which are widely thought to give garlic its medicinal properties.
Honey also fights against bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. The latter is the most common bacteria found in the human nasal passages and nose. Also, honey should be as raw as possible, and the darker the better. Dark honey contains more antioxidants, and it is more effective in fighting microorganisms and bacteria.
It is highly effective as a cough suppressant and as a demulcent. That latter term means something that coats the throat and the linings of the trachea and mouth to soothe the surfaces…a principle for which cough drops and lozenges have a primary function/goal. Buckwheat honey surpasses dextromethorphan (the primary cough suppressant found in Robitussin, for example) in terms of cough suppressant action.
Fermented Garlic and Honey Elixir
A fermented garlic and honey elixir could help boost the immune system and fight off nasty colds or the flu while helping to prevent a bacterial infection. To make one:
What you’ll need
- Sterilized canning jar and lid
- Garlic – Whatever size jar you use, you’ll want to fill it about ¾ full of peeled garlic.
- Raw honey
How to Make it
- Fill canning jar ¾ full with peeled garlic.
- Cover with raw honey.
- Cover it loosely with a lid to let the gasses escape, and put it in a dark place.
- Bubbles will begin to appear in a few days. This is a good sign because the fermentation process is beginning. Every few days turn the jar upside down to ensure all garlic pieces are coated with honey.
- The juice from the garlic will create just enough liquid for fermentation to happen. Here’s a tip: For this ferment, you don’t need an airtight container as gasses will continually build up. You will want to allow those gases to escape to avoid a large build-up of pressure. Cover loosely!
- The fermentation process should be completed in 4 weeks. According to the writers at Grow Forage Cook, the honey garlic will ferment for about a month, but you can really eat it at any time. The flavor will continue to develop over time, the garlic will mellow, and the honey will become much runnier. It will store well in a cool place for many months, if not longer.
How to Use It
- You can eat the garlic on a cracker or piece of bread or add the honey to warm lemon water. It’s quite versatile, so play around with it.
- You can also add it to your favorite immune-boosting tea. I love adding it to Ready Nutrition™ Immune Support Loose Tea Blend for Cold and Flu Season. This tea packs a punch when it comes to an immune system boost and the flavor is incredible!
- You can eat as much of the honey and garlic as you want. However, if you prefer to enjoy the things you love in moderation, as I do, about 1 – 2 garlic cloves per day are perfect (or 1 tsp of honey the garlic is soaked in). Sometimes more an be added if you partake in the second cup of tea. The honey liquid is also good mixed in with sparkling water. On warmer days that I don’t carry tea around with me, my go-to beverage is carbonated water, so it’s easy to drop a small amount in a can or a bottle.