I love garlic. I use it everyday in my cooking, actually a heap of it in EVERYTHING that is savoury. It is good for us and makes food taste amazing. Now, I do know that not everyone can stomach Garlic. Some can’t eat garlic because it makes their unresolved gut issues worse, or have an allergy to it and there are others who simply don’t like Garlic. I am not one of them. So bear with me as I embrace garlic for all its glory in today’s post.
Garlic which is also known as Allium Sativum is part of the Allium family of vegetables. Other vegetables part of the Allium family are Onions, Leeks, Spring Onions (Scallions), Schallots and Chives. This humble group of vegetables has plenty of health benefits.
Garlic as a natural remedy in my fight against Candida
Garlic has been used for centuries for all manner of aches and ill by many different cultures around the world. One of them is in the treatment of Candida overgrowth in our gut.
Chemical toxins are continuously released by Candida overgrowth as they reside in our gut. These toxins are one of the reasons why we develop certain food intolerances over time and other health issues such as leaky gut, eczema, chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions and so forth.
As someone who is currently trying to expunge all bits of unnecessary Candida and other pathogens out of my gut, I have started to use garlic even more liberally than before. Which means A LOT of garlic. I am going through garlic bulbs every week like a thirsty wanderer guzzling down copious amounts of water in the desert.
Garlic is only part of my Candida cleansing protocol. Taking Nystatin (an Anti Fungal which kills Candida without getting absorbed into our body), therapeutic strength probiotics and removing refined, unrefined sugar and all other sugar substitutes are other parts of the protocol. One thing I can vouch for is Candida ‘die off’ or otherwise also known as a Herxheimer reaction (Herx) is REAL. I have been so sick the last couple of weeks I don’t know what hit me. It feels like an Autoimmune flare up times 10.
When Candida or other pathogens get killed in large amounts either by Anti-fungals, Probiotics or Anti-microbials (e.g. Garlic, Coconut Oil) this causes a massive release of toxins which creates a temporary inflammation in our body thus the multitude of horrible symptoms that one experiences.
For most people, these symptoms go away in few days but for some it becomes an unwanted gift that keeps on giving through out the whole treatment.
Some of these symptoms which are called the Herxheimer Reaction or Candida die-off are:
- Fatigue & dizziness
- Flu like symptoms
- Bloating, gas and other digestive symptoms
- Increased joint or muscle pain
- Skin breakouts and acne
- Insomnia, Depression & Anxiety
Being someone who has a hard time getting rid of toxin build up in my body in general, this process has not been easy for me and I still have a long way to go with the treatment. I am determined though to get through it as I know removing Candida overgrowth from my gut will not only stop leaky gut which aggravates Autoimmune diseases but it will also be a crucial step in healing my gut and in turn healing my Autoimmune condition. I will write more about my Candida cleansing protocol in another post when I am up to it.
So to motivate me through the ordeal of my Candida cleansing process my dear husband (bless his kind heart) suggested that we have a raw garlic eating competition every day – no kidding. Yup, I am always up for some healthy competition and my husband loves garlic. Well, compete we did.
I mince a few cloves of raw garlic, add a little cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (you know the good stuff), a pinch of fleur de Sel and freshly cracked pepper, mix them all well and then we eat the whole lot, just like that. It is pretty delicious eaten raw that way and makes an excellent accompaniment to any savoury dish.
I do believe that eating garlic regularly has actually prevented Candida from taking a strong hold in my gut but it is there nevertheless because in my ‘previous life’ I have used antibiotics multiple times when I was ill without replenishing my gut with the good guys – probiotics or probiotic foods which in turn had created a fantastic environment for Candida overgrowth to occur and wreak havoc. It is probably one of the reasons which kick-started my Autoimmune condition.
If you are not a seasoned garlic eater I will not recommend eating a large quantity of it raw. You may experience a strong herxheimer reaction after consumption of large quantities of raw garlic which can be unpleasant to say the least. So always start slow and easy, raw garlic is a strong anti-microbial. Cook more often with garlic to begin with and then start adding half a clove of raw garlic into your diet if you are up to it.
Here are my 5 reasons why I think you should eat Garlic everyday:
- Contains Allicin an organic compound which has shown to have Anti-bacterial, Anti Viral and Anti microbial properties. Garlic has to be finely minced or crushed to release this compound.
- Rich in sulfur which is a precursor to producing the Master of all Antioxidants – Glutathione! Our body creates its own Glutathione but pollution, toxins, stress and poor diet can cause levels to be depleted. When that happens, chances are higher for chronic illnesses and cancer to set in.
- Can help to reduce the duration of the common cold.
- Crucial for maintaining a healthy gut. Raw garlic has shown to be effective in killing undesirable pathogens and Candida overgrowth in our gut without harming the good bacteria.
- Lastly and my favourite, Garlic makes food taste super amazing.
Yes, Garlic you are simply awesome!
So signing off today, as a wellness warrior fighting off Candida and other nasties in my gut with Garlic.
** Please note that I am working with a doctor who practices functional medicine to address my Candida overgrowth. If you are starting an Anti Candida protocol, work together with your physician on what may be the best treatment protocol be for you and if you do experience strong Herxheimer reaction, consider slowing down your treatment in consultation with your physician.