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Ten Ways to Eat Raw Garlic Every Day

Do you remember that movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and the father who used Windex to fix everything from a scratch to the rash on your arm?

Our family’s not Greek, but garlic is our Windex.

Anytime anyone comes down with something in the sniffly cold or flu department we eat extra garlic. During the winter months and when others are sick all around us we ask “Have you had any garlic?” We’ve even been known to try to sit further away from a crowd the day after a big garlic binge in order to spare them the inevitable garlic-seeping-from-your-pores business.

I think it started when I was in high school and I saw my Dad cure a case of athlete’s foot by putting garlic between his toes. Then I read about all of the wonderful attributes of garlic – how it’s a natural antibiotic and anti-viral and how its compound allicin is so powerful. Now we plant our own garlic – 150 or so just the other day.

We’re all about letting food be thy medicine so as cold and flu season approach I’m hoping to keep my family eating raw garlic every day. A clove a day keeps the doctor away! Here are some of our favorite ways to get it down:

Homemade Salsa

In winter I take home canned tomatoes and add tons of raw garlic and onions – a winter pantry staple. Drizzled with some olive oil, I serve this with anything – Mexican food or otherwise – and it’s a big hit at our dinner table.

Ranch (or other) Salad Dressing

I almost always add minced raw garlic to salad dressings. Our favorite is a homemade ranch made with kefir, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. Garlic is also great in a homemade vinaigrette.


Raw garlic has that spicy bite that some find hard to get down. When you lacto-ferment the garlic in a salt brine the cloves are mellowed and beneficial enzymes and bacteria are added – a win-win!

On Buttered Toast

Garlic, butter, and toast are best friends. You can toast up a slice of bread, butter it generously, and sprinkle raw minced garlic on top as a super garlic toast.


The fat in avocados seems to cry out for a sharp contrast in the form of spicy peppers or pungent garlic. So be generous and throw a few cloves into your guacamole.

Stirred Into Cooled Pasta Sauce

We love the flavor of garlic as well as the health properties. So if I made a tomato sauce to go with some homemade noodles I add a handful of cloves to the sauce as it cooks. Then, once it is dished up and has had a chance to cool for a minute, I add some more minced garlic to our plates and stir it in for extra flavor and nutrition.

Added to Mashed Potatoes

Again, garlic + butter + potatoes is just delicious. Make up your potatoes with butter and milk and plop them on your plates. Once cooled for a few minutes you can add some minced garlic to spice them up.

Garlic-Honey-Lemon Tea

For the uninitiated this sounds crazy and gross. But having grown up on honey and lemon tea for any sore throat, I can tell you the addition of the garlic in this recipe is strangely delicious and really good for you as well.

Blended Into a Hot Sauce

The whole reason for the above list is to somehow sneak in the spicy pungency of garlic. Well, how about embracing it alongside some peppers for a killer hot sauce. Just throw some peppers, seeded for a more mild sauce, garlic, olive oil, and salt into a blender with a bit of vinegar. Once blended it will be awesome with beans, tacos, quesadillas, chips, enchiladas, or pretty much anything else you’re eating.

On A Spoon

My husband can eat just about anything it seems and straight up garlic is no exception. If you are brave like him you can chew a whole clove and swallow, followed by some milk or water. Or you can mask the flavor by covering your garlic with some raw honey and then throwing it down the hatch.

Anyone else use garlic as food and medicine?

Show Comments


  • Thanks for your post. I just made a pot of garlic chicken soup with rice for us sickies. I was wondering if you would post (or email) your garlic ranch dressing made with kefir? Thanks!

    Sarah October 11, 2012 AT 1:13 pm
  • I use it like your hubby does! Chopped up on a spoon and throw it down the hatch…chase with water.

    Loretta E October 12, 2012 AT 9:13 am
  • I had to smile at this post! I LOVE garlic! I love the smell, taste and health benefits! Thanks so much for this post. I’m sending it to my non-Italian friend who teases me that I put garlic in everything.


    Jen October 14, 2012 AT 8:02 pm
    • Want some ice cream? Here’s some garlic for the topping. lol! Yes please!

      Katie February 26, 2013 AT 8:49 pm
  • Couldn’t agree more on this list – guacamole is a recent hit in our house as is salsa with summer’s harvest providing fresh ingredients. We also always have it on buttered toast with our pasta meals. The one I haven’t tried is potatoes – but I’m definitely going to give it a shot.

    John Perkins October 22, 2012 AT 1:08 pm
  • Oooh, good tips! I usually put it in salsa and eat with tortilla chips. I love the guacamole idea, though, and the mashed potatoes! It really does help a lot.

    Do you have any idea if nursing mothers can help their babies by eating garlic? My little guy (10 months) has a cold, and I don’t want to give him the garlic straight up. I guess I should just eat it anyway to help fend off me getting the cold! :)

    Diana October 27, 2012 AT 8:11 am
    • Diana – I always assume that whatever beneficial or non-beneficial foods I eat make it through to my nursling. If my pumpkin had a cold I would probably up the garlic, echinacea, elderberry, etc. and assume that she gets it. Not sure if your little one would be averse to the garlic flavor, though. :)

      Shannon @ Nourishing Days October 30, 2012 AT 10:22 am
  • I like to chop garlic at least 10 minutes before I eat it (chopping it initiates the conversion of beneficial enzymes, and letting it sit allows more to be converted) then i mix it with a spoonful of coconut oil and eat it just like that! It takes a little getting used to, but its grown on me and now i actually like it!

    Jenny January 3, 2013 AT 1:09 am
    • Thanks for this great idea! I’ve been looking for ways to add raw garlic and uncooked coconut oil to my diet…never thought of combining them. :)

      Maria September 1, 2014 AT 9:58 am
  • I love your blog! I too eat garlic straight up 4-5 cloves at a time, minced, followed by a glass of water! I do that every morning as my feel better medicine. A habit that is now being copied by my husband and my youngest son. Headache-garlic, inchy skin–garlic, cold sore-garlic! It really is a powerful medicine, same with a fresh aloe vera. Youre lucky to be able to plant your own garlic!

    Jean January 15, 2013 AT 7:18 am
  • Garlic is not a favorite raw. But I keep reading of it’s benefits . I do not like the taste and it burns my gut too. Can I just swallow it cut in half?

    Kurt Martin February 11, 2013 AT 7:02 pm
    • Yes! I ate raw garlic (in moderation) while pregnant. Just a clove a day, which I cut in small pieces, put them on a spoon, and swallowed them down with liquid as though they were pills. I actually enjoy the taste of raw garlic, but I didn’t want it to linger on my breath. My blood pressure had elevated slightly due to being told my daughter might have downs syndrome. I had an AFP test which if I’d known what its purpose was I would rather have skipped but it was off so I went to a special ultrasound doctor who said the baby was normal but the blood flow of the main artery to my uterus was restricted for some reason or another which caused the test to be off. She was undersized for gestation. Soon after I read about garlic for improving circulation. In one month, since I was now scheduled for monthly ultrasounds, the blood flow was normal and she was large for gestation. Also my blood pressure was normal again as well. However, a halved clove might be too big to get down for some but cut up and swallowed rather than chewed is preferable for those who don’t like the taste/smell.

      Shawnee April 12, 2013 AT 8:09 pm
      • A friend had severe hemorrhage after three of her deliveries. In her fourth pregnancy, they realized that the liquid garlic she was taking daily (and had been taking in her other pregnancies) had likely thinned out her blood, contributing to or causing the hemorrhage. She stopped taking it and to the best of my knowledge didn’t hemorrhage again. According to the National Institutes of Health, extra bleeding is a known effect of garlic in people (which would explain my friend’s situation) and they also recommend not taking it for two weeks before surgery; I imagine that would be the same for labor/delivery.

        Jennifer July 26, 2014 AT 9:19 am
        • I should add that my friend said occasional use during pregnancy is fine! :)

          Jennifer July 26, 2014 AT 9:22 am
          • But I would not do more than that, even if stopping before delivery!

            Jennifer July 26, 2014 AT 9:33 am
    • I’ve read that consistantly eating plain/raw garlic can harm your stomach, can’t vouche for the vaildity, but it said you can use a TS of olive oil with it to ease the stomach

      Jay November 27, 2013 AT 7:43 am
      • And you might mention it burns the crap out of your throat !

        Martha Southern January 28, 2014 AT 3:49 pm
    • i love to take it for health

      robert April 13, 2015 AT 3:02 am
  • My husband and I eat a teaspoon of raw organic garlic with some organic hummus in the morning as part of a our “Get Healthy” program. I love garlic as much as anyone reading this post, but was not ready for the raw aspect. Now I look forward to it. I mince up a batch at a time and store with organic olive oil in an air-tight container. If you have trouble eating it try mincing it and eat with the hummus.

    Eileen Batson - March 20, 2013 AT 8:14 am
    • I had a hard time with raw, so I mix mine with a spoonful of sauerkraut. But my favorite is on buttered toast or sprinkled over pasta. But, yeah, whenever I feel I am coming down with something, I load up on fresh garlic.

      syd August 8, 2015 AT 11:54 am
  • This is a great post, but the one thing I didn’t see was olive oil. I take a small skillet, pour 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (make sure it’s really extra virgin – it should have a certification on the back of the bottle), heat the oil on medium heat. Then I move the heat to low (simmer) and throw in 3 or 4 or 5 cloves, minced and CRUSHED. Crushing the garlic (with a thick bladed knife) is what releases all of its healing properties. That’s also the easiest way to shed the outer layer. I remove the green stem in the middle as well. I heard this green stem is very bitter. Also, make sure the garlic doesn’t burn or it loses it’s benefits. Just simmer until it’s nice and translucent – 2 or 3 minutes usually.

    Christopher March 29, 2013 AT 6:47 am
    • Christopher – Thank you for your tips! I have heard that alicin (sp?) (the healing compound in garlic) is changed upon heating. Do you know anything about this?

      Shannon @ Nourishing Days April 4, 2013 AT 10:55 am
  • i eat raw garlic every day! 2-4 cloves a day with a saltine cracker – maybe a lil bit of cottage cheese to dull the sting, I love it! but I hate onions! I will no way eat any onion unless cooked, raw onions suck! but for strange reason Garlics rule! I love them!

    doug babcock April 17, 2013 AT 7:00 pm
  • also maybe a lil bit of butter along with the cloves helps a bunch! gotta love the after taste!

    doug babcock April 17, 2013 AT 7:05 pm
  • Having read so much about garlic I have started taking everyday 4 cloves of it raw with water and some time with honey,will wait and see what benifits I am going to reap in near future.

    Mohammad Anwar May 17, 2013 AT 4:18 am
  • Garlic does lose its healing properties when heated. You have to eat it raw and fresh. Still healthy probably when You cook with it ( I love raw garlic and cooking with it) but there is a HUGE difference between the benefits of raw and cooked garlic. When heated it alters it’s enzymes and loses some of the health benefits completely.

    Kimberly @Shannon May 17, 2013 AT 11:48 am
  • Interesting article.

    When I was about 4, my great-uncle and I used to have fun eating raw garlic cloves, then chaseing the girls around demanding kisses! Great fun for a four year old boy!

    But more than fourty years later chewing up the garlic is so painful I can’t bring myself to do more than a tiny bit at a time. I can’t remember if anything was done to the garlic when I was young to make it more paletable, or if my sensitivity has risen over the years.


    James K May 21, 2013 AT 11:12 pm
  • When I was about 18 (late 70s), I went to a wine harvest in Germany and the Yugoslavian (one country back then) guys used to eat raw garlic dipped in a little pile of salt that they put on their plate. This is how I eat it to this day, great with wine and much easier than pure raw garlic (for me). You’re still smelly the next day, especially because this way you can eat more!

    Iris May 26, 2013 AT 6:53 pm
  • I love all the post I’m not able to chew it but what I do it’s minice it and take it down with the vegetable juices that I juice.

    Billie July 25, 2013 AT 9:14 am
  • Smoothie: 1 Banana, 2 Carrots (small), 2 Celery Stalks, 1/2 Cup Frozen Apricots, 10 Almonds, Almond Milk, Apple Juice, 4 Garlic Cloves, mmm, mmm.

    Mark August 1, 2013 AT 10:21 pm
  • Oh yes…water and ice :)

    Mark August 1, 2013 AT 10:22 pm
  • I read that raw garlic can also do harm – and many other sites. However is it okay to add raw garlic to your green juice daily, would that be considered safe?

    kbm August 14, 2013 AT 2:48 pm
  • My daughter had warts–both flat warts on her forehead and regular warts on her hands. After trying OTC medication, which did nothing for the warts, for 3-4 weeks, each night I sliced a garlic clove and rubbed the juice on her warts. In 4 weeks they were GONE. I am convinced garlic kills the viruses that cause warts.

    TP September 11, 2013 AT 8:30 pm
    • Soaking ur wart in vinegar also gets rid of them…

      e October 6, 2014 AT 11:01 pm
  • G am currently undergoing cancer Treatment. My blood counts are low and after researching i found out that garlic can do wonders. Problem is i cant take it crushed but hidden in a ripe banana and swallow. Would that be considered healthy

    Denis October 22, 2013 AT 2:54 pm
  • I had a terrible cold and was in bed for 2 days and tried your garlic tea. Wow!!!! I feel great and now a true believer in using garlic every day. Thank you.

    Diane October 26, 2013 AT 5:21 am
  • I enjoy plain garlic tea. I place two or three chopped cloves into the top section of a Chinese tea cup, (which has holes and can be removed) then pour boiled water, leave to steep for a few minutes. I then remove the top section with the garlic and drink the tea.Delicious. I even eat the garlic cloves afterwards, which are no longer too spicy and quite sweet to eat.

    Michael November 3, 2013 AT 12:32 am
  • I just wanted to thank everyone for the garlic and butter on toast idea. I’ve had the worst cold for days now but after a few slices of toast with garlic and butter on I am gradually feeling better. I’ve also eaten a few raw cloves of garlic but I did not enjoy them as much…however, I’m going to make garlic a more prominent part of my diet from this day forward. I’ve got to say I underestimated it!

    Gabrielle December 10, 2013 AT 4:21 pm
  • The best way for me is to grind up 3 cloves, put them in a cup, and pour 4 oz of V8 juice in. Then eat with a spoon like a cold soup. It’s actually good that way & I look forward to it in the AM (and I’m somebody who doesn’t like a lot of foods like cheeses, mayo, relish, etc).

    ebt December 29, 2013 AT 10:15 am
  • Having often read of the health value of garlic, I wanted a way to eat a clove a day without having garlic breath. So I put the clove in a cup of water and microwave it for 2 minutes. Then I eat the garlic and drink the water. I started this about a year ago, and (perhaps coincidentally) a nite-time pain in one shoulder, and a pain in my left little finger (while playing the piano) stopped almost immediately. I am 84 years young, still active hiking and have no joint pains.

    D. R. Otis December 29, 2013 AT 11:58 pm
  • We eat raw garlic every day, 1 clove chopped up & swallowed with water. We also love the way the spanish eat it for breakfast:- ciabatta bread, crushed garlic, sliced tomatoes & olive oil drizzeled over it! So good! Also toast honey & crushed garlic! Enjoyed reading all the new recipes which we will be trying out this weekend!

    Richard Matchette January 11, 2014 AT 3:11 am
  • Garlic rules OK! Why don’t the government advertise the benefits of raw garlic? I think because they wouild loose so much tax on colds/flu medication which sales would decrease if everyone ate raw garlic daily?

    Richard Matchette January 11, 2014 AT 3:17 am
  • My old man is eating daily, 2 raw cloves “On A Spoon” and then glass of lukewarm water for last 35 years. He is 75 now and never had fever, cold. He reckons its garlic that has kept him going.

    sandeep January 11, 2014 AT 10:30 pm
  • Thank all of you for all the suggestions. I just put 3 garlic cloves in water for tea and nuked it, they taste better. Thank you Laurie

    Lorraine January 25, 2014 AT 10:07 am
  • Ok I just ate 2 blended cloves with some v8 and my stomach feels very funny! ! should I start garlic slowly? ?

    tommie w January 26, 2014 AT 5:55 pm
  • You don’t want garlic breath chew on a few sprigs of parsley after eating the garlic.

    sonya February 20, 2014 AT 10:52 pm
  • Where can you find kefir? It’s a type of yogurt correct?

    nikkiw2008 February 24, 2014 AT 1:13 pm
  • I am 73 years old man and a diabetic patient. I have also gone under By-Pass-Heart Surgery. I learn about uses and benefits of GARLIC in this article and several other articles. Now I taking 2-3 Garlic Cloves every day with marry biscuits early in the morning and feeling for last one year and enjoying normal life.

    (B.P. MAHAUR)

    B.P. Mahaur February 25, 2014 AT 4:26 am
    • I can empathize with you. I am a diabetic and have had bypass surgery, age 67, I eat garlic strictly for the health benefit. I also found that crushed fenugreek seeds is good for diabetics-reduces glucose numbers!

      Ron Stack December 12, 2014 AT 6:20 pm
  • I love garlic. About every other day I mince up 2 big cloves. I spread some mayo on bread and sprinkle with garlic! I fold it over and viola! Garlic sandwich. If it’s too powerful I dip it in balsamic vinegar. :)

    Susan April 13, 2014 AT 11:11 pm
  • garlic is the great food given by god,its result is awesome for fatigue,bloodpressure,constipation,since i am taking every morning and night two cloves.
    waiting for fat loss…….

    om shankar poddar June 12, 2014 AT 12:35 am
  • This works for me–chop up your raw garlic, put it on a spoon and put some fresh lemon juice on it. The lemon juice cuts the burn and brightens the flavor! So good!

    Rachael September 28, 2014 AT 9:28 pm
  • Are garlic capsules effective? Also, I cut off the top of a garlic cluster and bake in foil at 350 for about 20 minutes and use as a spread.

    Tom May 30, 2015 AT 11:18 am
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