When one thinks about penicillin, the words infection, disease and doctors’ offices usually come to mind. But if you have a natural mind, one of the first things that come to mind is garlic. Raw garlic has many wonderful health properties. It is not eaten readily because we do not want to offend the people around us with its lingering strong odor. But when you do not feel well and want to avoid sharing germs with others, that is an especially good time to pull out the garlic. As you read the following you will understand why it is called Russian penicillin.
Stinky Fresh crushed garlic
Garlic has a potent history. According to the NYU (New York University) Langone Medical Center:
From Roman antiquity through World War I, garlic poultices were used to prevent wound infections. The famous microbiologist Louis Pasteur performed some of the original work showing that garlic could kill bacteria. In 1916, the British government issued a general plea for the public to supply it with garlic in order to meet wartime needs. Garlic was called Russian penicillin during World War II because, after running out of antibiotics, the Russian government turned to this ancient treatment for its soldiers.
Fresh crushed garlic is the star of nature’s antibiotic, and the “fresh” part here is very important. Minced garlic in a jar will not do. When fresh garlic is crushed, a chemical reaction that causes sulfenic acid is set off. But sulfenic acid is unstable and breaks down steadily into another unstable compound called allicin, which has a strong antibiotic property. Let the fresh minced or crushed garlic sit for about 15 minutes before using it in order to build up a greater amount of allicin (which is what we want here).
Spicy Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is a very powerful spice that, like garlic, has been used for its health benefits throughout history.
According to Dr. Patrick Quillin, author of The Healing Power of Cayenne Pepper, he says,
“Cayenne pepper has been prized for thousands of years for its healing power. Folklore from around the world recounts amazing results using cayenne pepper in simple healing and in baffling health problems. But cayenne pepper is not just a healer from ancient history. Recent clinical studies have been conducted on many of the old-time health applications for this miracle herb. Again and again, the therapeutic value of cayenne pepper has been medically validated.”
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations states that cayenne pepper fights infection and inflammation, and the University of Maryland Medical Center has reported that the capsaicin in cayenne peppers may offer an effective treatment for ear infections.
Sweet Raw honey
While, I really do just try to put raw honey in absolutely everything I make, it has a real purpose here. First of all, it makes the garlic and cayenne go down easier, but most importantly, raw honey boosts immune function, and has strong anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
In Jethro Kloss’s book, Back to Eden, (1982), page 216, he says, “Red pepper is one of the most wonderful herb medicines we have. We do wonderful things with it that we are not able to do with any other known herb. It should never be classed with black pepper, vinegar, or mustard. These are irritating, while red pepper is very soothing. While red pepper smarts a little, it can be put in an open wound either in a fresh wound or an old ulcer, and it is very healing instead of irritating; but black pepper, mustard, and vinegar are irritating to an open wound and do not heal. Red Pepper is one of the most stimulating herbs known to man with no harm or reaction.”
I am very thankful for the little things which God has provided for us in times of illness.
How does this work exactly?
- Combine 1 crushed garlic clove (that has been sitting out for 15 minutes) with one teaspoon raw honey and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Take about ¼ of the mixture into your mouth and swallow it down with a sip of warm tea or water. Do this until the mixture is gone.
- As you would with a prescribed antibiotic, you should do this 2-3 times daily and continue for a day or two after the symptoms disappear.
- Of course, seek medical attention if your symptoms are not alleviated.