Garlic and Honey: 7 Benefits, Recipes and Side Effects
Garlic and Honey are known to be one of the healthiest ingredients in the kitchen. They are fully packed with compounds that have tons of proven health benefits like help in weight loss, better heart health, works as an antiviral and anti-bacterial agent, and many more.
These two foods can be added to your diet together or can be consumed separately. In this article, we have focused on the properties and nutrition profile of garlic and honey, health benefits, potential side effects, and recipes.
The contents of garlic and honey are highly beneficial for health. Garlic is a herb which is fully packed with nutrients that keep diseases at a bay.
Significant health benefits provided by garlic are due to allicin. Allicin contains sulfur, oxygen, and other chemical substances that offer anti-bacterial and disease-fighting properties.
Per gram of garlic serves a moderate source of vitamin B, along with thiamine, pantothenic acid, dietary minerals calcium, iron, and zinc.
Composition of Raw Garlic
- 59% of water
- 33% carbohydrates
- 6% protein
- 2% dietary fiber
- Less than 1% fat
The alliin present in garlic gets converted into allicin when you bite or crush the garlic. The allicin has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Apart from healing properties, it also helps to lower cholesterol levels and strengthen your immunity (1).
Experts recommend the consumption of garlic in raw form because when it comes in contact with heat, this primary compound is destroyed.
Composition of Honey
Honey is a sweet, gooey substance produced by bees, which is one of the purest foods provided by nature. Honey is high in antioxidants known as flavonoids and polyphenols.
These chemicals compounds help to fight inflammation, balance the immune system, and prevent certain illnesses. The presence of simple sugar (mostly fructose and glucose) makes it a better choice as a sweetener (2).
It also contains B vitamins, certain amino acids, and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, manganese, and zinc. Other contents present in honey are
- 17% of water,
- 82% of carbohydrates,
- 1% fat,
- dietary fiber and
Per 100g of Honey serves 1270 kJ (i.e., 304 kcal ) of energy.
History of use
History of using garlic and honey goes long back to thousands of years. Garlic has been a part of cooking and used in various Ayurvedic medicines.
In ancient times, garlic was prescribed by Egyptians for the treatment of various health ailments like infections, weakness, etc.
Some athletes at the Olympic games consumed garlic to enhance their performance, and Romans use to include it to the diet of their soldiers.
In Ayurveda, there is a special mention of garlic for its effect and treatment for Rheumatism and to prevent heart disease.
Different cultures used it in different ways; Chinese people used to cure problems of indigestion and respiration, and in Romans used to cure gastrointestinal disorders and alleviate joint pain.
Since ancient times pure honey is used in different natural remedies to treat breathing problems, diarrhea, skin infections, etc.
In most cultures, honey has been used due to its medicinal properties as it is highly antiseptic and antitoxic, making it ‘Times immemorial’ skin and wound healer.
Over time, garlic and honey have proven many health benefits, and it is evident from the research studies. You can utilize the benefits of garlic and honey either by using them alone or together by adding into your recipes, using these as medicinal supplements, etc.
This article will guide you further with the detailed information about this wonderful combination and its benefits.
The research study has investigated the health benefits of garlic and honey alone and also in combination. But it is impossible to consume enough garlic alone because of its taste and smell, hence when honey is combined with garlic, the flavor is enhanced at the same time benefits are synergized.
Nutritional Benefits of Garlic
When you consume one clove of garlic for two weeks, it may help in various health issues like,
- Prevents aging.
- Aid in weight loss.
- Fight against diabetes.
- Protects against cardiovascular disease.
- Reduces the risk of intestine cancer.
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
- Prevents clotting of blood.
- Acts as powerful tonic and stimulant.
- It helps to prevent rheumatism, migraines, and headaches.
- Relieve the symptoms like constipation, diarrhea flatulence, etc.
- Reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis (3).
Nutritional Benefits of Honey
It reduces risk factors for heart disease. Honey helps in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol, triglycerides in the blood, and raises the level of good cholesterol (9).
- It helps to lower the blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease.
- The high amount of antioxidants improves heart health. Honey increases the blood flow to your heart and decreases the risk of blood clot formation.
- It helps in healing wounds, and it is a part of an effective treatment plan for wounds, burns, and many other skin conditions. It is also useful for diabetic foot ulcers (4).
Garlic and honey both have amazing content that helps to curb many problems, as mentioned above. Hence imagine the magnanimous effect on your bodies when both are ingested together.
Both are potent antibiotics, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory in nature. Hence, the effects are multiplied, and the benefits provided are manifold, leading to overall improved health conditions (5).
Benefits of consuming as a mixture
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, other benefits include:
1. Cures common colds and allergies
Honey and garlic both show anti-bacterial properties and hence helps to eliminate common colds and allergies leading to quick relief.
2. Nourishes Skin
This combination rejuvenates your skin and removes the dull skin. The primary reason for the skin to appear bright is due to antioxidants, vitamins that help to nourish your skin and provide an everlasting glow.
3. Strengthens Immunity
This powerful combination strengthens and boosts your immunity.
4. Improves Digestion
The combination helps to improve digestion and digestion related problems.
5. Reduces the Blood Pressure
The combination helps to maintain blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels especially bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
It helps to expel toxins from your body. It can be made a part of your detox diet.
7. Weight Loss
Garlic and honey help to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Honey helps to metabolize fats and in curbing hunger pangs and helps you eat less.
Ways to Use
You can enjoy the benefits by either adding them in cooking or consuming as nutritional supplements. Use a garlic clove in the foodstuffs we prepare to add flavor to them.
But the best way to consume it is in raw form to extract the maximum benefits. If you don’t prefer eating it raw, it is also available in the form of garlic powder or garlic oil.
Pure honey is a natural remedy for cough, sore throats, and colds. Honey can be used in different combinations, and the Simplest one is adding it into a glass of warm water and squeeze a lemon into it.
Consume garlic and honey together to avail of its wonderful benefits. Hence, here we will guide you with some recipes.
1. Honey Fermented Garlic
It is a type of pickled garlic that can be stored for a month at room temperature.
- 13-14 cloves of Garlic.
- One cup of Honey.
- Take garlic cloves, remove the papery layer, and put it in a jar.
- Pour a cup of honey in the jar and ensure that air trapped bubbles do not appear. If any, remove with a spoon.
- Make sure that all the cloves are fully submerged in the Honey.
- Cover the jar with the tight-fitting lid and store it for 2-3 days in dry condition away from moisture or sunlight.
- After 2-3 days, you can use this mixture in cooking.
2. Salad Dressing
Prepare your salad dressing by mixing olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dried herbs. Add freshly chopped garlic and pure honey to balance the taste of both ingredients. You can add additional ingredients as per your choice.
Mix all the ingredients, and your salad dressing is ready.
3. Honey Garlic Marinade
Garlic and honey can enhance the flavor of fish, chicken, and vegetables.
- Freshly cut garlic ( or garlic powder ).
- Honey( 1-2 teaspoon).
- Low sodium soy sauce.
- Olive oil.
Method of preparation
- Mix all the above items in a small bowl and stir them well.
- Toss grilled fish/ chicken or fresh vegetables in the honey garlic marinade. The salad is ready to eat.
- You can keep it in the fridge if you plan to consume it later.
4. Garlic –Honey Instant Mix
- 1-2 cloves of Garlic.
- One teaspoon of Honey.
Method of preparation
- Finely chop or crush the garlic cloves.
- Let it stay at room temperature for 5 minutes to activate the enzymes that will convert it into a superfood.
- After 5 minutes, add one teaspoon of honey and the instant mix is ready to consume.
- You can drink water(half cup) to help it gulp down easier.
- Use this method for a week on an empty stomach for the best results.
- Never consume more than 2-3 cloves of garlic.
- Patients who have asthma should not consume garlic as it may have side effects.
- Strictly avoid Garlic before surgeries or a medical operation.
Potential Side Effects
These superfoods are no doubt full of numerous health benefits, but they may cause side effects or reactions in some people.
Caution with garlic consumption
If you are allergic to garlic its better to stay away from it. When you consume garlic cloves in more than the required quantity, this may lead to thinning of your blood, which increases the risk of bleeding, liver toxicity, bad odor, heartburn, vomiting, gastric issues, and also can lower blood pressure too much (6) (7).
Furthermore, Garlic may cause a negative interaction with medications that thin your blood, which includes:
Garlic also interferes with antiviral HIV drugs.
Caution with honey consumption
Since honey contains sugar, consuming it in larger quantities may increase blood sugar levels, which may cause a problem in diabetes people (8). Honey may cause allergic reactions if you are allergic therefore it is advisable to consult your doctor before consuming it.
Honey also contains other kinds of pollen that may trigger reactions like:
- Throat swelling.
- Nausea and Vomiting.
- Skin reactions.
- Irregular heart rhythms.