My mom says honey and fermented garlic can cure cold and cough!

Honey and garlic are known for their immunity-boosting properties. But did you know that you can use honey and garlic for cold and cough?
View All Images
Garlic and honey can be beneficial for cold Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 19 Jan 2024, 11:00 am IST
Inputs from

When it comes to treating cold and cough, especially during the winter season, garlic and honey are some of the most commonly used home remedies. Be it pulses and vegetables seasoned with garlic or drinking lukewarm water mixed with honey and lemon, these two ingredients are already a part of our daily lives and are used in several ways. A few days ago, when I was suffering from a cold and cough, my mom suggested fermented honey garlic for cold and to alleviate my symptoms.

While the remedy did work for me, I had to do a little research to make sure that it worked for everyone. I found that in Ayurveda, both garlic and honey are considered to have medicinal properties that can contribute to the alleviation of cold and cough symptoms.

But what is a fermented honey garlic remedy?

Fermented honey garlic is a concoction made by combining garlic cloves with raw honey and allowing it to undergo a fermentation process that takes several weeks. This mixture is a natural remedy believed to boost the immune system and relieve cold and cough.

Science behind the benefits of using honey and garlic for cold

Both garlic and honey are popularly believed to be useful for the common cold. This belief is based on traditional use and some laboratory evidence that garlic and honey have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Garlic can help cure cold and cough. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, garlic, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is being used as an antibiotic. A 2014 review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews revealed that participants who took garlic every day had fewer colds than participants who received placebos. It was due to the effect of garlic’s antimicrobial and antiviral properties that it helps with cold and cough. Furthermore, the scent emanating from garlic’s allicin content shows that it fights against various bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Also Read: Kadha for cold: Try out this recipe to keep winter woes at bay

Honey, on the other hand, has also been used as a medicine for centuries. A study in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine found that beyond soothing sore throats and coughs, honey may alleviate symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections like colds. These infections impact the nose, throat, voice box, and airways leading to the lungs, causing symptoms such as congestion, sore throat, and cough. Honey’s phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties seem beneficial in improving these symptoms.

Packed with antioxidant properties, these two ingredients effectively combat free radical damage, playing a crucial role in reducing oxidative stress. These benefits collectively support your immune system, thereby lowering the risk of contracting the flu virus.

Can fermented honey garlic help cure a cold?

Separately, garlic and honey boast immune-boosting properties, which helps with cold and cough. Once combined, fermented garlic honey becomes a potent blend that supports the immune system and alleviates symptoms of cold, flu, sore throat, and cough. Even though its a traditional remedy, certified dietitian Dr Rajeshwari Panda cautions that scientific evidence supporting the benefits of using fermented honey garlic for colds and coughs is limited. Hence, it is essential to use it after consulting with a healthcare provider, or it should be consumed in smaller amounts.

Both garlic and honey are packed with antioxidants. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to make fermented honey garlic to ward off cold?


Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.

  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Raw honey

To make a fermented honey garlic remedy, follow these steps:

1. Peel and chop enough garlic cloves to fill a small jar, about halfway.
2. Place the chopped garlic in the jar.
3. Pour raw honey over the garlic until it covers the cloves completely. Leave some space at the top.
4. Stir the mixture gently to ensure the garlic is well coated with honey.
5. Seal the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks. This allows the garlic to undergo fermentation.
6. Burp the jar daily by briefly opening it to release any built-up gas.
7. After fermentation, store the jar in the refrigerator.

To consume fermented garlic honey, start with a small amount, like a teaspoon, to assess your tolerance and reaction. You can consume it directly by swallowing the mixture without chewing the garlic. Apart from this, add fermented honey to tea, warm water, or even salad dressing. You can also use it to spread on toast. If you find the flavour too intense, take a small amount.

Aayushi Gupta

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

Next Story