It’s the season of cold and flu. Everyone around the office seems to be sneezing or coughing. I have a nice head cold in the works and am taking zinc, vitamin C and drinking lots of water, but was wondering what else would help. Garlic is one suggestion I found, but the garlic powder won’t quite do the trick, it’s got to be the real thing, and most powerful if it’s not cooked.

Garlic’s history as an infection fighter runs long (it was used as an antibiotic during both World Wars) thanks to the sulfur-containing compounds in each clove, including powerful allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates. The anitmicrobial effects of the garlic compound allicin are well-documented, including in a 2004 study in the British Journal of Biomedical Science, where researchers found the sulfinate effective against powerful, antibiotic resistant bacterial infections from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Allicin is only released when garlic cells are damaged (cutting, crushing, chewing) and is heat sensitive. Try adding some minced, raw garlic to a salad dressing.

The Huffington Post article also lists wheat germ and mushrooms among others as immune-boosting. For the full list see the article and photos.