With friends and family getting struck down with cold viruses due to the change of seasons, I decided it is time to publish a blog on the humble garlic foot poultice. This is an ideal alternative solution for those who simply can’t stomach the idea of raw garlic due to its pungent taste or gastrointestinal discomfort (think sulphur forming gas!), but could use an antimicrobial boost. I have used this personally and seen it used on family and can confidently say it works to shorten the recovery from cold virus, plus it’s simple, easy and can be done whilst watching t.v!
Garlic has been used for thousands of years with written medicinal texts found in ancient Egypt from BC 1550, and was used as an antimicrobial during World Wars I and II; in fact it is still approved in a number of countries as an official medicine. The active constituents of garlic have been found in studies to reduce the incidence of the common cold, hasten recovery from infection, and to reduce the incidence of acute viral infections of the respiratory tract.
The word “poultice” describes placing a soft moist mass, spread on cloth directly over the skin. In this case, we will discuss the use of raw sliced garlic, with olive oil (to avoid the affect of garlic burning the delicate skin) directly onto the arches of the feet.
What you’ll need:
- 3-4 x Garlic Cloves
- 25mL Olive Oil
- Glad Wrap (Cling Film)
- Wash Cloth
- Old Socks (optional)
Slice 1-2 cloves of garlic finely, and place in a dish with olive oil.
Apply the slices of garlic to the arch of the foot. Ideally 1 clove per foot.
Wrap the garlic in place by using glad wrap; a simple wrap or two around the feet is enough.
Place some old socks over the poultice to keep warmth in, and avoid any excess oil from leaking out.
Relax for 1 hour with your feet up – this will allow the garlic to absorb through your skin. Within ~ 20 minutes you should even be able to taste it as it circulates your body!
After 1 hour, remove the poultice and wipe the oil from your feet with a damp wash cloth.
Repeat steps 1 – 5 for another hour (this is ideal, how ever if you’re short on time, 1 application is better than none!).
Listen to your body; rest and keep hydrated.
Dependent on the severity of the viral infection, this garlic foot poultice technique can be done as a once off to help hasten recovery, or daily as required to support acute infections.
I would love to hear how you go with this technique! Please comment below with any questions or feedback.
Note: Seek advice from your medical doctor if you are taking anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, or if your symptoms get worse. Discontinue use of garlic 10 days prior to any surgery due to antiplatelet activity.
With warmth and respect,
Sarah the Naturopath & Kinesiologist