Using Garlic to Fight Infections

When we have bacterial infections (ear infections, sinus infections, mastitis, etc.) or viral infections that are leading towards secondary infections, this is one of our top go-to remedies! The garlic and raw honey have antibacterial properties and the cayenne pepper is believed to boost their effects.

Before you run screaming, you should know that my five-year-old actually requested this remedy and took it happily when she had croup. She knows it helps her and it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. Make sure to eat something, first. Now that I’ve thoroughly scared you, here’s what to do! 😉


  1. Take one clove* of raw garlic for each person, smash it, peel it and finely chop it.
  2. Let the garlic “activate” by being exposed to the air for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add a teaspoon of raw, unfiltered honey to each garlic clove.
  4. Add a little bit of cayenne pepper (less for little ones, more for adults- whatever you think you can handle).
  5. Stir each dose to make sure that the garlic is coated very well.
  6. Scoop each dose into a spoon and have each person swallow it whole (DO NOT CHEW!), chasing it with water, tea or milk. (*Hint* Full-fat milk will help with the spiciness of the cayenne pepper.)

*Please, please, please don’t feel that you absolutely must take (or give your kiddos) an entire clove at a time. Often, my girls will just have a little bit a few times a day, rather than a bunch all at once. A little is better than none at all, so don’t push beyond what each person can comfortably handle. 🙂


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36 thoughts on “Using Garlic to Fight Infections

  1. I love your blog! This is exactly what I needed today. My little one is stuffy with a cold, and my husband feels like he is trying to come down with it. I love natural remedies, and I have heard of something similar to this before, but forgot all about it. I know God led me here today! You are a blessing! Love, Cheryl

  2. I can totally testify to what you’re saying! My husband is in the military and is forced to get the flu shot. Every year like clock work he gets the flu. This year I began giving him garlic and honey. (I didn’t know about the cayenne) I did this every 2-3 hours and within 24 hours he was better!! I had previously rid myself of a bad sickness some of my girls had using garlic. I however didn’t know at the time that you shouldn’t chew the garlic OR take it on an empty stomach. O.O Lesson learned! LOL I also learned real quick that drinking whole milk after helps and after taking it on an empty stomach it was needed. lol Garlic is really something amazing!!

  3. Shasta says:

    Justyn, thank you for sharing this. We use garlic, cayenne, and honey for all sorts of things. My husband eats one raw clove every day at lunch time, and any time anyone feels as though they are coming down with something, we start eating garlic and cayenne. My younger daughter has a sore throat and ear this morning and she doesn’t like honey, so when we had to go to town, she asked if we could pick up some avocadoes to mix with her garlic and cayenne, so guess what we’re having for lunch? 🙂

  4. Autumn says:

    What do you suggest for wee little ones? My 3 and 2 year olds took the remedy with no problem, and my husband and I usually take this. But our 7 month old is starting to get the snotty nose and I never know what to do for them at this age. Any suggestions? Thank you so much for your blog, just found it and we love it!!

    • Hi Autumn, Thanks so much for the sweet comment! I’m so glad you’re enjoying your visit, here!

      For one so young, the best thing is for you to take extra garlic, if you’re breastfeeding. Also, I liked to use an essential oil diffuser with some organic eucalyptus oil in my baby’s room. A humidifier or even just a pot of steaming water on the stove can help, too. Some people like to do a little breastmilk in the baby’s nose (just one or two drops), but I never tried it. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Do not use honey for a child under 1 year. It can have bacteria (I think) that can cause illness in one so young. Over 1 year is fine.

      That’s what my children’s doc told me years ago. Somebody please correct me if that is old information.

      • Autumn says:

        Mary, you are correct: it is not advised to use honey in children under one year of age. That’s why I inquired about some alternative suggestions 🙂

  5. Autumn says:

    Yes, we’re almost exclusively bf, just started some avocado the other day 🙂
    We do use a humidifier, but not the oil diffuser; I’ll look into that. And I forgot to ask above, how often do you take the garlic mixture for colds? I believe we don’t dose it often enough or for a long enough time period. Thanks again!!

    • When we’re actually sick, we take it 4 times a day until we are all well. If it’s been something really rough, we will kind of taper off by cutting down to 3 per day, then 2, then 1, rather than just quitting taking it all at once. 🙂

  6. Gina says:

    Hi, I have a question. It is probably safe to take this daily ( at least once a day)? And, if you are sick and taking this 3 -4 times a day, can you make just one batch at once, taking a teaspoon through out the day. Or is it best to make it right before you take it? Thank you for your wonderful site! I love it =)

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Gina! Since these ingredients are all actually foods, we are perfectly comfortable using it as often as we feel we need to. We don’t take it every day, but if we’ve been exposed to something yucky, we will often take it for a few days to keep from getting sick. Many people take garlic and cayenne capsules daily, and the only concern I’ve ever heard was that it can upset the stomach if you don’t eat first. 🙂 We almost always make it up fresh about 10-15 minutes before taking it, but there have been times when we were taking it so often (my hubby and myself, not the kiddos) that I would make up a few “doses” at a time for a few hours later. I honestly don’t know exactly how long it stays potent, so if it will be more than 4 or 5 hours, I just go ahead and do a fresh batch. Hope that helps!

      • Gina says:

        Thank you =) So i must be taking to much garlic if I am nauseated once it hits my stomach. I used one glove, but it was quite large.

      • Gina says:

        So I should of mentioned I am breastfeeding, is the amount safe? A few sites I looked at mentioned it is safe, as long as it is not high doses meant for medicinal purposes……. Sorry for so many post, I should wait and think be for I hit send =)

    • I have used it 4 times a day for at least three days to fight off sinus infections. I take it a few times a day after I feel better, just to make sure the infection is gone. I do that for 2 or 3 days. Hope you feel better, soon! 🙂

  7. Linette says:

    I am so happy to have stumbled on your site. My entire family is sick and I do not want them on antibiotics. I am excited to start this as soon as everyone gets home. Thank you so much!!

  8. Tried to make appointment with doc to get antibiotics this morn but have to wait till tomorrow, therefore looked on line to find something natural. Was feeling lot better yesterday but today feeling bit grotty again. Dont like using atibiotics but sometimes get so poorly I end up having to.
    Will let you know how I get on. Pat xxxx

  9. Kristine says:

    I want to try this natural remedy as I am sick. Antibiotics for 7 days is quite expensive here. But I have a question. Can this remedy possibly help ease my asthma? It began with cold, then cough, and now I have difficulty breathing. I want to get better quick because I have a lot of things to do that at home that no one can do for me while I rest.

    Thank you.

    • I’m so sorry you’ve been under the weather, Kristine. I hope you’re feeling better by now, but if not you can certainly try this remedy. I don’t know that it would help with asthma, but it sounds more like bronchitis to me, which this should help. If you have actual asthma, you might look into a steamy shower with eucalyptus and clary sage essential oils (clary sage should be avoided during pregnancy). Lobelia tincture is often very helpful, too. Hope you’re well!

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