Back in 1918, a pandemic of Spanish Flu, or "La Grippe" as it was commonly called at the time; was a forerunner of today's dreaded avian flu virus, and killed somewhere between 20 and 40 million people worldwide. Many folk remedies were used by people as the panic set in, and they were helplessly forced to watch their loved ones and friends die. In my research, I have come across at least one folk remedy that seems to have worked to stop the onslaught of this viscious plague. There is an old formula that was handed down from generation to generation by a family in Stuttgart, Germany, who credit it with saving many lives.
In Germany, a shot of cognac is a popular flu remedy, as it is believed that it will ease flu symptoms and help the body cleanse itself of the virus.
Garlic is known to help clear up mucus, as well as many other amazing known healing properties that are beneficial.
Garlic & Cognac Remedy Recipe
1/2 pound of fresh garlic (organic is best)
1 quart 90-proof cognac
Peel 1/2 pound of fresh garlic and dice. Add the garlic to one quart of 90-proof cognac. Seal this mixture in an airtight bottle and store in a cool dark place for two weeks. After two weeks, strain the garlic out of the liqud and reseal the bottle. The remedy will stay good for approximately one year. A new new batch should be prepared every year.
For flu: Add 20 drops to eight ounces of water. Drink three glasses a day, one before each meal. For prevention: Use 10 to 15 drops in eight ounces of water during flu season, three times a day, one before each meal.
The question now is, why might this remedy have worked? The answer is quite simple. The recipe uses a half pound of garlic and a quart of cognac. The alcohol base of the cognac acts as a tincture, and extracts the powerful antiviral compounds from the garlic. Those compounds are now trapped in the alcohol base and are a very, very potent and concentrated source, much more so than just eatting raw garlic. Add to this the belief that there is also a component in cognac that works to rid the body of impurities, and it is understandable how this combination could work.
During World War I, it is a fact that garlic was used to prevent infection and help the wounded on the battlefields and in the hospitals. But, there is also an interesting story about cognac from Joanne Beck, about her Great-Grandfather Dr. Joseph Beck, who was an accomplished medical doctor and wrote a book called"Applied Pathology in Diseases of the Nose, Throat and Ear" by Joseph C. Beck, MD, FACS (C.V. Mosby, 1923, St. Louis). When this book was written, he was Associate Professor in ENT at University of Illinois College of Medicine.
Joanne Beck recounted this story from her great grandfather's writtings: "During WW1 my great-grandfather ended up running the American Red Cross Hospital in Cognac, France as a doctor for the Czechoslovakian army. During his stay there he had to deal with an outbreak of the influenza epidemic (the “Spanish” flu). Not having enough room for his patients he appealed to the Martelle and Hennessey Cognac Manufacturing and Bottling Company (2). Mr Hennessey offered him the top floor of one of his warehouses in which a makeshift hospital was set up. However milk, the mainstay during the influenza epidemic, became scarce and as Joe says his patients had a mortality rate of 42% and were “dying like flies”. In spite of an ordinance forbidding alcohol in American hospitals, Joe accepted Mr Martelle’s offer of as much cognac as he wanted and made up a solution of cognac and water that was given to the patients “ad libitum”. Joe describes the situation the very next day; “perhaps coincidently”, he says, ” the death rate dropped to 27% and never did it rise above that.” In fact, after five weeks of this treatment the terrific epidemic came to an almost complete end."
I and my family, many friends, and many of my clients have tried this garlic and cognac recipe over the past several years, and it does seem to have much merit as a valid folk remedy. I must caution you however, that you may want to do something to freshen your breath after using it, especially if you are going out in public. My husband was using this remedy several years ago, and he decided to go to a history program at our local library. He still laughs when he tells the story: "I went to the library and saw our mail lady sitting at one of the tables, so I went over and sat down next to her. I started talking to her, and it didn't take long before I noticed that she had a funny look on her face. Then she turned her chair completely sideways with her back to me. I thought, 'well that's strange', and then it hit me - I remembered that I had taken the garlic and cognac remedy before I left! She must have really gotten a good wiff of it when I was talking. I didn't have any breath mints or anything, so I just smiled, and enjoyed the rest program."
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