You have probably seen fermented garlic honey all over different Facebook groups and TikTok and it’s for good reason. Fermented garlic honey has a lot of health benefits. Let me just insert this disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor and any information given here is not considered medical advice and is for educational and entertainment purposes only!
Now that I am starting my health journey, turning more towards nature to heal, and have gotten into homesteading to become more self-reliant, I have started researching “natural medicines” and home remedies. I also think it would be super helpful to know all of this in the event we have some kind of SHTF situation or another pandemic where medication is scarce. I think this past pandemic has turned a lot of people to looking for prescription and medication alternatives and learning the old way of living.
Benefits of Fermented Garlic Honey
Garlic has antibacterial and disease-fighting properties while honey is naturally high in antioxidants and has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Fermented garlic honey combines all of this into one easy concoction.
Several studies have been done about the antibacterial benefits of honey and garlic. One study showed it stopped certain types of bacteria from growing and another study showed it was able to stop some types of bacteria from growing that couldn’t be treated with antibiotics
There have also been studies done on the antiviral effects of honey which was able to stop the flu virus from growing. Honey is believed to have powerful antiviral properties that may help treat or prevent the common cold, flu, and other viruses. In fact, it has been shown to shorten the length of the common cold by up to 70%.
Memory & Brain Health
Antioxidant compounds are abundant in both garlic and honey that aid in the balance of your immune system and the prevention of illness. Because of this, they may help protect your brain from disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
During the process, you may find that the garlic takes on a blueish-green color. Don’t be alarmed! This is a normal reaction caused by a chemical reaction during the fermenting process. It is still safe to consume.
Store your fermented garlic honey in a dark pantry for 6-8 months. It should be consumed within 1 year of the date you started making it as a rule of thumb. However, I had heard of others using their fermented garlic honey past the 1-year date. I would use a pH strip to make sure it is still safe to consume if mine were to be stored that long.
Concerns over Botulism
Honey contains botulism spores, which is why you are not supposed to give it to children under 1 year of age. However, the honey has a pH of 3.9 which is well below the acidity danger zone of 4.6 for botulism reproduction. If you have any concerns you can use a pH strip to test and add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to lower the pH level.
In order to lower the risk, make sure you are only using raw, unfiltered honey, and flip your jar at least once a day to make sure the garlic stays covered.
What you Will Need
- Raw, Unfiltered Honey (local is best for the most health benefits)
- Several heads of garlic
- 1L Mason Jar with lid (I use a plastic no-spill lid); You can use a smaller jar if you wish, but since the fermentation process is lengthy I like to make sure I have enough.
- Cookie sheet, pan, flexible cutting board, or something to put the jar on while it is fermenting to catch any spilled honey
How to Make Fermented Garlic Honey
The process to make fermented garlic honey is really simple. In fact, it is so simple that it is easy to see why this is usually the first thing that is made when people are starting out on their natural health and herbalism journey.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you have sterilized your jar and lid and have dried them thoroughly. The jar will need to be double the size of your ingredients for the fermented garlic honey and preferably a wide mouth jar to make it easier to get the cloves of garlic out when you want them. However, a regular mouth jar will work just as well.
Peel Garlic Cloves & Place in Jar
You will need enough whole peeled garlic cloves to fill your jar halfway, so get to it! If you want to be extra careful you can add 2 Tbsp of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and shake to coat the garlic before pouring in the honey if you are worried about botulism.
Tip: To easily peel cloves you can place a clove on a cutting board and then use the broad side of a large knife to give it a whack. This will also bruise it and help release the juices which will be needed for the fermenting process.
Pour in Honey
Only use raw unfiltered honey, preferably from a local beekeeper, for this. Raw honey is ideal since it has all of the natural microbes required for fermentation. Many types of commercial honey have been changed, which can influence pH levels and natural bacteria needed for fermentation. Plus, with local honey, you get the benefits of local pollen which can help with seasonal allergies.
Pour in enough honey to cover the garlic cloves making sure to leave headspace (about an inch) at the top.
Store in a Dark/Cool Place
Place the lid tightly on the jar and flip several times to make sure everything is coated. Then unscrew the lid and loosely place the lid on the jar and store your honey in a dark/cool place (such as a closet) on a baking sheet or plate (in case the honey drips during the process as it most certainly will).
Flip the Jar & Open the Lid Daily
Make sure to flip the jar daily to keep the garlic cloves coated in honey. DON’T FORGET TO TIGHTEN YOUR LID BEFORE TURNING IT UPSIDE DOWN. Once you have flipped it back upright, remove the lid to allow carbon dioxide to escape then loosely place the lid back onto the jar. You will do this until the fermentation process ends.
Fermentation Begins in a Couple of Days
After a couple of days, you will see bubbles start forming. This is confirmation that the fermentation process is starting. If fermentation fails, add a tablespoon or two of water to the mixture, close the lid and flip the jar to coat the honey again.
During the fermentation process, the honey will begin to thin out. Once the bubbles stop and the garlic sinks to the bottom, the process is complete. This typically takes about 30 days.
After Fermentation & Storing
After the fermentation process has stopped, clean up any honey on the outside of the jar, close the lid, and store it in a dark pantry for about 3 months to age, flipping once a week to make sure everything stays coated. This allows the garlic to taste less “powerful”. However, it can be consumed at any time for benefits.
Store in a dark place for 6-8 months (or longer), making sure to flip the jar about every week to make sure the garlic does not rise above the honey for too long, which would cause it to mold. I have known of others who still use theirs over a year after it is made.
How to use Fermented Garlic Honey
Flavor Tea – Put a spoonful in your tea to flavor it and give it a bit of sweetness.
Take a Spoonful at the sign of sickness – Have a cough? Feel like you are getting sick. Take a spoonful of it to help fight off viruses or to soothe a cough.
Eat a clove – After it has been fermenting for a while, the clove itself beings to taste like candy. Yum!
Use as a marinade – Combine the fermented honey garlic with soy sauce and other herbs to create a marinade. Toss some chicken in it, cover, and let marinate in the fridge for an hour.
Words of Caution
Remember, I am not a doctor and nothing here should be considered medical advice. The information in this article is for informational purposes only. Before you start any new supplements or herbal remedies, you should always check with your doctor as some herbs can interact with certain prescription medications.
Garlic in larger doses can cause thinning of the blood. You should check with your doctor if you are on blood thinners before consuming. It can also interfere with certain antiviral drugs.
Do not give the fermented garlic honey to babies under the age of 2 years of age as it can cause infant botulism.
Have a question on how to make fermented garlic honey? Leave a comment below and I will answer it as best as I can or tell us how you use fermented garlic honey!