How To Make Garlic Syrup


Having recently posted on the benefits of honey, I dug up an old post from a reader who had let us know how to make ‘garlic syrup’ (with honey) – a home remedy of sorts.

Here’s how to make garlic syrup:

Submitted by ‘Halfkin’

My first batch was in 1978.
I have made it the same way for over Thirty years and it has not failed me.

I altered the original recipe from day one, replacing sugar with Honey. I believe this has made it even more potent, as honey also has antibiotic properties. It can actually kill some forms of bacteria.

From Forbes magazine, 02/02/2012, “Last year, some research was published evidencing some effectiveness against MRSA. Now a team from the Cardiff School of Health Sciences has demonstrated the effectiveness of this honey against Streptococcus pyogenes, an antibiotic resistant bacteria that often infects wounds and can prevent skin grafts from forming.”

The original recipe was from a book by Dr. Edward Shook where it was said that during WWII, the British government purchased the worlds Garlic crop, thousands of tons, and used it to treat the wounds of their soldiers on the front line. From the thousands treated, not one case of septic poison was produced. No Gangrene! That is to say, it is an antiseptic.

Those being External uses, I must say, I first made it to treat my family Internally.

For colds, coughs, pneumonia and possible exposure to tuberculosis. It has always been THE Lung Remedy in my home.

This does not necessarily soothe a cough and it does not mask a symptom, but rather goes after the cause. It can act as an expectorant. With a syrup made of organic garlic, clean local honey, organic apple cider vinegar, and pure water, one can treat a variety of conditions. I got up to the point that I used to make ten gallons at a time from twenty-five pounds of garlic.

It is not inexpensive, however, I feel it is more valuable than gold.

It is really, really, sticky to make, even before the honey is added. The garlic oil attaches to everything! And the entire house will reek on the day you grind the garlic. Or open the bucket later….Gotta Love It!


Garlic Syrup Recipe

Break apart the garlic cloves. Remove loose peels, but don’t sweat the ones that cling.

Run them through a meat mincer/grinder. I use a hand crank one.

A blender might work, but that is all you will ever use it for. I have destroyed juicers, don’t go there. A garlic press is not enough. MINCE or GRIND the Garlic.

Add Equal amounts of water and vinegar. Enough to cover the garlic. Use a glass container preferably, or plastic if you have to, but Never metal to soak the garlic.

Dr. Shook only soaked his for four hours. I always soaked it, at the very least, over night. However I usually soaked it like a tincture and let it sit for two weeks. I have also left it in this state for over a year and it has not spoiled. I call this stage ‘Garlic broth’. (un-strained.)

The pulp is strained through layers of cheese cloth or linen or cotton and a sieve. The resulting product is the strained broth.

Always add 1 and 1/2 times as much honey as broth.


1 lb of garlic
2 cups of water
2 cups of vinegar
equals 4 – 1/2 cups of broth.

You actually get more liquid back because of the oil in the garlic that comes out.

Add one and a half times as much honey as broth.
So – 4.5 cups of broth, multiplied by 1.5 times the amount of honey, equals = 6.75, (6 and 3/4 cups), of honey.

Warm the honey on low heat and add it to the broth. Never heat the Garlic.

Stir, drink to good health!

1 tablespoon 3-4 x a day adults.
1 teaspoon, 3-4 x a day for children.

Apply to lint, cotton, gauze, and place on wound.

I have also used this in cold environments to warm the body and blood. It used to be part of our wood gathering, chainsaw, tool box.

MSB Note: This is not medical advice.


  1. I also want to add that the medicinal virtues of organic vinegar are many and it is worth your time to Google that information.

    Garlic Syrup makes a delicious meat marinade although the medicinal properties are reduced with cooking.

    It makes a delicious salad dressing if you add olive oil and more vinegar.

    Healthy eating!

  2. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar that contains “The Mother” is by far the most nutritious and medicinal.

    However, I believe that any vinegar would extract the oil from the garlic pulp.

  3. I have never had it spoil. Just don’t scrimp on the amount of honey called for in the recipe. As long as one does not drink out of the bottle it should last for a very long time.

    Some people refrigerate it but that is not necessary.

    Having it chilled can be more soothing to a sore throat and makes it a little thicker.

  4. Should the syrup be strained through cheesecloth and also a sieve, or just choose either? Also, would refrigeration lessen the strength of the tonic?

  5. I strain it through old thin sterilized diaper material, or cheese cloth and a sieve.

    It depends on how ‘clean’ you want your finished product. I prefer not to have any pulp particles.

    Refrigeration does not lesson the strength. It makes it cooler obviously, so when the batch is newly made it can be hotter than after it ages. So being cooler, it can seem more soothing to a sore throat or other condition.

    I am glad that you are interested in making it.

    I just purchased 8 #’s of garlic and a ‘new’ antique meat grinder yesterday still in its original brown box. Now I have choices of sizes I can grind it into, Yeah!

  6. Thanks so much for this recipe. I am going to make a big batch this year to give as Solstice/holiday gifts! :)

  7. I’m really glad to see that some one else is taking up this cause as I call it!

    I believe everyone should know how to make this and use it! It lasts indefinitely and saved me from pneumonia many years ago.

  8. I’m not sure if I’m making this right. I am only doing half the measures of your recipe.

    I used my magic bullet to blend up the garlic and now have it soaking in the water and apple cider vinegar.

    Is this right?

    I am letting it soak over night (hoping I have the right idea here) and will strain it tmrw morning.

    If my honey is already soft do I still need to warm it? Or is that only if the honey has crystallized?

    1. It sounds as if you are doing it correctly.

      Make sure the water/vinegar covers the garlic pulp and then maybe even a little more.

      I personally let it soak longer, 3-14 days. However, when I needed it sooner I have also just done the over night thing.

      The honey does not have to warm, but I think having it a little thinner by having added a little heat makes it easier to blend into the broth that you have strained from the pulp.

      Try adding it without heating and get back to us and tell us how easily it mixed..

      Good Work! Glad you are trying it.

  9. Ok, so i let it soak for 10 days and it seems to be fine, except for the color. My garlic, water, vinegar mix is tuorquise! Is that normal?

    I don’t want to add the honey and find out after that there is some thing wrong with my mixture. Lol

    1. Fawn – I have never had turquoise syrup, however I have had violet colored and almost red colored. I believe that it depends on the type of garlic used. The skins can be used for creating dyes. And then it may have to do with the vinegar type you used. I can not believe that it would be bad if all you used was water and vinegar and garlic. What water did you use? Is there something in it that could have reacted with the vinegar? Regardless if the different ingredients are all something you would ingest separately, then I see no problem eating them after mixed!

      Keep me posted on how this turns out for you,

    2. I’ve found that with different types of garlic the cloves sometimes get a bluish hue during canning, this doesn’t affect flavor or beneficial content, I make pickled garlic and sometimes end up with bluish colored cloves.

  10. I am making my first batch of garlic syrup and have let it sit for 15 days in a big gallon jar with the lid on. Am I doing this right as the color looks a little weird ( greenish ) Should it sit at a certain temp ? I have heard of botulism possible occuring and my health is already compromised so I don’t want to take any chances.

    Let me know what you think ?

    Thank you,

    1. The same thing happened to me. I made a batch of “garlic broth” and it turned greenish the following day. I wasn’t worried because the gallon jar I’m using was cleaned very well, rinsed with distilled water, I used distilled water in the broth itself, and Botulism (Clostridium botulinum which is a bacteria) CANNOT EXIST or thrive in a mixture of garlic and apple cider vinegar as both are antibacterial.

      So why the greenish color? A cursory Google search revealed the answer:

      “There is a process of interaction between the garlic and [apple cider] vinegar that will turn the cloves a green color over the course of the first several days. This is a normal part of the process. Eventually the cloves will turn back towards their original color”.

      It’s very important that recipes like this are printed. Someday if you suddenly find yourself without access to medical care, then knowing how to cure yourself and loved ones using the same natural methods pioneered by your forefathers is a skill worth learning. Thanks to the Internet, ALL of the information you need is right there at your fingertips. You just need to quit watching those television shows, go buy some ink cartridges for your printer, and start doing your own research on how to be more self sufficient.

  11. Hi could we use just a plain vinegar which can be found in any supermarkets?

    and what is the total volume of this garlic syrup? thank u

    1. Plain supermarket vinegar will work. Either way, you will have a powerful medicine.

  12. @Ken
    Thanks for the repost, and the info, I’m sort of a lazy guy so thinking on using Pre-Peeled garlic from Sam’s Club, about the same cost as unpeeled. Here is a question for ya, or maybe one of the later post on this. Is the “peel” important to the beneficial factor of the “stuff”? or will pre-peeled work ok?
    Hopefully someone out there will know.

    1. NRP, and others with questions…. from my research and application. over several years….

      the benefit is not in the peeling, but from the breaking of all the layers of the garlic. When garlic is bruised, mashed with a meat hammer lightly… allowed to sit for 10 min, it develops the allicin.which gives the antibiotic effect. then mince and use how ever you plan to: in a dish or in this potion. when place in the vinegar, and allowed to sit for 2-3 hours it extracts the allicin into the vinegar.. you can see this as: it begins to appear cloudy…

      This is the solution I used for respiratory antibiotic.. and gave 8 cc vinegar. off of 35-40 small cloves(peices) of heirloom garlic. Heirloom garlic is often spicier than the larger garlics… look at number of toes in a clove and you will have an idea if it is a heirloom or a giant… I .put 10 oz acv to start , after using 4-5 doses, i refilled it . and did that 3x. ( when no longer gets cloudy need to get fresh batch made.).. one batch is sufficient for several days for one person. The longer it sits without use the more it extracts … 35-40 small peices( toes should easily extract enough to go in a pint jar.. with the toes prepared and the mashed/diced garlic , then filled with acv.
      . I do not put water in mine.

      . I did put mine in the refrig.. but acv,I prefer to use with mother, but regular white vinegar will work) is antibacterial and so is garlic. and so is honey..It does keep a good while on the shelf, but i have no data on how long. When in doubt, I refrigerate after all is blended well…. garlic has half life of 4 hours.. so remedy should be repeated that often during waking hours.

      . If wanting to add honey… waiting to blend the honey the next day should work out fine, it would not ruin in that time. since all ingedients are antibacterial. IF wanting to do this for medicinal benefits I would use freshest garlic I could get that had not been processed/irridated.

  13. I do the same except with onions it works great for whooping cough also

  14. can you blend the minced garlic, water and apple cider vinegar together and then let it sit for 24 hours before adding in the honey? Does this process compromise any of the healing qualities of the syrup

  15. How long can you leave the garlic/vinegar mixture marinate in a glass jar…. a year, 6 months, 3 months….. will it get stronger the longer it is marinated or will it be the same?

  16. I’ve read that this can lower blood pressure, mine is already very low, does anyone know if this is safe for those of us with low normal pressures?

    1. Tammy Lee Soderling

      Not a Dr. here but it would make sense if you have low BP stay away from stuff that make it even lower???? But again, ask your DR.

    2. Tammy, I also have very low normal blood pressure. If you are symptomatic, ie having symptoms of low blood pressure, then I would not use it in a large quanity. You would need to try a specific amount to see how you tolerate and be ready to do some exercise to get it up.
      You could also try one of the adaptogenic herbs that modulate blood pressure and other bodily functions. Just put “adaptogenic herbs” in search bar , there are several common ones. I ahve used a couple and they work, it does take a couple of weeks to get best benefit. You could also be very low on iodine., that was my primary problem.. that will make both heart rate and blood pressure run low. Iodine is a necessary mineral, for many body functions. again put it in search bar. do your own research… then apply what you learn.. I am using sea kelp. I noticed a difference in my resting heart rate within 3 days. I can guess as good as anyone else what is wrong with me…. You will need to do the same.


    1. Not all garlic is created equal! Some seed catalogs carry 30 or more varieties, Some of witch are quite strong – according to the descriptions-. The variety you get in the store is anybodies guess. You might want to try some before you decide to make a big batch.

  18. Lynn;
    I would believe that any time one uses Fresh Garlic it’s going to be a bit different than one that purchased.
    I do mine a bit differently that the one here, but it works great.
    The Honey and Garlic should neutralize the “Hot” but…. Maybe not in your case.

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