How to Ferment Garlic

***This is NOT medical advice***

Garlic is a potent antibiotic. It is nature’s medicine and I am never without a jar in my fridge and in my pantry. I have used it successfully against the common cold, strep throat and well, as a basic immune booster. Fall and winter are coming – this is the best time to get your first jar ready and into the pantry. The entire process takes a month to finish. So get moving!

I wrote an entire Instagram post on the many medicinal benefits of fermenting garlic. So if you’re interested go take a read here.

One of the best things about fermented garlic, which is actually pickled garlic, is it’s ability to kill bad bacteria while not harming your beneficial bacteria. Antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria and leave you a bit worse off in the end.

We have successfully avoided unnecessary antibiotic use since 2015. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe very much in the benefits of antibiotics when they are necessary for saving a life. But when this is not the case, and often it is not the case, I would much rather try my hand at a natural home remedy that has proven it’s effectiveness.

Like I said, I have used fermented garlic with great success in the past. I blogged about how I overcame strep throat and impetigo naturally utilizing this amazing food.

Basic Recipe

Necessary equipment:

Wide mouth jars – purchase my favorite ones here

Glass fermentation weights – purchase here

Multiple heads of garlic – I usually peel 8-10 heads

Salt – My favorite for fermenting here


Peel each head of garlic and trim off any “bad” spots. Place all peeled garlic in your wide mouth jar. This is tedious and takes some time but believe me, it is worth it. Once all garlic is in, place your glass fermentation weights on top. I usually use two unless the cloves are very large.

The weights are not a requirement but you run the risk of developing mold if the cloves rise above the brine and they do tend to try to float to the top – hence the weights.

Next, in a measuring cup add 2 Tablespoons of salt and about 2 cups of filtered water. The type of water you use is also really important. Be sure it is a natural spring water or a high quality filtered water. No Britta, no tap, no distilled.

Dissolve the salt in the water by stirring gently. Once dissolved pour into the jar. Fermentation happens in an anaerobic environment – so think: lack of oxygen. I like to see about an inch to an inch and a half of space between the water line and the lid. If you need to add more water to bring it up be sure and do that. *** Also be sure and leave some space, however. 1-2 inches from the top is ideal. If you don’t leave enough space the jar could explode. *** Secure the lid and write the date on top.

This next part is important…

Place the jar in the pantry, out of sunlight. Leave it there for a month. The garlic will be done fermenting in 3-7 days, depending on the temperature of your home, and you can consume it at this point. However, if you leave it a full month the heat of the garlic will be removed. This will enable children to consume it more easily.

How do you know it’s fermenting? Good question! While it’s in the pantry push down on the lid after a couple of days. When the lid becomes “taut” and you can’t push it down or get it to “pop” that means it is done fermenting. If you’re concerned about exploding jars you can “burp” the lid and allow the pressure to release. Just re-tighten and leave it for the rest of the month.

After a month open the jar and release the pressure. Sometimes we get a really fun explosion, watching the bubbles go crazy from the fermentation. Cheap thrills, man. Cheap thrills. After this move it to the fridge. It will last many months, likely upwards of 6 or more.

What do we use this for?

Like I mentioned above, I use it in place of an antibiotic in non-life threatening illnesses. For example, I could tell I had an ear infection coming on a few weeks ago after being sick. I took a clove of fermented garlic every hour for a couple of days. I swallowed it like a pill. I also made a garlic oil that I put in my ear, but that’s another story for another post.

Raleigh has taken garlic, and the brine (yes, drink the brine as well! don’t toss it) as part of his daily ferment regime on the GAPS diet. Fermented garlic is really good at helping eczema.

We take it whenever we feel run down or a cold coming on. I will often take it during the cold and flu months just as a daily preventative supplement. Food after all is medicine.

And when we do get sick we increase the dosage until we feel better.

I’m such a believer at this point that I won’t allow us to run out. Whenever we get about half way through the garlic in the fridge I make a new one for the pantry.

So give it a try! And if you do, come back and let me know how it went.

Leave a Reply