Getting to know Garlic: properties, benefits, and more!
Does this ever happen to you? You’re digging through your pantry, garden, and/or fridge for recipe inspiration, but you just have no idea what to cook? Well, here we have a human who’s going through the same rut. They have a perfect bulb of garlic just sitting in their pantry, waiting to be used.
Human: Ah, what will I do with you? You can go into so many dishes and heighten the deliciousness of any meal–I want to honor you by finding the best dish!
Garlic: Let’s not be hasty. I have so many cloves that you can use me for plenty! A vegetable stir-fry? A dumping sauce? In a salad dressing? In a hearty soup? As a butter? Or spread on bread? The possibilities are endless!
Human: That’s my exact dilemma! I’m not sure where to begin. How about you talk about yourself while I think of a recipe. Maybe, that’ll inspire me.
Garlic: Ah, where should I begin?
History of Garlic
Garlic: Garlic has been used for as long as 5000 years ago by the Egyptian, Indian, and Babylonian cultures. As soon as they domesticated us, Garlic’s use spread to other regions of the world. In Ancient Rome and Greece, it was a powerful food and religious symbol. In China, it was a sacred all-healing medicine.
Human: Oh, wow! Please, go on.
Garlic: Now Garlic is so abundant everywhere, especially in those regions where it first gained popularity as a culinary staple and medicinal plant!
Human: Interesting. I’ve been using it in almost all my food because that’s what the internet and cookbooks tell me to do, but I never actually realized its properties! Tell me, how do you support the human body?
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic: I’m so glad you asked. To name just a few, we’re antimicrobial. That’s why you might see some people using us for cleaning. Though, I think you’re looking for something related to cooking, right?
Garlic: In that case, we’re great at supporting your cardiovascular system and your liver. Since we’re an expectorant, we can help relieve congestion. Adding a little garlic to your everyday meals can surely help support your immune function.
Human: Wow! At this rate, I should be in my most tip-top form!
Garlic: That’s our greatest wish for humans! We’re here to keep your bodily functions in check and balanced. Think of us as your go-to plant whenever you need a simple boost to your immunity!
Human: Amazing! But wait, I still don’t know what to cook to honor you most.
Garlic: Hmm. How about making an oxymel? You’ll have to be a bit patient for the final result, but it’s a great way to incorporate your favorite plants into one delicious tonic, which you can then add into your favorite dishes to spruce them up and ignite your creativity!
Human: Perfect! That’s just what I’m looking for, thanks!
Garlic: I’m always here whenever you need my help!
Garlic (Allium sativum) Mini-Monograph
Scientific name: Allium Sativum
Common folk names: Garlic, Da Suan, Common Garlic
Habitat: Native to central Asia, grows wild in Italy and southern France.
Herbal actions: Anti-microbial, antiseptic, antispasmodic & carminative (gas-reducing), cardiotonic (supports the cardiovascular system), hepatic (supports liver function), diaphoretic (induces perspiration), expectorant (relieves congestion), rich in antioxidants
Contraindications: May increase risk of bleeding if taken with anticoagulants (blood thinners).
Harvesting notes: Harvest when lower leaves turn yellow/brown. Gently remove bulb from soil by loosening with a fork. Do not pull from the stem.
Fun fact: The juice from crushed garlic cloves can be used as a light adhesive for delicate projects (e.g. repairing glass) and other crafts!
Enjoy Garlic in our Fire Cider!
Use Fire Cider in your Morning Lemonade Tonic! Or maybe try it with some Braised Swiss Chard? The possibilities are endless!
 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2020, December), Garlic, Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/garlic.
 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2020, January 24), Garlic, Retrieved from https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/garlic.
 Richard Whelan (2011), Garlic, Retrieved from https://www.rjwhelan.co.nz/herbs%20A-Z/garlic.html.
 The Naturopathic Herbalist (2015, Sept 10), Allium Sativum, Retrieved from https://thenaturopathicherbalist.com/2015/09/10/allium-sativum/.
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