Allow me to introduce to you some perhaps little known facts about that wonder culinary herb we know as garlic. In our home we use it a lot. It does stink. But it is so good!
Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion.
Native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, it has been around for thousands of years. Used commonly as a seasoning, garlic has also been used as a traditional medicine. A whopping 80% of the world supply comes from China. Did you know that a species of Sicilian garlic called Aglio Rosso di Nubia is red? And that aged garlic, sold in little boxes in our supermarket is black – and sweet. Word is that its richer in antioxidants than raw garlic. And antiioxidants of course protect against cell damage and aging.
As recently as 60 years ago, garlic was a crucial component in the standard issue medical kits that were carried by medics in the United States military in both World War I and II to treat wounds. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties have been praised for millennia. When they ran out of antibiotics the medics applied garlic poultices to the soldiers’ wounds – with great success.
Grown between rose bushes, garlic stops the aphids from munching on that luscious new spring growth. I know. I’ve done it.
Garlic of course has a strong history in folklore. Linked to good and evil. Many cultures used it for protection or white magic. In Central European people believed it protected them against demons, werewolves, and vampires. It could be found hanging in windows, worn around the neck, rubbed on chimneys and keyholes.
In the foundation myth of the ancient Korean kingdom of Gojoseon, eating nothing but 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of Korean mugwort for 100 days let a bear be transformed into a woman.
Anyone for some garlic bread?
Steps for Peace
Nature itself is the best physician