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Garlic

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 | crankit

No Vampires Round Here…

Allium sativum, Allium scorodoprasum

History

The entire ancient world from Spain to China revered garlic. It’s the world’s second oldest medicine. The ancient Egyptians used garlic to increase stamina and strength as well as protection from disease, and gave it freely to labourers and slaves (to keep them building the pyramids!). In the 5th century, Greek historian, Herodotus wrote that on one of the pyramids there is an inscription describing the amount of garlic, onions and radishes consumed by those building the great pyramid of Cheops. He also called all Egyptians ‘the stinking ones’ because of their garlicy aroma. Similarly, the Romans ate garlic to give the army courage (the garlic plant was dedicated to the war god, Mars) and even attributed their success in conquering the world in part to garlic because ‘no invader would come into the country that smelled so strong!’ In the former Soviet Union, garlic was known as ‘Russian penicillin’. Garlic also has a reputation as a stimulant to the sexual appetites and rambunctious thoughts, so yogis, monks, and nuns from many Eastern religions eliminate garlic from their diets. Bad luck for them, but good news for us – we can eat as much as we like!

Source of

Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal sulphur compounds, cancer fighting and heart-protective phytochemicals.

Good for

Preventing heart disease, lowering cholesterol levels, high blood pressure. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-spasmodic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and anti-diarrhoeal; contains many anti-cancer compounds and antioxidants; fights colds.

Organic vs Non-organic

Garlic is most heavily treated with herbicides and fungicides; insecticides are used only occasionally. Synthetic pyrethrums and organophosphates are commonly used. Organic garlic contains higher concentrations of the phytonutrient, allicin.

Garlic has power to save from death,
Bear with it despite unsavoury breath.
And scorn not garlic like some that think,
It only makes men wink, drink and stink.
John Harrington, The Englishman’s Doctor, 1609.

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