Garlic – History | Health Benefits | Culinary Uses

GarlicGarlic (allium sativum) is best known for its use in cooking but it also has been used for its medicinal benefits throughout history. Grown globally, it prefers a mild climate and is easy to grow. Just planting one clove will produce an entire bulb after a short period of time. It grows wild in the USA and the UK and is a member of the lily family similar to the onion, leek and chive.

The History of Garlic

Garlic dates back over thousands of years and has been widely used in cooking in Asia, Africa and Europe.  Probably due to its strong aroma garlic is said to ward off vampires. The strong smell also keeps biting mosquitoes at bay so quite possibly the vampire / garlic connection arose from the biting and drinking of blood from the victim.

The Egyptians worshipped garlic and when the tomb of Tutankhamun was opened 6 clay models of garlic were found beside him.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic contains over 75 substances with allicin being the most important.

It also contains trace minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamins A and C.

  • Allicin widens the blood vessels and protects against arteriosclerosis.
  • It is an antioxidant that protects against cancer and diabetes.
  • A garlic poultice, placed on an open wound will help with the healing process.
  • Garlic is a good blood thinning agent and helps to prevent blood clots.

Culinary Uses

Garlic has a strong spicy flavour and is used as a seasoning for many dishes. The bulb is split into segments called cloves, then after the papery skin is removed it is usually crushed. Garlic is odor free until it hagarlic flowers been crushed.

Many recipes use garlic but some people are put off by the bad breath smell the morning after. This is caused by the sulphuric compounds which garlic contains. Not only does your breath smell but these compounds manage to get into the blood stream and are passed out of your body via the pores of your skin and through the breath coming from your lungs. The odour can remain with you for several hours after eating fresh garlic.

However, eating press parsley or mints may help to cover any smell as the health benefits far out way the disadvantages.

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Category: Natural Food

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Hi ! I'm Jaks and I am the writer for this site. To be completely healthy and fit you must keep your body moving and active and most of all eating the correct food is vital. Learn more about this site

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