Garlic
Garlic
Garlic
Garlic

Garlic

Allium sativum

Garlic will help keep your immunity in check and will also help aide in a healthy heart and liver.

  • Plant type: Annual
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Bulb
  • Side Effects: In high doses, it may upset your digestion
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About Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a heavily aromatic root bulb that is of immense importance in both culinary and medicinal world. It belongs to the Lily family, Amaryllidaceae. Garlic is a perennial plant that emerges from the root bulb which possesses cloves. Its plant can reach a height of 3 feet. It has purple-colored hermaphrodite flowers with seeds that can be found on an erect stem and flat leaves with an acute apex.

The history of garlic is quite rich as it has been reported to be the companions of Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese. It is hailed as one of the oldest cultivated crops.

Garlic is a frequently used flavoring ingredient in various cuisines to spark the nutty mild taste. In the medicinal world, Garlic is pro at boosting the immune system, reducing the blood pressure, improving the lipid profile by managing dyslipidemia, fighting fungal and parasitic infections, and inhibiting the proliferation of cancerous cells.   

Primarily, the most essential ingredient which brings about the famous pungent flavor and medicinal properties hand in hand is Allicin. Other sulfur compounds that have been isolated are ajoene, allyl sulfides, and vinyldithiins. Together, they undergo favorable mechanisms in the living body to produce desirable outcomes.

Growing

Growing garlic plant purely depends on the climatic zones.

Garlic can be grown indoors and outdoors. It requires well-drained, rich soil and a sunny location to grow. After planting the cloves, mulch is added to the region of interest to protect the garlic roots from freezing, retaining the moisture, and keeping the weeds at bay.

After showcasing a good amount of leaves and other aerial growth, there comes a time when it stops producing leaves. This event marks the initiation of bulk formation and indicates the gardener to stop watering the plant and remove the mulch.

The life cycle of garlic kick starts upon the formation of root bulbs. The coming summer promises 3 feet tall plants that are anchored by the bulb.

If the scapes of the plant are not removed, the plant diverts its energy into growing flowers. Further growth of the plant results in bulbil formation which bears the seeds that can be used for another round of garlic yield.

Harvesting

Harvesting garlic bulbs depends on the climate zone of the region. A clear indicator of the harvest is when the leaves of the plant have turned brown.

Garlic root bulbs are harvested by digging them out of the ground. It is clearly made sure that the bulbs are not bruised.

The garlic bulbs are laid out dry for at least 3 weeks in a well-ventilated space where there is no trace of sunlight. After drying, rub off the dirt and keep it away from the moisture to prevent spoilage.

Usage

Garlic is utilized in several dosage forms to get its rich benefits.

  • Tea - Few cloves of garlic are boiled in water and strained. Some honey and fresh lemon juice are added to feel the zesty flavor of garlic tea.
  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped garlic in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Decoction - Garlic cloves are simmered in water for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Salve - Finely chopped garlic cloves, coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax are used to formulate garlic salve.
  • Syrup - Garlic clove, water, and honey are simmered on medium flame until the liquid thickens to form a syrup-like consistency.
  • Infused oil - Olive oil and garlic cloves are heated together for 10 minutes on low flame to form garlic oil.