Garlic Throughout the Ages
For millennia and across lots of cultures, garlic has been used to add flavor to food and to heal. And, some of the earliest historical records mention garlic and it was even found in Greek temples and Egyptian pyramids. Many people in India, China and Egypt all used garlic for healing. Garlic was known as a way to remedy with insect bites, coughs, arthritis, toothaches and perhaps even a vampire. It became a common way to treat a wide range of health issues during medieval times. And even today, its reputation as a folk medicine carries on.
Garlic is an easy crop to grow and it grows all year in climates that are mild. Garlic can reach up to four feet when mature and is a member of the bulbous plant family. There’s generally ten to twenty garlic cloves in one head. What makes garlic so successful at healing is Allicin, a compound inside garlic. Allicin is created when fresh garlic is crushed or chopped. Along with its healing potential, garlic adds flavor to just about any dish. Everybody loves garlic today, but it wasn’t always this widespread in North America as it is currently. In England many years ago, garlic was generally only used as a way to treat ailments, and was very rarely cooked with. It took nearly 300 years for garlic to become more common but lucky for us it’s used everywhere. The next time you have a meal that’s flavored with garlic, take a chance to think about its long history.