Garlic’s Spicy Past

For thousands of years and over numerous civilizations, garlic has been used for healing and flavor. Garlic was even found in Greek temples and Egyptian pyramids. Early records of history write about garlic as well. Garlic was regarded as a great method for healing many ailments in Egypt, India and China. Coughs, toothaches, bug bites, arthritis and the occasional vampire were taken care of by garlic. It became a widely used treatment for a large variety of health issues during medieval times. And even now, its use as a folk medicine carries on.

Garlic’s Use Today

Garlic is a simple plant to cultivate and it grows year round in climates that are mild. When mature, the plants can grow up to 4 feet high. One head of garlic typically contains 10-20 cloves. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is what makes it such an excellent healer. When crushed or chopped, Garlic releases Allicin. Along with its healing properties, garlic can up the flavor ante of nearly any meal. Though, here in America, garlic wasn’t always as beloved as it is today. English cooks very rarely used garlic for anything other than a way to treat illnesses and brought that attitude with them when they traveled America. Fortunately, garlic is currently added to meals although it took close to 300 years to get more popular. The next time you have a dish with garlic, take a moment to think about its long past.