Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wild Garlic - Allium Vineale

Save money at the grocery store and room in your garden by harvesting your own wild garlic! It is a fun addition to outdoor time and cooking! My son loves to search for the garlic stems and pull them up after a nice spring rain.
Here are some interesting bits of information about wild garlic:
The difference between wild garlic and wild onion - wild garlic has hollow and round stems and little tiny cloves (see picture below). Wild onion does not.
Nutrional info: The whole plant is antiasthmatic, blood purifier, carminative (causing the release of stomach or intestinal gas), cathartic (laxative), diuretic, expectorant, hypotensive, stimulant and vasodilator (widens blood vessels - good for circulation). A tincture is used to prevent worms and colic in children, and also as a remedy for croup. The raw root can be eaten to reduce blood pressure and also to ease shortness of breath. Although no other specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. The juice of the plant can be rubbed on exposed parts of the body to repel biting insects!
Cultivation details: Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. This species is a pernicious weed of grassland in Britain, spreading freely by means of its bulbils. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

So get out there and dig up some garlic!

But remember not to eat garlic picked from a chemically fertilized lawn!!!

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