This week for my blog I am sending out a copy of Chapter 1, Introduction and Folklore, from my book “The Sweet Side of the Stinking Rose, how to use garlic to feel good and live longer”
This week for my blog I am sending out a copy of Chapter 1, Introduction and Folklore, from my book “The Sweet Side of the Stinking Rose, how to use garlic to feel good and live longer” The book is available on Amazon.
By Valerie Lull. MH
I believe garlic is one of the most versatile of all the herbs. I like garlic because it is readily available at the local supermarket, it is very inexpensive, it has multiple uses, and it works
Garlic’s scientific name is Allium sativum, which comes from the Latin. Allium was the Latin name for garlic and sativum means cultivated. Allium describes a group of plants which include onions, leeks, shallots, and chives.
Historically garlic was called Poor Man’s Treacle because people thought it counteracted poison in animals. Garlic has been studied extensively for its health benefits, and Garlic is one of the most studied of all herbs.
Garlic is a well-known herb. People use it all the time, but it should not be taken to excess. Some folks eat a few raw cloves every day. Most people either love garlic, or they hate it.
One of the reasons people don’t like garlic is the odor. It comes from a chemical called allicin which is in garlic. If you are one of the people who do not like the odor, there are many garlic products on the market that give you the benefits of garlic without the odor.
Some folks like the smell and taste of garlic. It is used extensively in cooking, and Garlic tea with a little cayenne or chicken bouillon added to it is helpful for a sore throat or stuffed up sinuses.
Garlic has a long and colorful history. Garlic is thought to have originated in northwestern Asia. The ancients believed that garlic gave you strength. According to folklore, garlic was fed to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt to strengthen them. Clay figures of Garlic were found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Garlic is mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud.
The Chinese used garlic for centuries. They used it for heart attacks and circulatory problems. The ancient Greeks and Romans used garlic. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed garlic for ailments such as leprosy, wounds, digestive complaints, cancerous tumors, and heart problems.
Galen and Dioscorides used it for common disorders like poor digestion and parasites. The ancients believed that Garlic had an effect on the immune system. Both Romans and Greeks used garlic in wartime for their soldiers 1.
Garlic is legendary for repelling vampires, and garlic was used to keep away evil spirits. In the middle ages, it was used in an attempt to ward off the plague.
There was a medieval doctor by the name of Bald in A.D. 900 in England. He used garlic as a remedy for illness. Later garlic fell out of favor and was disliked by the English. Shakespeare refers to garlic as an aphrodisiac. Culpepper, a herbalist from 17th century England refers to the offensiveness of the garlic smell on the breath.
Historically the Arab doctors like Avicenna used garlic. The medieval medical school at Salerno, Italy used garlic. St. Hildegard of Bremen refers to the medicinal use of garlic in her writings.
The London College of Physicians in 1649 used garlic as an antidote to bites from venomous beasts. They also believed garlic was good for disorders of the urinary tract and the bowels. Garlic was considered to be an antidote to the bubonic plague of the 17th century.
The Chinese used garlic for worms. They used Garlic for animals. They used it for people as a preventive of influenza. Garlic was and still is used extensively in Eastern Europe. The Russians use a head of garlic with a cup of milk for dysentery, seizures and threadworms. In the new world, garlic was introduced by the explorers from Europe.
In 1858, Louis Pasteur studied garlic and documented its antibacterial properties.
In both World War I and World War II when there were shortages of medicines, British army medics made a wash of it that they used in treating wounds. The Russians used garlic extensively on the battlefield and garlic won the title of “Russian Penicillin”.
Albert Schweitzer used garlic and was aware of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. He used it to treat typhus and cholera
For centuries, the people in northern Europe associated garlic with the Mediterranean countries and suggested that they had “hot blood” from all the garlic they ate. Japan is another country where garlic is not popular.
Whether you like it or hate it, garlic appears to be an exceptionally good herb that has stood the test of time.