The Food Reality Blog

Trust in the Power of Nature

Growing Garlic: Grow your own medicine cabinet… garlic is great for so many things!

Now before you ask why I am writing a post on ‘How To Grow Garlic’, allow me to explain…. Firstly they have fab flowers and secondly I grow a small amount of veg and I thought you would enjoy how to use garlic for medicine.

Up until about 50 years ago, nature was our medicine chest. Nearly every community had a natural healer or midwife who had studied plants and their use in healing. Medicinal gardens were part of the landscape. The healer knew which plants that grew naturally around the community had medicinal properties.

One of the greatest gifts of natural medicine that can be found on this earth is garlic, or Allium sativum. It has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. It is also an antioxidant and an immune stimulant.

Garlic has been used in folk medicine for centuries. It is currently being researched to see how it may be used in modern medicine and to help support health. Garlic may change your genes, erase wrinkles, lower blood pressure, decrease fasting blood glucose, reduce cardiovascular risk, alleviate arthritis, reduce inflammation and more! Garlic also helps improve nutrition. It regulates iron metabolism and increases zinc and iron absorption from foods.

There are different types of garlic – the most common being hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. It is important to get the right kind of garlic for your area, as garlic can be day-length sensitive. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates, whilst softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator.

In the Kitchen: To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.To preserve the antimicrobial activity of garlic mix into cooked foods at the last minute.

  • Common Names
  • Garlic , Poor Man’s Treacle, Bawang, Bauang
  • Botanical Name
  • Allium sativum
  • Family
  • LILIACEAE

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Growing Garlic (Allium sativum) – Gardening Basics

Most modern garlic does not produce viable seed; therefore, it is propagated by breaking apart a head into individual cloves.

Shortly before planting your garlic, carefully break the cloves apart into separate pieces (this process is known as ‘cracking’) Make sure that the section that was attached to the garlic basal plate (hard flat section at the base) for each one is still intact and not damaged. Make sure you break the garlic bulb apart no more than 24 hours before planting – the roots will form from the base, so it’s best to not let this dry out to ensure that roots set quickly.

Select the largest garlic cloves, and plant these as they will create the largest bulbs when grown.

There are a number of different strategies you can use for planting garlic, each will result in slightly different yields. You can plant garlic in double or single rows, or intensively plant with smaller distance between each plant – this will result in smaller bulbs.

Cover the planted garlic cloves with mulch to regulate soil moisture and temperature levels – however this is not recommended for areas where moisture levels are already high.

“Chill garlic cloves in the fridge for a few weeks (this improves bulb development). You can skip this step but it helps grow bigger garlic.

To prevent rotting in the soil, here’s a little tip: soak your cloves in a glass jar with equal quantities of baking soda to organic liquid seaweed for 2 hours. e.g. for 8-10 cloves (1 average bulb) = 1 tblspn baking soda: 1 tblspn seaweed. Increase quantity depending on number of cloves you’re planting.”

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Garlic is a very hardy plant.

No need to purchase seeds… just pick some organic ones up from your local farmstand.

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Important Growing Information:Image result for growing garlic for medicine

DAYS TO GERMINATION:57 days

SOWING:about a hand’s breadth away from each other

LIGHT PREFERENCE: sun or partial shade

SOIL REQUIREMENTS: not keen on consistently damp soil.

HARDINESS ZONE: 5 – 9

 

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Flower Arrangements

not ever used as a flower for arrangments

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Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Garlic

    • Medicinal Uses: * Allergies * Asthma * Athletes Foot/Ringworm * Ayurvedic * Bronchitis * Burns * Cancer Prevention * Candida/yeast * Cardiovascular * Cholesterol * Colds * Culinary/Kitchen * Diabetes * Ear * Flu * Herpes/Cold Sores * Insect Repellent * Nutrition * Parasites/worms * Sinus * Sore Throat * Spring Tonics * Stop Smoking
    • Properties: * Antibacterial * Antifungal * Antiparasite * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Diaphoretic/sudorific * Emmenagogue * Expectorant * Galactagogue * Hypotensive * Stimulant * Vulnerary
    • Parts Used: bulb
    • Constituents: allicin, citral, geraniol, linalool, phellandrene, s-methyl-1-cysteine sulfoxide

Image result for growing garlic for medicine

  • Today garlic has found new respect from the modern scientific community for use in serious illness as well. Garlic contains allicin, a most impressive broad-spectrum antimicrobial as well as over thirty other medicinal compounds. Garlic and onions have long been used to treat bronchitis, allergies and asthma by helping to open the lungs and ease breathing. The ingredients responsible include mustard oils and quercetin. Garlic belongs to the allium genus which includes onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives. This group of herbs are important in improving the digestibility of meats and other heavy foods and well as adding other healthy antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to your home cooking.

    Garlic as a medicinal food has an impressive range of benefits. Garlic and its cousin onion contain substances that discourage platelets from sticking together and prevent blood clots, helping to naturally thin the blood. They also lower total cholesterol and triglycerides, another type of blood fat, all the while increasing HDL, “good cholesterol”. 1,4Garlic may also lower blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes. Garlic may exert its effects in part by stimulating beta-cell insulin secretion. While garlic has had some mixed results in trials set to measure its effects on lowering blood sugar, diabetics may still wish to consciously add more fresh garlic to food, or even consider supplementation with garlic powder due to its protective health benefits and absence of major side effects.  The major drawback to garlic continues to be the risk of stomach upset with higher doses, along with the usual risk of compounding the effects of prescription blood thinners.

    Meta studies have shown a protective relationship between consumption of high consumption of raw or cooked garlic and the relative risk of both colo-rectal and stomach cancer. (The same correlation was not found for users of garlic supplements.)5 Though the exact numbers are hard to determine, it is yet one more reason to get in the habit of cooking with fresh garlic, onions and including all the amazing allium genus plant foods in your daily diet. 3,7

    Preparation Methods & Dosage :Garlic can and should be used liberally in food, either powdered or freshly chopped. Two cloves or more a day are considered a medicinal dose. Eating 2 to 3 fresh garlic cloves a day has many health benefits including diabetes, arthritis and heart health. To make it more palatable, mash the garlic cloves with a spoonful of honey A simple garlic based broth may be more effective than chicken soup! Garlic and it’s close relatives (chives, leeks and onions) can be applied directly to burns in a poultice. Or cut an onion in half and squeeze the juice on the burn. Garlic infused oils can be used topically or in cooking. Crushed garlic is a good addition to any homemade insecticide spray. Garlic cloves, placed in the ground around plants will deter slugs. Garlic is a natural pesticide against mosquito larvae.

    Garlic Side Effects: Can cause a skin rash in sensitive people. Over consumption can cause heartburn and gas. Moderation is the key here.

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Additional Resources

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail23.php

http://greyduckgarlic.com/Garlic_and_Medicine.html

Herbal Preparations and research: https://theherbarium.wordpress.com

http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

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C Katt Krespach, NTP

C Katt Krespach, NTP

C Katt Krespach, NTP is a nutritional therapist and long time activist with a passion for healing arts and social entrepreneurship, …working in both areas for over a quarter of a century. Her site TheFoodReality.com has a worldwide following. SpritualEntrepreneur.global is her newest project and coaches brick-and-morter business owners into global social entrepreneurship. She is an author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. You can get Katt’s free edible flowers e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame neuropathy, significant weight gain, and more with easy, natural and healing mindsets. Follow Katt on Facebook, Wordpress, Twitter, and Instagram.

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