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Wild garlic is an amazing plant that combines the properties of onions and garlic. At the same time, it is used not only in cooking, but also in traditional medicine in the treatment of a number of diseases.
Botanical description of wild garlic
The wild garlic plant has many other names: garlic grass, bear onions, leverda, wild garlic, forest garlic, and it is also called a bulb, since the root crop (onion head) resembles a narrow cone. The plant is related to ordinary onions, because it belongs to the same genus and the Amaryllis family.
This is a herbaceous plant. It looks like a familiar onion, although it tastes more like garlic. That is why the people have formed so many names that relate to one and the other culture. The stalk is strong, resembles a cylinder, and sharp leaves (up to 5-7 cm in length) clasp it at the base. It forms a lot of small white flowers that bloom in different sequences, as a result of which almost all summer the grass is covered with flowers collected in an umbrella.
In total, the plant forms 2-3 leaves, sometimes it gives only one. If you grind them, a pleasant garlic aroma appears. Outwardly, the leaves resemble the lily of the valley. Due to its rich composition, herbs and bulbs are used in cooking and traditional medicine.
Where wild garlic grows
Garlic grass is quite unpretentious and lives almost throughout Eurasia: in Europe from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean coast, and in Russia everywhere in the middle zone, in southern Siberia and the Far East. It is also found in the tropical zone of Asia, but closer to the south it becomes much less, because wild garlic loves not too hot and not too humid climate.
Collection and storage of wild garlic
If the summer was not very hot and rainy, then this is the best option for collecting garlic grass, which does not like drought and especially open sunlight.
To harvest medicinal raw materials, greens and peduncles of grass are collected. They are dried in the fresh air, but always under a canopy. If this is not possible, you can simply put it in the room and constantly ventilate. Dried raw materials are stored in bags made of natural fabrics, preferably in cool conditions (can be in the refrigerator door).
From the point of view of culinary qualities, it is not recommended to dry the grass at all, since this way it will lose its aroma. You can simply pickle it or, after cutting, immediately put it in the most cold place of the refrigerator.
Important! The main danger that may arise during the collection of wild wild garlic is that, due to inexperience, it can be confused with lily of the valley and colchicum, whose foliage is poisonous. Therefore, if in doubt, be sure to rub the foliage in your hands - if there is a garlic smell, then this is definitely wild garlic.
The benefits and harms of wild garlic
The chemical composition and calorie content of wild garlic
Wild garlic, like any other greens, has a low calorie content due to the fact that it is 85% water. Only 100 g of 35 kcal, which is not more than 2.5% of all human energy consumption per day.
The healing properties of the plant are due to its rich chemical composition, represented by many beneficial substances:
- vitamins A, C, group B;
- organic acids;
- essential oils;
- volatile and others.
Thanks to these substances, garlic herb has a complex effect on the body.
The healing properties of bear onions
Ramson has beneficial effects on almost all organ systems:
- optimizes blood concentration;
- stimulates appetite by increasing the secretion of gastric juice;
- helps fight intestinal infections due to bactericidal action;
- well regulates the activity of the heart muscle;
- stabilizes processes in the nervous system;
- has a good effect on the skin, due to which it is used in the treatment of warts, boils and lichen;
- It has a natural effect on reducing pressure due to the purification of blood from cholesterol.
The use of wild garlic in cooking
In cooking, it is used as greens for salads, and is also pickled. Here are some common recipes:
- From a bunch of wild garlic and several boiled eggs make a salad - the components are finely chopped, seasoned with salt, spices to taste and necessarily sour cream. Such an appetizer can be eaten separately, and it is also very tasty if you spread it on a slightly dried baguette, on which you can also put a small piece of ham. It turns out a real garlic cracker.
- You can use wild garlic in salads with vegetables: for example, chop a bunch of greens with finely chopped fresh cucumbers. You can add radishes. Be sure to season everything with salt and sour cream (other spices - optional).
- To harvest garlic grass for the winter, it is easy to pickle it. Bulbs are taken, cut in half, soaked in water for several hours so that glycosides (substances that give a bitter aftertaste) come out of them. Put the pieces in a jar and fill with marinade (70-80 grams of salt and sugar on a 3-liter jar, 9% 6 tablespoons of vinegar - all this is brought to a boil and cools down).
Pickled wild garlic gives a pleasant garlic flavor to the dish, and at the same time does not give a sharp spicy aroma. It can be used for stewing vegetables and meat, as well as a liquid base for sauces.
How to grow wild garlic
Wild garlic in folk medicine
There are a lot of recipes for using the plant. Here are the most popular:
- Prescription for hypertension: pressure can be normalized by stabilizing the composition of the blood and cleaning it from cholesterol. To do this, alcohol tincture is made: 1 mass part of fresh herbs and garlic herb flowers and 5 parts of vodka (or 2 parts of medical alcohol). Insist in a shaded place for 3 weeks. Treatment is carried out for 4 months (a teaspoon before each meal daily).
- To increase appetite (especially against the background of a drop in general tone after an illness) you can use fresh wild garlic juice: a teaspoon is taken for a month before each meal. The same prescription is prescribed for intestinal dysbiosis.
- For external use against warts and lichen fresh bear’s juice is also used: clean swabs get wet into it and apply to the affected areas for 2-3 hours. Compresses are constantly changing, so that the skin is constantly fresh components. The course of treatment is until complete recovery. The same tampons can be inserted into the nose and treated for acute respiratory viral infections (or as a preventive measure if someone is sick in the house).
- In the treatment of radiculitis compresses, which are made on the basis of gruel from garlic herb leaves chopped in a meat grinder, help. Compresses are held for 2-3 hours, then are constantly replaced. You can combine with mustard plasters.
- Wild garlic broth is used in the treatment of pinworms. For this, fresh or dried leaves are brewed in the amount of half a glass of raw materials per glass of boiling water. The mixture is infused for several hours, then filtered. For treatment, you should put small enemas 2 times a day until complete recovery.
About contraindications of wild garlic
There are several categories of people who it is better to refrain from using wild garlic due to its garlic spiciness:
- Pregnant and lactating mothers at any stage.
- Suffering from a stomach ulcer, as well as ulcerative formations in the duodenum 12.
- suffering from low blood pressure.
If you greatly increase the dosage of bear onions, this will lead to approximately the same consequences as the abuse of garlic:
- stomach pains;
- headaches and sleep disorders.
Thus, wild garlic has practically no contraindications, just use it in reasonable quantities.
Growing wild garlic in a summer cottage
Since wild garlic is a perennial plant, it is best to immediately choose the optimal place for planting, after which you should not disturb the grass by replanting.
Technology and landing dates
When choosing a place, several nuances should be taken into account:
- a bear bow does not like open sunlight - you need to plant in places with constant slight shading;
- the plant is relatively good in moisture, so you can choose lowlands;
- finally, the soil should be sufficiently fertile and well loosened.
It is optimal to plant in early spring, since the plant tolerates frosts well.
Important! If you plant bear onion seeds, then they will sprout only after a year. Therefore, you can grow their house in crates immediately after harvest, so that in the warm season to plant seedlings in the country.
How to cook wild garlic
In general, caring for garlic grass will not take much effort, since the plant is well adapted to our climatic conditions:
- It is better to water abundantly, so that the soil is always noticeably wet.
- Fertilizers are applied 1-2 times for the whole season, it is enough to use regular complex feeding.
- 2 years after planting, it is advisable to mulch the grass with dried autumn leaves.
Important! Basically, wild garlic is not attacked by insects that are afraid of its garlic aroma. If rusty spots or gray rot appear on the leaves, this indicates that the grass receives too much moisture or the soil is too acidified (liming should be done).
Due to its unpretentiousness wild garlic has gained great fame among gardeners. This is an excellent option in order to quickly bite not only healthy, but also very fragrant herbs. In addition, garlic grass can also be used as an emergency. Therefore, a bear bow should be in every garden.