Wild garlic and its uses

Growing naturally in the undergrowth or on the edge of shady paths, wild garlic, better known as ‘bear garlic’ is a precious plant in many ways. Used in herbal medicine as in cooking, it has many advantages.

Wild garlic, wild garlic from undergrowth harvested in late winter, early spring

Learn more about wild garlic

In spring, wild garlic makes a lot of talk! Some go in search of it in order to accommodate it to a few cooking recipes, others to use its medicinal properties recognized since Antiquity. But what is this famous plant and where is it found?

Wild garlic or wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is part of the Liliaceae family, just like its famous cousin, Allium sativum, used as a condiment. Its vernacular name comes from the fact that it would be particularly appreciated by bears coming out of hibernation.

The plant points to the tips of its lanceolate leaves similar to those of the lily of the valley from February always in a shaded area in ditches, undergrowth or not far from waterways.

From April, the flower stalks in umbels with starry white flowers adorn the green carpet formed by the foliage traversed by darker parallel veins.

The whole plant, from roots to flowers, distils the sulfur and aromatic fragrance characteristic of garlic.

Once flowering is complete and seeds produced, the foliage dries up and the plant begins to grow. dormancy.

The harvest period is therefore very short! The very young leaves and flower buds are generally used in cooking.

In traditional medicine, the bulb, essential oil and all aerial parts can be used.

The art of picking

This bulbous plant should never be pulled up at the risk of disappearing.

Cut the leaves one by one, taking care to identify them beforehand so as not to confuse them with those of lily of the valley or fall crocus. Odor and venation are good indicators to differentiate them.

Pick up in the early morning, on a rising moon and in ‘day-leaves‘ sure the lunar calendar, they will then be very loaded with flavor and will keep longer.

Pick only the young leaves if you want to eat them raw.

Flowering marks the end of the harvest because the leaves then become tougher and less tasty.

It is possible to consume flower buds with a very fine flavor or to decorate your dishes with flowers to give them a little original side.

Wild garlic in herbal medicine

The active ingredients of wild garlic are present in larger quantities and more concentrated than on common garlic, that is why the plant is so sought after.

Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and deworming, wild garlic finds its place to prevent or treat multiple pathologies.

Used since antiquity, wild garlic, picked early, brought strength and vigor to Roman warriors.

Associated with white magic in the Middle Ages, wild garlic had the magical properties of protecting pregnant women and purifying water.

Loaded with active ingredients, wild garlic is nowadays used as vermifuge, as bad fat burner, as well as to do lower blood sugar and against skin diseases. It purifies and rebalances the intestinal flora and helps fight both against diarrhea but also against constipation.

The essence of wild garlic is usefulread in poultices or massages to relieve rheumatism, whilean infusion, the plant regulates too high blood pressure and activates the circulation.

Very rich in vitamin C, it helps fight against fatigue and seasonal ENT ailments when taken for prevention.

It effectively clears the respiratory tract in infusions and purifies the air in a room where a patient has stayed when it is used and fumigations.

Wild garlic in cooking

Young leaves are delicious raw, you will then benefit from vitamins and minerals, but also from all the medicinal properties which they abound especially if you consume them in the hours which follow the picking. You can then add them to a mixed salad, sprinkle with shrimp, or make the famous pesto. To do this, roughly chop the leaves after washing and sponging them. Mix them with olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese to make a delicious pesto to spread on toast for an aperitif or to serve as an accompaniment to pasta. This recipe can be modulated according to taste by removing certain ingredients or by adding, for example, mushrooms, tofu, or candied tomato.

Use chopped wild garlic to make sauces de type tzatziki in which you will dip small vegetables cut into strips: a treat!

Leaves and flower buds can also be used for flavoring oil if you let them macerate for at least a month in an opaque bottle.

Cooked wild garlic can simply be used in a omelet with herbs, in quiches, on pizzas, in sauces, pan-fried like spinach.

To enhance woks and fish dishes, wild garlic does not suffer from any competition, just like when it comes to flavoring vegetable patties where the Potato Croquettes.

In general, wild garlic can be used in any recipe where classic garlic is used.

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.

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