Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is a plant with a large variety of healing effects on the human body. Wild garlic can enrich our diet already in early spring and it is also very good for spring cleansing treatment.
Where wild garlic grows?
Wild garlic can be found in floodplains and deciduous forests in shaded and humid places in April. Wild garlic blooms during May and June. It is about 30 cm tall perennial plant with bulbs. It has tiny white flowers on a long stem and bright green oblong broad leaves that die after flowering. In the forest creates wild garlic in flowering time a lush carpet, you can recognize it easily by the typical garlic smell.
How wild garlic tastes?
Wild garlic taste is slightly pungent, garlicky. Be aware of mistaking it with poisonous lily of the valley or with autumn crocus. The surest way how to distinguish wild garlic is its garlic smell. Reportedly, this plant seeks bears after the winter sleep, because it helps them cleanse up their stomach, intestines and blood, hence probably its name.
Wild garlic and its medicinal effects
The wild garlic contained vitamins, minerals and essential oils, a significant amount of iodine and other organic compounds which favourably affects human body. Wild garlic is widely used in folkish medicine to treat various diseases such as flu, colds, upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis and tonsillitis. As an active mild antibiotic it affects against inflammatory disease, it has fungicidal and bactericidal effects, thus wild garlic destroys mildews, bacteria, fungal infections and mycosis. It stabilize natural environment in the digestive tract and is used for intestinal diseases and against intestinal parasites. Wild garlic suppresses candidiasis and prevents flatulence and cramps. It is suitable for healing constipation and acute or chronic diarrhoea accompanied by flatulence or colic. Overall wild garlic improves clearness of the intestines. Wild garlic also has a beneficial effect in diabetes. Reduces cholesterol level and blood pressure and prevent arteriosclerosis, because it prevents the deposition of calcium in the arteries. Wild garlic purifies blood very well, so it is suitable for long-term problems with the skin. Its fresh leaves purify the kidneys and bladder and have diuretic effects. The plant also has a positive effect on the stomach. If you have sensitive stomach, you should first scald wild garlic with milk and drink to sip after 2-3 hours.
Wild garlic in the kitchen
Wild garlic leaves has typical garlicky flavour, but they are less aromatic than normal sown garlic. By drying and cooking it loses its aroma and taste, but freezing does not matter. The best way how to use wild garlic is chopped on the bread with butter, in salads, sandwiches. We can add it to soups and sauces, sprinkle with it boiled potatoes and add to it omelettes or prepare it as a spinach. It can be put into spreads and cottage cheese, to the pesto and herb oils. Preparation of wild garlic pesto is very easy, just chop finely leaves into small pieces and load them into the oil. Thus, we can use wild garlic bulbs. A cleanings benefit of plants is increased by mixing it with young stinging nettle leaves, which are also perfect for spring detoxification.
Wild garlic - tincture and wine
If you want to keep the healing strength of wild garlic throughout the year, you can prepare a tincture or wine. For tincture chop finely leaves or bulbs of wild garlic, put in a bottle and pour a 38-40% some clean spirit or vodka. Then let it stand for 14 days in the sun or in a warm place. It is used daily 10-15 drops mixed with water. The tincture is used for digestive disorders, colds and respiratory or getting rid of phlegm.
Preparing wine of wild garlic is also very easy. Cut a handful of leaves, put in a pot, pour a quarter of a litre of white wine and simmer briefly. Sweetened the drink with honey and every other day drinks a few sips.
How to grow wild garlic
If you want to plant wild garlic yourself, find location not exposed to the sun, such as under bushes or hedges, with moist, calcareous, humic soil. Do not fertilize the soil. The best way is to get young plants of wild garlic and planted them from March to April in rows with spacing of 10-20 cm. You can also plant wild garlic bulbs in the autumn in clusters of about 10 pieces. The plant is self-sowing and it very easily grows barren.