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This article is from the Herb Reference series.


Other Names:

Clove Garlic
Poor Man's Treacle

Latin Name:

There are around 500 species of garlic.
Allium sativum
A. scorodoprasm

Through the ages Garlic has had a prominent place in many cultures. The Egyptians swore oaths on it and the Romans ate it to give them strength in war. References to Garlic as a medicine date as far back as 2000 B.C. in the calendar of the Hsai.

Garlic is common to the roadsides, fields, and even open woods of the Northern Hemisphere.

Stems: Hollow, smooth, and round.

Flowers: small flowers in loose or compact round clusters encased,at first in a teardrop shaped leaf that falls off later.

Leaves: long, flat, linear leaves on tubular sheaths that surround the stem at the base.

Fruit: since the flowers are mostly sterile seeds are not usually produced. However small bulbs usually grow between the flowers.

Rootstock: A compound bulb.

Height: A. sativum to about 2 feet. Others 1 to 5 feet.

Cultivation: Garlic is a perenial. Break bulbs apart and plant 2-3 in. apart 1-2 in. deep in rows about 1 foot apart. Where winters are cold plant early in the spring. Otherwise, plant them arround October.

Constituents - contains volatile oil which is composed of allicin and sulphur related compounds plus citral, geraniol, etc. Allicin is the major odour principle and taste of garlic, It is generated by action of the enzyme alliinase on alliin. Under normal conditions alliinase and alliin are separated from each other inside the garlic bulb. However when the bulb is cut or crushed, the two are brought together and alliinase turns alliin (a non volatile odorless sulfur amino acid) into allicin (a pungent volatile sulphur compound.)

Also contains enzymes, mucilage, protein and lipids. Also best known source of selenium, has antioxidant activity.
Parts used: bulb. Fresh juice is most effective.

Garlic Syrup: 1/2 pound peeled garlic buds equal amounts vinegar and distilled water ( Enough to cover the buds. ) 1/2 pint glycerine 1 1/2 pounds honey

Peel the garlic. Add vinegar and distilled water. Use wide mouth jar, close tightly and shake well. Let stand in a cool place for four days. Shake it once or twice a day. Add glycerine. Shake the jar and let stand another day. Strain the liquid through a sieve with pressure. Blend in the honey and place liquid in a jar. Store in a cool place.

Optional: Simmer three ounces of fennel seeds and/or caraway seeds for half an hour. Add this to the mixture while it is steeping, before it is strained. Regular dose is 1 tsp three times a day.

Overdose may induce blisters, irritations or dermatitis in some people.


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