Garlic, the "voodoo bulb" - love it or hate it (part 1)

Elisabeth Rohrer

3 minutes | 2. April 2019
Degree of technical knowledge

Garlic – more than a worldwide used spice plant

„Garlic garlic, it’s a remedy we crave! “

says a line of the chorus from the musical Dance of the Vampires – probably some of you might know. In this case, the garlic serves to protect against the bloodthirsty undead. Entertaining and – who knows – perhaps with a spark of truth. By the way, where does the vampire’s aversion to garlic come from? A legitimate question, we try to answer later on.

After this first part of our garlic insights, you will know about…

…the origin of garlic

…the early use of garlic as medicinal plant

…the characteristics of garlic

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Garlic (Allium sativum) has to offer so much more than just keeping away undesired vampires, and it is definitely more than only a worldwide used spice plant. Throughout history, garlic has been known as herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases. Though – one by one, let’s go back in history a little bit and have a closer look at this bulbous plant, belonging to the family of Amaryllidaceae.

Did you know?

Garlic originated in Central Asia and was already widespread in ancient times. At that time, opinions about garlic already differed widely due to its intense smell: In Rome it was rather frowned upon by the upper class, whereas among the Egyptians it was considered sacred. Its strong smell made garlic an important plant even in superstition, hence it was used to ward off demons, evil spirits and Vampires.

Besides ist „defence characteristics“, throughout history, garlic always found its role to human (and animals) soundness. For instance, Hildegard von Bingen treated jaundice with garlic, the Greek doctor Dioskurides described garlic as a medicinal plant with a positive effect on digestion and as a remedy against poisoning. Above, garlic was also used in ancient times to treat skin diseases and colds. In the Middle Ages, it was used to fight the plague. A very versatile, remarkable spice, therefore, worth describing it in more detail below.

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Characteristics

Garlic is a perennial herbaceous plant. It has a small bulb, which consists of five to twenty daughter bulbs, the so-called garlic cloves. It is a precious spice plant used in the kitchen as well as a medical plant with an important role in naturopathy.

Quickly read:

  • Scientific Name: Allium sativum
  • Family: Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae)
  • Growth height: up to 90 cm
  • Colour of flowers: white, pink to Purple
  • Collection time: summer or autumn
  • Occurrence: originally from Central Asia, today worldwide
  • Habitats: sunny, humus-rich, nutrient-rich, deep soils
  • Used parts of plants: tubers

Stay tuned and discover the diversity of the effective ingredients of garlic in the next chapter.

Elisabeth Rohrer

After her study of agriculture sciences at the university of natural resources and life sciences in Vienna, Elisabeth joined the Delacon family in December 2013 as Technical Communications Manager. A position, she still exerts with pleasure, after her return from maternity leave and at alongside of Anne. Elisabeth describes herself as great animal and nature lover and prefers to spend her free time high up in the mountains with her little family, away from the hustle and bustle.