Tag Archives: Allium

Allium fistulosum

Botanical Name : Allium fistulosum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. fistulosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium bouddae Debeaux
*Allium kashgaricum Prokh.
*Cepa fissilis Garsault
*Cepa fistulosa (L.) Gray
*Cepa ventricosa Moench
*Kepa fistulosa (L.) Raf.
*Phyllodolon fistulosum (L.) Salisb.
*Porrum fistulosum (L.) Schur

Common Names: Welsh onion, Japanese bunching onion, Bunching onion,Scallion, Green onion, Ciboule

Habitat:Allium fistulosum is native to E. Asia, possibly western China, though the original habitat is obscure. It is being cultivated for over 1000 years, it is not known in the wild.
Description:
Allium fistulosum, a very distinctive member of the onion family. Bunching onions form perennial evergreen clumps up to 1 ft (0.3 m) in diameter and about 2 ft (0.6 m) tall. The leaves are hollow and tube-like, inflated their entire length. The bulbs are elongate and not much thicker than the stem. After a cold spell, bunching onions send up hollow stalks topped with little greenish flowers in round umbels (clusters with all the flower stems arising from the same point), that are 1-3 in (2.5-7.6 cm) in diameter.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil but tolerates most soils including those that are damp and acid[203]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7.5, but it tolerates a pH in the range 4.9 to 7.5. A very hardy species, it is related to the cultivated onion (A. cepa) and could be of value in breeding programmes. It is sometimes cultivated in the garden for its edible leaves which can be produced throughout the winter if the weather is not too severe. A very popular cultivated vegetable in the Orient, it probably arose through cultivation from A. altaicum[203]. The oriental forms of this species, known as bunching onions, tend to be hardier and more robust than the welsh onion. There are two basic forms, multi-stem types and single-stem types. The single-stem types divide less freely than the multi-stems. Plants will often retain their leaves even when covered in snow. They are also tolerant of high temperatures and can be grown in the tropics. The plants are often eaten by slugs. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates over a wide range of temperatures, it is faster at higher temperatures. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. When well-grown, the plants should be ready to be planted out in the summer. If they are not large enough at this time, grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring. Division of the plants is very easy and can be done at almost any time of the year though the spring is probably best. The divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A strong onion flavour, it can be used in salads, as a cooked vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods. The bulbs are rather small, usually 10 – 25mm in diameter though they can be up to 45mm, and are sometimes used as spring onions. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Leaves – raw or cooked. They have a mild onion flavour and can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves are often available all through the winter if the weather is not too severe. They contain about 1.4% protein, 0.3% fat, 4.6% carbohydrate, 0.8% ash, some vitamin B1 and moderate levels of vitamin C. Flowers – raw. A pleasant onion flavour, but they are rather on the dry side.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)

•0 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 1.4g; Fat: 0.3g; Carbohydrate: 4.6g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0.8g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
Medicinal Uses:
The bulb contains an essential oil that is rich in sulphur compounds. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, stomachic, vermifuge and vulnerary. It is used in the treatment of colds and abdominal coldness and fullness. A tea made from the roots is a children’s sedative. Use of the bulb in the diet impedes internal parasites. Externally, the bulb can be made into a poultice to drain pus from sores, boils and abscesses.

Other Uses: ….Repellent….The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_fistulosum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+fistulosum
http://mobile.floridata.com/Plants/Amaryllidaceae/Allium%20fistulosum/627

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Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii

Botanical Name : Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. ampeloprasum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Babington’s Leek,Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii

Habitat : Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii is native to Britain in S.W. England and the Channel Islands It grows on the clefts of rocks and sandy places near the coast.
Description:
Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii is a bulb, growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. This species is a perennial herb with linear to strap-shaped medium green leaves. The flower heads can reach up to two metres in height. They are comprised of pink-purple bell-like flowers held in umbels with the occasional bulbil which are grow longer than the flowers and give the impression the flower head is exploding. When the flower dies down, these bulbils can root in the surrounding soil, so that colonies of these plants can ‘walk’ across the terrain…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Succeeds in clay soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Closely allied to the wild leek, A. ampeloprasum, differing mainly in its having more bulbils and fewer flowers in the flowering head. Plants can spread freely by means of their bulbils and sometimes become a weed in the garden. Where the plant is found wild in Britain it might be as a relic of early cultivation in monasteries etc. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, though it can also be sown in a cold frame in the spring.   Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Well-grown plants can be planted out into their final positions in late summer or the autumn, otherwise grow them on for a further year in pots and plant them out the following summer. This species produces few if any seeds. Division in late summer or early autumn. Dig up the bulbs when the plants are dormant and divide the small bulblets at the base of the larger bulb. Replant immediately, either in the open ground or in pots in a cold frame. Bulbils – plant out as soon as they are ripe in late summer. The bulbils can be planted direct into their permanent positions, though you get better results if you pot them up and plant them out the following spring
Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. The small bulbs can vary considerably in size from 2 – 6cm, they have a pleasant mild garlic flavour. Leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves are pleasant raw, older leaves quickly become fibrous and are best cooked. They have a nice leek flavour. The plants come into new growth in early winter and the leaves are often available from January. Flowers – raw. A pleasant mild garlic flavour, but with a rather dry texture. This species produces mainly bulbils and very few flowers. The bulbils have a mild garlic flavour and make a nice flavouring in salads and cooked foods. Although produced abundantly, they are quite fiddly to use because they are small. They can also be pickled.

Medicinal Uses::
This species has the same medicinal virtues as garlic, but in a much milder and less effective form. These virtues are as follows:- Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasiticidal properties have proved of benefit. It is also said to have anticancer activity. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. For example, demographic studies suggest that garlic is responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in areas of Italy and Spain where consumption of the bulb is heavy. The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The crushed bulb may be applied as a poultice to ease the pain of bites, stings etc

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_ampeloprasum
https://www.greenplantswap.co.uk/plants/703-allium-babingtonnii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+ampeloprasum+babingtonii

Allium schoenoprasum

Botanical Name: Allium schoenoprasum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. schoenoprasum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Cives.
(French) : Ail civitte
(Old French) : Petit poureau

Common Name: Chives

Part Used in medicine : The Herb.
Habitat: The Chive is said to be a native of Britain, it is only very rarely found growing in an uncultivated state, and then only in the northern and western counties of England and Wales and in Oxfordshire. It grows in rocky pastures throughout temperate and northern Europe.

De Candolle says: ‘This species occupies an extensive area in the northern hemisphere. It is found all over Europe from Corsica and Greece to the south of Sweden, in Siberia as far as Kamschatka and also in North America. The variety found in the Alps is the nearest to the cultivated form.’ Most probably it was known to the Ancients, as it grows wild in Greece and Italy. Dodoens figures it and gives the French name for it in his days: ‘Petit poureau,’ relating to its rush-like appearance. In present day French it is commonly called ‘Ail civitte.’ The Latin name of this species means ‘Rush-Leek.’

Description:
Allium schoenoprasum is a hardy perennial plant. The bulbs grow very close together in dense tufts or clusters, and are of an elongated form, with white, rather firm sheaths, the outer sheath sometimes grey.

The slender leaves appear early in spring and are long, cylindrical and hollow, tapering to a point and about the thickness of a crowsquill. They grow from 6 to 10 inches high.

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The flowering stem is usually nipped off with cultivated plants (which are grown solely for the sake of the leaves, or ‘grass’), but when allowed to rise, it seldom reaches more than a few inches to at most a foot in height. It is hollow and either has no leaf or one leaf sheathing it below the middle. It supports a close globular head, or umbel, of purple flowers; the numerous flowers are densely packed together on separate, very slender little flower-stalks, shorter than the flowers themselves, which lengthen slightly as the fruit ripens, causing the heads to assume a conical instead of a round shape. The petals of the flowers are nearly half an inch long; when dry, their pale-purple colour, which has in Parts a darker flush, changes to rose-colour. The anthers (the pollen-bearing part of the flower) are of a bluish-purple colour. The seed-vessel, or capsule, is a little larger than a hemp seed and is completely concealed within the petals, which are about twice its length. The small seeds which it contains are black when ripe and similar to Onion seeds.

The flowers are in blossom in June and July, and in the most cold and moist situations will mature their seeds, though rarely allowed to do so under cultivation

Cultivation:
Chives thrive in well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH of 6-7 and full sun. They can be grown from seed and mature in summer, or early the following spring. Typically, chives need to be germinated at a temperature of 15 to 20 °C (60-70 °F) and kept moist. They can also be planted under a cloche or germinated indoors in cooler climates, then planted out later. After at least four weeks, the young shoots should be ready to be planted out. They are also easily propagated by division.

In cold regions, chives die back to the underground bulbs in winter, with the new leaves appearing in early spring. Chives starting to look old can be cut back to about 2–5 cm. When harvesting, the needed number of stalks should be cut to the base. During the growing season, the plant will continually regrow leaves, allowing for a continuous harvest

Edible Uses:
Chives are cultivated both for their culinary uses and their ornamental value; the violet flowers are often used in ornamental dry bouquets.

Chives are grown for their scapes, which are used for culinary purposes as a flavoring herb, and provide a somewhat milder flavor than those of other Allium species.

Chives have a wide variety of culinary uses, such as in traditional dishes in France and Sweden, among others. In his 1806 book Attempt at a Flora (Försök til en flora), Retzius describes how chives are used with pancakes, soups, fish and sandwiches. They are also an ingredient of the gräddfil sauce served with the traditional herring dish served at Swedish midsummer celebrations. The flowers may also be used to garnish dishes. In Poland and Germany, chives are served with quark cheese.

Chives are one of the “fines herbes” of French cuisine, which also include tarragon, chervil and/or parsley.

Chives can be found fresh at most markets year-round, making them readily available; they can also be dry-frozen without much impairment to the taste, giving home growers the opportunity to store large quantities harvested from their own gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
The medicinal properties of chives are similar to those of garlic, but weaker; the faint effects in comparison with garlic are probably the main reason for their limited use as a medicinal herb. Containing numerous organosulfur compounds such as allyl sulfides and alkyl sulfoxides, chives are reported to have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system. They also have mild stimulant, diuretic, and antiseptic properties. As chives are usually served in small amounts and never as the main dish, negative effects are rarely encountered, although digestive problems may occur following overconsumption.

Chives are also rich in vitamins A and C, contain trace amounts of sulfur, and are rich in calcium and iron.

In traditional folk medicine Chives were eaten to treat and purge intestinal parasites, enhance the immune system, stimulate digestion, and treat anemia.

Garlic and scallions, along with onions, leeks, chives, and shallots, are rich in flavonols, substances in plants that have been shown to have anti tumor effects. New research from China confirms that eating vegetables from the allium group (allium is Latin for garlic) can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Other Uses:
Retzius also describes how farmers would plant chives between the rocks making up the borders of their flowerbeds, to keep the plants free from pests (such as Japanese beetles). The growing plant repels unwanted insect life, and the juice of the leaves can be used for the same purpose, as well as fighting fungal infections, mildew and scab.

Its flowers are attractive to bees, which are important for gardens with an abundance of plants in need of pollination.

The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat.

Romanian Gypsies have used chives in fortune telling. It was believed that bunches of dried chives hung around a house would ward off disease and evil

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chives
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chives65.html

Allium przewalskianum

Botanical Name: Allium przewalskianum
Family:    Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily:Allioideae
Genus:    Allium
Species:A. przewalskianum
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Monocots
Order:    Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium jacquemontii Regel
*Allium jacquemontii var. parviflorum (Ledeb.) Aswal
*Allium junceum Jacquem. ex Baker
*Allium przewalskianum var. planifolium Regel
*Allium rubellum var. parviflorum Ledeb.
*Allium stenophyllum Wall.
*Allium stoliczkii Regel

Common Names: Jimbu

Habitat :  Allium przewalskianum  is widely distributed, reported from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, and parts of China(Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan)

Description:
Allium przewalskianum has narrow bulbs up to 10 mm across. Scape is up to 40 cm tall, round in cross-section. Leaves are tubular, about the same length as the scape. Umbel is densely crowded with many red or dark purple flowers.
 CLICK B& SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

Cultivation:  
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, it probably tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation: 
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:The herb  Allium przewalskianum  has a taste in between onion and chives, is most commonly used dried. In Mustang it is used to flavor vegetables, pickles, meat. In the rest of Nepal it is most commonly used to flavor urad dal or lentils. The dried leaves are fried in ghee to develop their flavor.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A very pleasant onion flavour[K], though rather on the small size and scarcely exceeding 10mm in diameter. Harvested in the autumn, they will store for at least 6 month. Leaves – raw or cooked. Tender and delicious. The leaves are rather on the small and thin side, but have an excellent onion favour[K]. They make a nice refreshing munch when working in the garden and also go very well in salads. They can be harvested from spring until the autumn. Flowers – raw. A pleasant onion flavour, they are used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:

It is estimated that in Asiatic households use jimbu as medicine (mostly as a treatment believed to help flu).Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_przewalskianum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimbu
http://www.amazon.com/Spice-Republic-Jimbu-Himalayan/dp/B006JUSA0M
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+przewalskianum

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Botanical Name :Allium sativum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. sativum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name:Garlic

Habitat: Garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was known to Ancient Egyptians, and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Description:
Allium sativum is a bulbous plant. It grows up to 0.6 m (2 ft) in height. Its hardiness is USDA Zone 8. It produces hermaphrodite flowers. Pollination occurs by insects and bees.

Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. With a history of human use of over 7,000 years,

click to see the pictures…>..(01).…...(1).…..(2).(3)…...(4)…..(5).…...(6)..….…(7)...……………

Varieties:
Within the species, Allium sativum, there are also two main subspecies or varieties.
Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon (Link) Döll, called Ophioscorodon, or hard necked garlic, includes porcelain garlics, rocambole garlic, and purple stripe garlics. It is sometimes considered to be a separate species, Allium ophioscorodon G.Don.
Allium sativum var. sativum, or soft-necked garlic, includes artichoke garlic, silverskin garlic, and creole garlic.
click to see :Italian garlic PDO (Aglio Bianco Polesano)
Bulb garlic is available in many forms, including fresh, frozen, dried, fermented (black garlic) and shelf stable products (in tubes or jars). In addition, see Culinary uses for other edible parts of the garlic plant.

Origin and major types:
According to Zohary and Hopf, “A difficulty in the identification of its wild progenitor is the sterility of the cultivars”, though it is thought to be descended from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in central and southwestern Asia. Allium sativum grows in the wild in areas where it has become naturalized. The “wild garlic”, “crow garlic”, and “field garlic” of Britain are members of the species Allium ursinum, Allium vineale, and Allium oleraceum, respectively. In North America, Allium vineale (known as “wild garlic” or “crow garlic”) and Allium canadense, known as “meadow garlic” or “wild garlic” and “wild onion”, are common weeds in fields.[8] One of the best-known “garlics”, the so-called elephant garlic, is actually a wild leek (Allium ampeloprasum), and not a true garlic. Single clove garlic (also called pearl or solo garlic) originated in the Yunnan province of China

European garlic:
There are a number of garlics with Protected Geographical Status in Europe; these include:

*Aglio Rosso di Nubia (Red Garlic of Nubia) from Nubia-Paceco, Provincia di Trapani, Sicily, Italy

*Aglio Bianco Polesano from Veneto, Italy (PDO)

*Aglio di Voghiera from Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (PDO)

*Ail blanc de Lomagne from Lomagne in the Gascony area of France (PGI)

*Ail de la Drôme from Drôme in France (PGI)

*Ail rose de Lautrec a rose/pink garlic from Lautrec in France (PGI)

*Ajo Morado de las Pedroñeras a rose/pink garlic from Las Pedroñeras in Spain (PGI)

Cultivation:
Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. While sexual propagation of garlic is indeed possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground In cold climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. The cloves must be planted at sufficient depth to prevent freeze/thaw which causes mold or white rot[11] Garlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked by many pests or diseases. Garlic plants are said to repel rabbits and moles. Two of the major pathogens that attack garlic are nematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely after the ground has become infected. Garlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red.

Garlic plants can be grown closely together, leaving enough space for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. Garlic does well in loose, dry, well drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4 – 9. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large heads from which to separate cloves. Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also improve head size. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but are capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels.

There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. The latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can be day-length sensitive. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates; softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator.

Garlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlic’s energy into bulb growth. The scapes can be eaten raw or cooked.

Edible Uses:
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.

The garlic plant’s bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. With the exception of the single clove types, garlic bulbs are normally divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. Garlic cloves are used for consumption (raw or cooked) or for medicinal purposes. They have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.

Other parts of the garlic plant are also edible. The leaves and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are sometimes eaten. They are milder in flavor than the bulbs, and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. Immature garlic is sometimes pulled, rather like a scallion, and sold as “green garlic”.   When green garlic is allowed to grow past the “scallion” stage, but not permitted to fully mature, it may produce a garlic “round”, a bulb like a boiling onion, but not separated into cloves like a mature bulb. Additionally, the immature flower stalks (scapes) of the hardneck and elephant types are sometimes marketed for uses similar to asparagus in stir-fries.

Inedible or rarely eaten parts of the garlic plant include the “skin” and root cluster. The papery, protective layers of “skin” over various parts of the plant are generally discarded during preparation for most culinary uses, though in Korea immature whole heads are sometimes prepared with the tender skins intact.[22] The root cluster attached to the basal plate of the bulb is the only part not typically considered palatable in any form.

Garlic is a fundamental component in many or most dishes of various regions, including eastern Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa, southern Europe, and parts of South and Central America. The flavour varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. It is often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger. The parchment-like skin is much like the skin of an onion, and is typically removed before using in raw or cooked form. An alternative is to cut the top off the bulb, coat the cloves by dribbling olive oil (or other oil-based seasoning) over them, and roast them in an oven. Garlic softens and can be extracted from the cloves by squeezing the (root) end of the bulb, or individually by squeezing one end of the clove. In Korea, heads of garlic are fermented at high temperature; the resulting product, called black garlic, is sweet and syrupy, and is now being sold in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Garlic may be applied to different kinds of bread to create a variety of classic dishes, such as garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini and canapé.

Oils can be flavored with garlic cloves. These infused oils are used to season all categories of vegetables, meats, breads and pasta.

In some cuisines, the young bulbs are pickled for three to six weeks in a mixture of sugar, salt, and spices. In eastern Europe, the shoots are pickled and eaten as an appetizer.

Immature scapes are tender and edible. They are also known as “garlic spears”, “stems”, or “tops”. Scapes generally have a milder taste than the cloves. They are often used in stir frying or braised like asparagus. Garlic leaves are a popular vegetable in many parts of Asia. The leaves are cut, cleaned, and then stir-fried with eggs, meat, or vegetables.

Mixing garlic with egg yolks and olive oil produces aioli. Garlic, oil, and a chunky base produce skordalia. Blending garlic, almond, oil, and soaked bread produces ajoblanco.

Garlic powder has a different taste from fresh garlic. If used as a substitute for fresh garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to one clove of garlic.

Medicinal Uses:
Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals. Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Another study showed supplementation with garlic extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol. The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells (RBCs), a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling molecule.

A randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline cholesterol levels.

However, a 2012 meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials looking at the effects of garlic on serum lipid profiles, found garlic was superior to placebo in reducing serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Compared with the placebo groups, serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the garlic groups was reduced by 0.28 (95% CI, ?0.45, ?0.11) mmol L?¹ (P = 0.001) and 0.13 (95% CI, ?0.20, ?0.06) mmol L?¹ (P < 0.001), respectively.

Allium sativum has been found to reduce platelet aggregation and hyperlipidemia.

In 2007, the BBC reported Allium sativum may have other beneficial properties, such as preventing and fighting the common cold. This assertion has the backing of long tradition in herbal medicine, which has used garlic for hoarseness and coughs. The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup. However, in contrast to these earlier claims concerning the cold-preventing properties of garlic, a 2012 report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concludes that “there is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. A single trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold but more studies are needed to validate this finding. Claims of effectiveness appear to rely largely on poor-quality evidence.”

Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine levels and has been shown to prevent some complications of diabetes mellitus. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician.

Garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity, although the majority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.

Garlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections such as thrush. Garlic can be used as a disinfectant because of its bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal properties.

Garlic has been found to enhance thiamin absorption, and therefore reduces the likelihood for developing the thiamin deficiency beriberi.

In 1924, it was found to be an effective way to prevent scurvy, because of its high vitamin C content.

Garlic has been used reasonably successfully in AIDS patients to treat Cryptosporidium in an uncontrolled study in China. It has also been used by at least one AIDS patient to treat toxoplasmosis, another protozoal disease.

Garlic supplementation has been shown to boost testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet.

A 2010 double-blind, parallel, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, involving 50 patients whose routine clinical records in general practice documented treated but uncontrolled hypertension, concluded, “Our trial suggests that aged garlic extract is superior to placebo in lowering systolic blood pressure similarly to current first line medications in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension.”

Other uses:
The sticky juice within the bulb cloves is used as an adhesive in mending glass and porcelain. An environmentally benign garlic-derived polysulfide product is approved for use in the European Union  and the UK as a nematicide and insecticide, including for use for control of cabbage root fly and red mite in poultry

Spiritual and religious uses:
Garlic has been regarded as a force for both good and evil. According to Cassell’s Dictionary of Superstitions, there is an Islamic myth that considers that after Satan left the Garden of Eden, garlic arose in his left footprint and onion in the right. In Europe, many cultures have used garlic for protection or white magic, perhaps owing to its reputation as a potent preventative medicine. Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires. To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn, hung in windows, or rubbed on chimneys and keyholes.

In both Hinduism and Jainism, garlic is considered to stimulate and warm the body and to increase one’s desires. Some devout Hindus generally avoid using garlic and the related onion in the preparation of foods for religious festivities and events. Followers of the Jain religion avoid eating garlic and onion on a daily basis.

A belief among some Hindus is that when Devas and Asuras fought for nectar during churning of the ocean of milk (Samudramathan) in the other world, two Asuras were able to get access to nectar and had some quantity in their mouths in stealthy ways. Knowing the Asuras’ foul play the God cuffed the heads of those Asuras before they could swallow it and as a result nectar fell down on the earth from their mouths in drops which later grew as garlic; that is why the vegetable has such wonderful medicinal properties.

In some Buddhist traditions, garlic – along with the other five “pungent spices” – is understood to stimulate sexual and aggressive drives to the detriment of meditation practice.

In the Philippine folklore garlic is used to drive away monsters.

Known Hazards:
Garlic is known for causing bad breath (halitosis), as well as causing sweat to have a pungent “garlicky” smell, which is caused by allyl methyl sulfide (AMS). AMS is a volatile liquid which is absorbed into the blood during the metabolism of garlic-derived sulfur compounds; from the blood it travels to the lungs (and from there to the mouth, causing bad breath; see garlic breath) and skin, where it is exuded through skin pores. Washing the skin with soap is only a partial and imperfect solution to the smell. Studies have shown sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize bad breath.  Mixing garlic with milk in the mouth before swallowing reduced the odor better than drinking milk afterward. Plain water, mushrooms and basil may also reduce the odor; the mix of fat and water found in milk, however, was the most effective.

The green, dry “folds” in the center of the garlic clove are especially pungent. The sulfur compound allicin, produced by crushing or chewing fresh garlic, produces other sulfur compounds: ajoene, allyl polysulfides, and vinyldithiins. Aged garlic lacks allicin, but may have some activity due to the presence of S-allylcysteine.

In a rat study allicin was found to be an activator of TRPA1. The neurons released neurotransmitters in the spinal cord to generate pain signals and released neuropeptides at the site of sensory nerve activation, resulting in vasodilation, as well as inflammation. Allicin is released only by crushing or chewing raw garlic and cannot be formed from cooked garlic.

Some people suffer from allergies to garlic and other plants in the allium genus. Symptoms can include irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. Garlic-sensitive patients show positive tests to diallyl disulfide, allylpropyldisulfide, allylmercaptan and allicin, all of which are present in garlic. People who suffer from garlic allergies will often be sensitive to many plants, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas.

Garlic reduces platelet aggregation (as does aspirin); this had caused very high quantities of garlic and garlic supplements to be linked with an increased risk of bleeding, particularly during pregnancy and after surgery and childbirth, although culinary quantities are safe for consumption.

Several reports of serious burns resulting from garlic being applied topically for various purposes, including naturopathic uses and acne treatment, indicate care must be taken for these uses, usually testing a small area of skin using a very low concentration of garlic. On the basis of numerous reports of such burns, including burns to children, topical use of raw garlic, as well as insertion of raw garlic into body cavities, is discouraged. In particular, topical application of raw garlic to young children is not advisable. The side effects of long-term garlic supplementation, if any exist, are largely unknown, and no FDA-approved study has been performed. Possible side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, dizziness, allergic reactions, bleeding, and menstrual irregularities. The safety of garlic supplements has not been determined for children; some breastfeeding mothers have found their babies slow to feed and have noted a garlic odour coming from their baby when they have consumed garlic.

Garlic may interact with warfarin, antiplatelets, saquinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, quinolone family of antibiotics such as Cipro,and hypoglycemic drugs, as well as other medications. Members of the alium family might be toxic to cats or dogs. Some degree of liver toxicity has been demonstrated in rats, particularly in extremely large quantities exceeding those that a rat would consume under normal situations

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resaources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_sativum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bohol_flora_and_fauna

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