Garlic (Allium Sativum) is one of the best things you can eat on a regular basis. This is the start of our series on Strategic Foods. It is an ancient plant and widely used all over the Earth. Kazakhstan, in Central Asia, is the one place on Earth where wild garlic still grows. This could be where the plant originated, as with many other of our common vegetables and fruits.

China is the worlds largest producer and most garlic in supermarkets comes from China, unless otherwise noted. Garlic is a member of the Lilly family of plants, along with green onions, dry onions, leeks etc.

We use this strong tasting root, bulb for cooking. It adds a flavour to soups and sauces and is closely associated with Mediterranean cooking, including Italian. Food can also be used as a medicine (For Educational Purposes Only). This next section, from Chris Dixon’s (MSc. OT) Healthy Edibles database of medical uses for food (sourced from internet based public access resources).

Garlic (crushed, minced or chopped) …is anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and antibiotic, and managing cholsterol, heart health, the immune system, the lymphatic system, collagen & elastin production for skin,joints,ligaments,tendons,cartilage, eye cornea, inter-vertebral discs of the spines & bones, supports liver cell regeneration & protects the liver from free radicals, flushes the body of toxic chemicals & heavy metals … reverses tumour growth … Garlic reduces … high blood pressure (hypertension)

Strong scientific and clinical evidence exists to support the disease fighting qualities of garlic. Excellent protection for those who work directly with the public. Garlic is the most important food I try to grow myself every year. It gets fresh compost, made from plant sources that are mulched with a lawn mower. The variety we use is based on Russian varieties and I call them the ‘Little-Sisters’ because of how they were found.

I started a garden and turned the soil and planted rows of Garlic, in a new place we moved to. Just when they had grown large and the bottom leaves were starting to turn brown (ready to check for harvest), the voles struck and ate my whole crop. Three months of work gone! It was a devastating blow but while looking around the old garden for plants to transfer to the new growing box (vole-proof), I saw something.

A small group of garlic leaves, all growing together in a circle from the same small bulb had escaped the voles. Excellent. That is the garlic we use today.
Why call them the Little-Sisters? Because they all sprouted from cloves in one bulb and since they are fertile, they are female. Since they all came from the same bulb, they are sisters.

To me, a big part of staying healthy when constantly exposed to disease, is the protection from the little-sisters garlic.