Garlic – Its Many Benefits
Garlic belongs to the Alliaceae family also known as the onion family along with onions, chives, leeks and shallots. The plant is an annual and has gray-green leaves that are sphere shaped. Garlic when raw has a sharp, acrid taste; the herb when cooked has a sweeter, more palatable taste.
The herb is thought to have originated in Southeastern Siberia.
The herb spread from its original origin to the Mediterranean and was also known in India, China and Egypt where it was found in a pharaoh’s tomb. The herb was mentioned in the Bible; it was also known to the Romans and introduced to England by the Romans.
When purchasing the herb the cloves should be firmly packed and are best stored intact since when separated the cloves lose their potency rapidly. They should be stored in a cool dark area away from humidity, and should not be stored in the refrigerator since the herb will begin to sprout.
The dried form of the herb should be stored in an airtight package away from extremes of humidity.
The herb is believed to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It is also believed to boost the immune system, discourage intestinal parasites, inhibit tumor growth, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and promote heart health.
There is almost no dish where this herb doesn’t enhance the flavor of the preparation. The herb is used extensively in Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, and Mexican cuisine. The herb is also a popular addition to many seasoning mixtures.
For additional information about garlic click on the link to Wikipedia.org
For some great sections on herbs and spices some great references are:
• The Spice and Herb Bible – Second Edition by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill
• The Food Encyclopedia by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman with other contributors
• Field Guide to Herbs & Spices by Aliza Green
• The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices – Seasonings For The Global Kitchen by Tony Hill
Nutrition Resources Sites
For more information on how garlic can relieve constipation please visit constipationopia.com
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