“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” – The Gift of Garlic

I receive phone calls several times a week now from people interested in learning more about Kolapore Gardens, the Community Supported Agriculture model, and trying to decide whether this is something for them.  Last week I spoke with a woman who said to me, “I want to stop shopping at the grocery stores.”

This was like music to my ears.  I want to connect with more people who are looking to know where their food is coming from, and under what conditions it was grown.

This can be a tough time of year for keeping ones’ health in tip-top shape.  Garlic is an excellent food, with a long history of medicinal use.  It is both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  It also helps regulate blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels (the last of which may be helpful in mild cases of diabetes).  It has been proven to kill tumour cells, aids in digestion and the assimilation of other foods, and has also been helpful in treating toothaches and earaches.

Someone just told me that 2 buds a day can be preventative against intestinal worms – something those who work with children, in senior or chronic care homes, and possibly in and around barns are more exposed to.

Not all garlic was created equal.  Some giant cloves, sold as garlic, are actually a type of bulbing leek (elephant garlic).  Leeks have other values, which I’ll touch on later, but they are not the same as garlic.  Other kinds of garlic, grown rapidly on polluted soil simply lacks the same concentration of volatile oils that are responsible for much of its healing properties.  I would have to side with the slow food perspective that garlic, grown on land that was properly tended (using non-chemical practices of fertility management and weed control) and allowed to grow at its own pace will have better flavour, increased storage capabilities over the winter, and be of a greater medicinal value.

If anyone has any other benefits of garlic or garlic stories they would like to share, please feel free to comment on this post.  I plan to highlight specific crops regularly, examining both their culinary as well as medicinal values.

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