Garlic needs to be understood as a plant, and viewed as a food rather than a generic flavor. Garlic is not commonly referred to as a food, a spice or a herb,- it’s just garlic.
Garlic, "Allium Sativum", is a member of a large genus of cultivated plants which includes onion, leeks, shallots and chives as well as many other ornamental species.
Historically, it now seems quite possible that wild Allium were cultivated by semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers more than ten thousand years ago. In reality, Allium Longicuspis had been in existence from the dawn of time. We now know that the region of the "garlic-crescent", Siberian marches, Tien-shan mountains and Khorassan (north-east part of Iran and east of Caspian sea) was the primary heart-place of wild garlic. Over the course of time, this region was conquered and dominated by Persians, Mongols, Turks, Arabs and even Greeks.
Early travelers to this region were introduced to the remarkable Curative, Antiseptic and Culinary properties of wild garlic and as they took bulbs with them on their journeys, so the plant became widely distributed and cultivated outside of its native region. Therefore, over the past thousands of years, garlic has been the subject of intense domestic selection under a wide range of growing conditions and this has led to creation of many hundreds of clones.
There have been many attempts at their classification but today two varieties are widely accepted. Allium Sativum var. Sativum as the "Softneck-Garlic" and Allium Sativum var. Ophioscorodon as the "Hardneck-Garlic".
The garlic bulb is made up of parts called cloves. Garlic does not produce true seeds, it must be planted and grow from an individual clove. Most of the garlic produced commercially in the U.S., about 90 percent, is grown in California. There are two main garlic varieties that all growers grow in California. One is called "Early" that its seeds originally come from France and the other variety called "Late" that its seeds originally come from Monviso region in Italy. Plantation time is about late fall or early winter, and the bulbs mature in the summer. The harvested bulbs are "cured" in the field. Roots and stem are trimmed by hand and cleaned, graded, sorted and packed ready to be shipped to the market. The majority of the garlic grown in California is used in dehydrated or grounded into powder form to prepare many of the food items we buy day to day.
Garlic is known to be good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy, warding off coughs and colds and it is thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay.
There are many benefits associated with taking garlic regularly. Few of the areas of recent research on garlic benefits as described in the Garlic Information Center web site are as follows.
* Please click on the subjects below to learn more about the healing powers of garlic: