6 Reasons you need to plant Hippocrates favorite herb
Did you know there is a plant that can attack atherosclerosis, clobber cholesterol, bring down blood pressure, banish bacteria, and crush blood clots? Plus it can keep aphids out of your garden.
What is this wonder food? Garlic. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, used it as a remedy for many medical conditions. Modern science has indeed confirmed that garlic is a mighty plant with tremendous therapeutic value.
Garlic belongs to the onion family and grows in many parts of the world, where it is enjoyed for its strong smell and delicious taste. However, in ancient days garlic was mainly used as an herbal remedy. Its therapeutic benefits come from sulfur compounds that form when a clove of garlic is chopped, crushed, or chewed.
Here are just some of the reasons why everyone should plant and use garlic.
- Studies show that garlic extract is just as effective as popular drugs at reducing blood pressure.
- Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol.
- Animal studies indicate that garlic may reduce bone loss by increasing estrogen in females.
- Eating one raw garlic clove each morning can relax your arteries, which lowers blood pressure and prevents clots in those at risk.
- A molecule within garlic interferes with the defense mechanism in bacteria, which boosts your immune response.
- Garlic is nature’s gift of a powerful fungicide and pesticide, keeping pesky insects like aphids away.
And it’s so easy to grow this wonder food. In fall, when temperatures are cool, plant cloves 4 to 8 inches apart in fertile, slightly moist, well-drained soil. Place individual cloves 2 inches deep with the flat end down and pointed end up. Space rows about a foot apart. After planting, mulch with chopped leaves, grass clippings, or straw.
The best time to harvest garlic is when the bulbs are at their biggest and the cloves have not yet separated. This will usually happen when the lower leaves turn yellow or brown. To check, dig up a few test bulbs, and cut them in half to see if the cloves fill the skins.
- FC&A Staff Writer