Wild garlic, properties and characteristics

Despite its name, wild garlic, the scientific name Allium ursinum, is a close relative of the chives, we could say its wild cousin, and how it belongs to the genus Allium of the Liliaceae family.

The vulgar name, which traces the scientific one, is due to the fact that its smell strongly resembles that of garlic, as well as the taste, slightly less pronounced, and that it is one of the favorite foods of brown bears, who love, together with wild boars, dig holes to taste the bulbs.

Wild garlic: which parts to use

It is a typical European Liliacea, distributed from the British islands to the Caucasus and Central Asia via the Mediterranean, including Turkey. The first evidence of its comsumo from humans dates back to the Mesolithic, in Denmark, where it still grows conspicuously in the woods.

In addition to the interesting bulb, the leaves are consumed, such as salad herbs or vegetables to be cooked; the stem, how would you use the chives or a garlic? and even the inflorescences, with a pleasant aroma, with which you can dress salads, flavor oil or cheeses during their seasoning.

Beware of poisonous plants

From March to June, or the whole spring, it represents the ideal moment for its collection and its use. However, care must be taken for its resemblance to poisonous plants that cause poisoning cases every year. One of these is the lily of the valley, which however has a completely different flower; another is, in more rare cases, the dark gigaro, which also has an edible rhizome (only if well cooked) but poisonous leaves (similar to those of the wild garlic); lastly we mention the autumn colchico, similar in flower even if of a purplish color that rarely the wild garlic presents.

Other "good" relatives of wild garlic are garlic pippolino and wild garlic or ditch garlic.

Use of wild garlic

In addition to the flower-flavored oil or wild garlic bulb and field herbs salads with flowers and leaves, there are other traditional recipes that include the use of this Liliacea . One above all is the pesto with the leaves and stems of wild garlic, which can in one fell swoop replace both the garlic and the basil leaves of the original Ligurian recipe.

Regional omelettes with wild garlic bulbs, or their use in legume soups are wasted, they are famous as wild tagliolini with garlic, while from Switzerland to the North Sea you love to eat on toast. There is also a polenta based on a wild garlic flavored sauce. But why take advantage of spring to consume it?

Wild garlic: properties

Like common garlic and many other plants of the Liliaceae family, wild garlic is a powerful antimicrobial, an antibacterial, a vermifuge and an antifungal (which is why it was originally used during the storage of cheese).

It helps diuresis and is a good ally in the fight against cholesterol, as well as having a strong detoxifying and detoxifying power . Its ability to prevent heart attacks and heart problems has been found, as is the common garlic, thanks to its hypotensive properties.

Wild garlic: where to find it

It is particularly consumed in Germany, Denmark and Wales, as well as loved in France and Switzerland. It grows up to about 1000 meters in height, with preference in the wooded areas in the shade of the trees, but often it is also found in the countryside, near the walls or near small or medium-sized rivers .

As mentioned above it is a typically spring plant, often at ease among the wild grasses, but if you do not have the certainty of distinguishing it from the aforementioned poisonous plants, let it go.

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