Spicy garlic is a culinary staple in many kitchens, but its usefulness extends far beyond its savory flavor. This ubiquitous herb contains over 30 medicinal compounds, including allicin, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. As a medicinal food, it helps prevent blood clotting, lowers triglycerides and cholesterol, and provides essential antioxidants.
Parts Used: Roots
Precautions: Overconsumption of garlic can cause gas and heartburn. When used topically, garlic can cause a skin rash in some people with sensitive skin.
Identifying/ Growing: Garlic is easy to identify and grow, and in many areas you can plant it in fall for a spring harvest, and again in early spring for a second harvest in autumn. Garlic does best in a sunny spot, in soil that has been amended with rich compost. Plant the cloves with their tips up, about 2 inches deep, and then mulch heavily. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent rotting, and harvest when about half of the leaves turn brown or yellow.