This page might well turn out to be one of the most used on our website. So if you come across anything interesting on the subject that you’d like to share, please do. Or maybe you might have a few secrets that you got from Grandfather.
Discover the Ancient Secrets and Modern Magic of Garlic
By Carolanne Wright
Medicinal use of garlic has been well documented around the world and throughout history. Modern science supports many health claims of the ancients while also revealing newly discovered benefits of garlic. The strong bio-active components that support cardiovascular and immune system health are well known; yet many are unaware of the superior nutritional properties of garlic, which make this common bulb a truly supernatural food.
Native to central Asia, garlic has been grown for over 5000 years. Garlic was revered by the ancient Egyptians, who appear to have been the first to have cultivated this plant. Not only was garlic considered sacred and placed in the tombs of Pharaohs, but it was also used for strength and endurance. Ancient Greek and Roman athletes used garlic before sporting events while soldiers ate it before battle. Hippocrates, considered to be the “Father of Medicine,” used garlic to heal cancerous tumors.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the lily family and is rich in sulfur compounds including thiosulfinates, sulfoxides, and dithiins. These sulfuric elements are what give garlic its odor but also many of its health enhancing benefits. Garlic sulfides create hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) which helps to dilate blood vessels. This dilation helps to keep blood pressure under control. Furthermore, these same sulfur elements assist in iron metabolism and are a potent protector against oxidative damage and high cholesterol.
Garlic has very strong antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and antiviral properties. The antibacterial action of garlic makes it an ideal substitute for dangerous antibiotics while the antifungal attributes help to manage Candida albicans. Garlic helps to fight such illness as colds, flu, bronchitis, chicken pox, and urinary tract infections. Incredibly, many documented cases have been reported of tape worm expulsion after the consumption of one clove of garlic per day for a month.
Several epidemiological studies found that the ingestion of garlic reduced stomach and colon cancer risk. In a study of 40,000 postmenopausal women, those who had a consistent intake of garlic had almost a 50% reduction in colon cancer risk. Cancer cells are vulnerable to the allyl sulfur compounds present in garlic which slows and even prevents the growth of tumors.
Not only does garlic contain high levels of sulfur-containing, health enhancing elements, but it is also an excellent source of micro-nutrients. Garlic yields high levels of manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. This herb is also a very good source of protein and thiamin (vitamin B1) along with phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, and copper.
To benefit from the compounds in garlic, a few guidelines are helpful. Crushing or chopping activates an enzymatic process that converts alliin into allicin. Allicin is the component that is responsible for a majority of the health benefits of garlic. For maximum allicin activation, allow the crushed or chopped garlic to sit for ten minutes to complete the enzymatic process. Avoid boiling or cooking whole garlic cloves as this deactivates the enzymes. If cooking is required, do not expose to heat for longer than five minutes.
As a potent tool in the prevention and healing of illness, garlic proves to be a timeless ally for robust health.
The Amazing Walking Onion
The wonderful walking onion……Many persons regard the remarkable and slightly peculiar “walking onion” as either a junk plant, a curiosity for children or simply a bother in the garden. Few persons consider it a valuable addition to the garden or to the menu.
Perhaps it should be…for good reason. First, they are hardy and do well here. The little top set onions are about halfway between chives and garlic in flavor. The plants are totally edible. The bulbils are good pickled and the hollow green stalks can be chopped for salads and soups, split and filled with cream cheese. The onions propagate themselves by making clusters of bulbils, small bulb or bulb-shaped growth arising from the leaf axil or in the place of flowers (see above) at the top of their stems. When they become top heavy, the bulb cluster bends the stem to the ground, the bulbils root and the onion-as-Slinky keeps growing.
Some Strange Facts
Peanuts are not nuts, they are part of the pea family. Because of this, they are prone to spoiling much faster than nuts, which is why they are typically found roasted. Peanut oil can be utilized to make nitroglycerin, a major component of dynamite.
Darker green vegetables contain more vitamin C than lighter green vegetables.
A stalk of celery only contains 10 calories. The human body uses more calories digesting celery, and so celery is said to be a great snack, as it helps an individual to lose weight.
The hotter a chili pepper is, the healthier it is. This is because chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is what gives the chili pepper its heat. Capsaicin is also utilized to treat various ailments, such as arthritis, and to help lower blood cholesterol or the risk of prostrate cancer. Hotter chili peppers are also higher in vitamins. Smaller chili peppers are usually hotter than larger chili peppers. Habanero and Scotch Bonnet chili peppers are some of the hottest chili peppers in the world.
Potato plants are grown from cutting up a potato into pieces and planting them in the ground. Each piece eventually grows into a separate potato plant.
In an emergency, coconut water can be substituted for blood plasma, due to the fact that coconut water possesses the perfect PH level and is also sterile.
Tomatoes were first cultivated in 700 AD by Aztecs and Incas. Explorers returning from Mexico introduced the tomato into Europe, where it was first mentioned in 1556. Because they are closely related to deadly nightshade, tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous! Spanish explorers first brought tomatoes to Europe from Central America. In Italy and Spain, they were accepted and eaten, but in northern Europe and the colonies, they were grown only for decoration. In 1820, the state of New York even passed a law banning their consumption! The truth was finally revealed on September 26, 1830, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson (!) consumed an entire bag of tomatoes before a shocked crowd on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New York.
Harvesting and Storing Beetroot
Harvesting of globe beetroot can begin around nine weeks after sowing the seed. At this stage the bulbs will be about 2.5cm (1in) in diameter and they will be at their most tender – important for salads. These first pickings should be evenly applied over growing area to give the remaining beetroot good room to grow larger. Continue to harvest as required until the beetroot reach about 8cm (3in) in diameter. At this point it is best to harvest all the beetroot and store them. If they are left in the ground much longer, they will become woody and not taste so good. Another sign that the roots are ready for harvest is when the foliage starts to go limp.
When harvesting beetroot, especially if they will not be eaten immediately, cut the leaves off about 5cm (2in) above the root. This will keep them fresh longer and prevent them from ‘bleeding’. Use a trowel to dig gently under the bulb and gently tease it away from the soil. Store the beetroot in boxes (layers separated by sand or peat) in a cool dark place such as the garage or shed. They must kept free of all but a very light frost.
Source: Gardenaction .co.uk