The first food of bears that woke up after hibernation is wild garlic. Hence the other name of the plant - bear onions (but there is one more - wild garlic). But the benefits of this fragrant grass were appreciated not only by the brown inhabitants of the forests, wild boars were also not averse to enjoy the wild garlic. Cows like it, but from such a treat, their milk acquires a garlic flavor. And this is not like a person. So cows have to do without a favorite plant. But people do not have to give up the fragrant greens of bear onions. On the contrary, it is important not to miss the wild leek season and stock up on the vitamins that this herb contains.
What is wild garlic
Ramson belongs to the same botanical family as onions and garlic - Allium. But unlike their "cultivated" relatives, instead of weeding the beds, the bear bow prefers forest glades. The largest "plantations" of wild garlic botany are found in the moist forests of Asia, Western and Central Europe, in Siberia. Also, the plant loves the banks of swamps, streams, rivers.
Ramson is one of the earliest spring perennials. As soon as the snow melts, the first green leaves of a bear's bow peck at the glades. By the way, if someone first sees wild garlic, it is likely to take it for a lily of the valley. The leaves of both plants are very similar. Yes, and the flowers of the bear's bow are also white, and as delicate as those of the lilies of the valley. But they differ in form. The flower of a bear's bow resembles a small white star-snowflake, lost among the greenery in the May forest.
The benefits of wild garlic
Scientists have known the healing properties of plants of the Allium family for a long time. But researchers from Germany not so long ago made a discovery: it turns out that wild garlic leaves contain several times more manganese, magnesium, iron and sulfur than in the more famous member of the Allium family - garlic. But even with extremely high portions of sulfur, wild garlic has a more delicate smell than garlic. But sulfur, as you know, is the cause of the characteristic smell in bulbous vegetables. But in the wild garlic, sulfur is presented in a special form in which it binds to a protein. And such a chemical transformation affects the smell of the plant. However, the absence of a pungent odor does not at all affect the beneficial properties of sulfur. It is thanks to this chemical element that bear onion is an excellent tool for regulating cholesterol in the bloodstream and preventing many cardiological disorders. Sulfur contained in the grass improves blood flow, prevents the occurrence of stroke and heart attacks. In addition, this element has the ability to remove heavy metal salts and other toxic substances from the body.
Wild garlic leaves are an excellent source of volatile, calcium, vitamins C and A, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, iodine, boron, zinc and selenium. Also in the composition of the leaves, researchers found the substance adenosine, which is useful for regulating blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, wild garlic contains several types of antioxidants, and they are known to protect cells of the human body from damage by free radicals.
As with most other bulbs, wild garlic contains useful compounds known as alliin and allicin. They affect the blood coagulation process. And to be more precise, they prevent too active blood clotting, thereby preventing the formation of blood clots in the vessels. Wild garlic is also useful as a natural blood thinner.
This herb is also suitable as a source of fiber, essential oils, organic acids, proteins and healthy carbohydrates. As for the energy value of the plant, then in 100 g of grass there is no more than 35 kcal.
Benefits for the body
In folk medicine, wild garlic is known as an herb that lowers high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Bear onions are also known as herbal remedies for the prevention of atherosclerosis and the treatment of tachycardia. This herb is useful for frequent dizziness and insomnia. And our great-grandmothers believed that wild garlic ramson helps cleanse the blood.
It also has beneficial effects on the respiratory system. Herbalists use it to treat asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and flu.
Unpleasant sensations in the stomach and intestines can also be eliminated with the help of this fragrant green. It is useful for diarrhea, flatulence, intestinal colic. A decoction of bear onions is also used to remove intestinal parasites and in the absence of appetite.
Some components contained in the plant have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Due to this, wild garlic is considered beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Wild garlic is useful for improving blood circulation, treating scrofula, eczema, and herpes. The juice of this plant improves memory and activates the brain, by activating the flow of blood to it.
This herb has pronounced bactericidal properties and can serve as an effective defense in the midst of an epidemic of viral diseases. If you chew the herbs of wild garlic for a couple of minutes, you can get rid of harmful microbes in the oral cavity, which means you can protect yourself from diseases transmitted by airborne droplets. And the rich reserves of vitamin C make it useful for strengthening immunity and preventing scurvy.
But the juice of fresh leaves, if applied externally, can be useful for lichens, as well as relieve warts.
No less useful and alcohol infusions of wild garlic. They are prepared, as a rule, from one part of the herb and 4 parts of vodka. Such a medicine can be used for rubbing joints affected by rheumatism, with radiculitis and neuralgia. The same tool is useful to bury in the ears with purulent otitis media or take 30-40 drops by mouth to strengthen the immune system.
Use in medicine
Ramson has many useful properties. Most often in phytotherapy, this herb is referred to as a plant with the following properties:
Also, this herb is used to relieve local inflammation and irritation, against pain in the stomach and as a means of stimulating the secretion of gastric juice. This plant is useful for disorders of the thyroid gland and metabolic disorders.
Folk recipe for hypertension
For the treatment of hypertension in the old days used alcohol tincture of wild garlic. For this, young leaves and grass flowers were taken. They were washed, put into a glass vessel and poured with vodka in an amount of 1: 5. Then the vessel was placed in a dark place for 3 weeks. For the fourth week, the medicine was ready for use. Longtime herbalists advised taking 20-25 drops of tincture three times a day. But the following should be said about the effectiveness of this medicine. It does not belong to drugs with a quick effect, it will take at least several months (sometimes half a year) to obtain real results of therapy. But the effect of the treatment, they say, will last a long time. The same tincture can be useful for the treatment of vitamin deficiency, chronic fatigue and dysbiosis.
Means against intestinal parasites
To get rid of roundworms and other intestinal parasites, before each meal it is useful to take a tablespoon of wild garlic tincture. This medicine is prepared from crushed leaves and bulbs drenched in dry white wine. Insist remedy for 2 days.
Lovers of wild garlic should know that, despite the usefulness of this herb, there are contraindications to its use. So, in patients with pancreatitis, cholecystitis, inflammatory processes in the intestines or stomach, wild garlic is contraindicated. Do not include this herb in the menu of people with gastritis or peptic ulcer. It is better to resist pregnant women and nursing mothers from wild garlic. A concentrated infusion of herbs is prohibited in epilepsy and some diseases of the cardiac system.
But even the most healthy people should not abuse wild garlic. Nutritionists advise eating no more than 20 leaves of grass per day.
What else is wild garlic useful for?
A few bushes of wild garlic would be useful to have in your own garden. Firstly, every spring you will have your own clearing with extremely healthy and tasty herbs. Secondly, the presence of wild garlic in the garden or in the garden scares off insect pests and moles.
How to collect and store
There are many plants that look very much like wild leek. And if, when collecting a bear bow for eating, you mix it up with a lily of the valley, I must say, this is not the biggest tragedy. It will be worse if, instead of wild garlic, one of the poisonous herbs gets on the table, whose leaves are also very similar to wild garlic. The easiest way to make sure that you are collecting the exact plant is to rub the leaf between your fingers. After such manipulations, the wild garlic will give out its characteristic garlic aroma; other plants will not have it.
For culinary needs, as a rule, only young wild garlic leaves are used - before the plant blooms. At the same time, grass bulbs are also being harvested. Old, very dense or sluggish leaves are not suitable for eating, since they almost do not contain useful substances.
Wild garlic appears when there are not even the earliest vegetables (fruits from the greenhouse do not count). Therefore, the wild garlic greens are liked not only by bears, hungry after a winter sleep, but also by people who, during the winter months, also managed to really miss fresh vegetables. And this greens, reminiscent of the "hybrid" of green onions and garlic, serves as an excellent addition to the spring menu.
All parts of the plant are suitable for food: leaves, stems and bulbs. Wild garlic is an excellent source of healthy minerals and vitamins. And in the conditions of spring vitamin deficiency, it can be considered the most useful food for strengthening immunity.
Fresh leaves are good to add to salads, sandwiches, soups, vegetable dishes, from which they prepare fillings for pies. Fresh herbs go well with eggs, fish and meat, as the vitamin C in the grass helps to absorb iron.
The recipe for one of the simplest salads suggests mixing boiled and chopped chicken eggs with chopped wild garlic. Add spices, dill and season with mayonnaise or sour cream. Bear onions are also suitable as a side dish. First, it should be slightly boiled, and then stewed in butter or cream. If you chop fresh greens of wild garlic, dill, basil and pine nuts in a blender, and then season the mixture with spices and olive oil, you get a dressing for pasta, a spread for sandwiches or a base for meat or fish sauce.
Wild garlic - one of those herbs that are not advised to dry, because after that it loses a lot of its beneficial properties. But the onion can be frozen, pickled, fermented, salted. To pickle the wild garlic for the winter, you need to put clean leaves of grass in a jar, add dill, black peppercorns, coriander, horseradish, bay leaf and pour hot brine on everything.
Fresh leaves of wild garlic should be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator before use - so they retain their freshness and beneficial substances.
Only in 1992 in Europe wild garlic received the official status of a medicinal plant. But in fact, it’s not the first century that humanity has known about the beneficial properties of this herb - even the Egyptians and ancient Romans used it to improve the functioning of the digestive system, as well as as protection against plague and cholera. Today, people know much more about the healing power of wild garlic, and more and more often this herb appears on our tables as food.