When Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine”, surely he meant therapeutic viands like garlic, known for properties beyond being a taste enhancer in recipes.
A native to Central Asia, garlic is being used by humans since 7000 years. Have you ever thought why only garlic is believed in myths to ward off vampires and evil spirits? In fact this wonder food has more uses than you can think of, and some really interesting ones.
1. Garlic is said to be the flag-bearer of white magic in Europe. Central European legends describe garlic as a powerful ward against evil spirits and vampires
2. In Islam it is recommended that garlic should not be had before going to Mosque as its smell is distracting. A large section of Hindus do not eat it for a similar reason. For them it is a taboo because it increases carnal desires and destroys piousness. Followers of Jainism and some sections of Buddhism completely shun it for this very reason.
3. Fear of garlic is medically defined as Alliumphobia.
4. Burning garlic with camphor keeps away mosquitoes, insects and flies. Crushed garlic mixed with water is a green alternative to insecticides
5. Garlic contains 17 amino acids. Amino acids are essential to nearly every bodily function, and make up 75% of the human body.
6. If you wonder why Chinese food has so much garlic, here’s the answer-China produces 66% of world’s garlic.
7. Garlic was used as an antiseptic against gangrene in the First World War when the sulphor stocks depleted.
8. Garlic not just is good for heart as it brings down cholesterol levels. It also fights cough and cold and is a pro-biotic and keeps the gut healthy.
9. To remove the odour of garlic from hands, rub them on a stainless steel object under cold water.
10. April 19th is observed as Garlic Day.
11. Garlic is also used in sweet dishes. Lahsun ki Kheer is a delectable dessert.
Here’s the recipe for delicious and healthy garlic kheer.
150 gms garlic (cleaned and slivered)
125 ml white vinegar
1 litre milk
80 gms sugar
4 to 5 threads of saffron
4 to 5 cardomom pods
1. Make slivers of garlic pods and soak it in vinegar for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. After 25 minutes wash it with hot water and boil it three times. Every time you boil it, discard old water and fill the vessel with fresh water. This is to get rid of garlicky and vinegar flavor .
3. In a pot, boil milk with saffron and sugar and reduce it to half.
4. Add powdered cardamom seeds.