Aside by commonly known as "bawang" in the Philippines, what do we know about garlic?
More than 6,000 years ago, garlic is native to central Asia. It has been a staple in the Mediterranean region and a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Garlic comes from old English "garleac" which means "spear leek".
Garlic has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries.
Known to ancient Egyptians, it was reportedly given to slaves who built the Egyptian pyramids in order to enhance strength and endurance. It was so highly prized that time that it was even used as currency. They even placed garlic bulbs clay models in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
In ancient times, Greek and Roman soldiers ate garlic before going to war.
Garlic has been used throughout history for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
According to most folklore, the use of garlic repels vampires. It can protect against evil spirits, can off jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and the alleged aphrodisiacal effects of garlic that has been known through the ages.
Scientific name Allium sativum or "bawang" as we call it is a perennial herb of the Amaryllidaceae family. The plant grows up to 2-ft in height and pollination occurs only by insects and bees.
The plant produces bulb which is surrounded by sheaths and composed of smaller thin-shelled bulbs or cloves.
Garlic, whether in its fresh or processed form has been used as a condiment, spice and flavoring to food and even for medicinal purposes.
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.
• It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and potassium
• It is also a source of vitamins A, C and protein
• It is said to contain antibiotic substance that inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi and parasites
• People in rural areas use garlic to treat wounds, toothache, epilepsy and fungal skin diseases
• Can be used to treat high cholesterol, respiratory problems, poor digestion and low energy
• Studies suggest that regular eating of garlic helps lower blood pressure, controls blood sugar and blood cholesterol, and boosts the immune system
• It has also been found to reduce the risk of esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer
But, it is still best to ask your physician or doctor.
The Philippines' Legend of Garlic (shortened version, translated in English)
Once upon a time, there live a beautiful maiden. So beautiful that she was sought after by many men. Her mother arranged her wedding with the richest Datus in the village. Each one of them died as her suitors tried hard to impress and win her heart.
The beautiful maiden got sad and was broken hearted about the deaths. She ran to the very top of the sacred mountain where she prayed down on her knees to Bathala. She prayed to take her with him so that her beauty would no longer bring more deaths. Bathala listened to her prayers and call forth lightning that killed her.
Feeling so much pain, she was buried by her mother where she died. The mother kept on visiting, took good care of the tomb and shed tears.
One day, the mother noticed some grass-like plants growing on her grave. Trying to clean it, the mother pulled them out and realized that the seeds looked like her daughter's teeth. While admiring it, a voice out of nowhere said to her, "those are your daughter's teeth."
In her heart, the mother knew it was Bathala. It is to remind her of her beautiful daughter. The next day, she planted and gave some seeds to her neighbors to spread the memory of her daughter.
source/reference: www.da.gov.ph | naturalhealth.ph | homecooking.about.com | www.read-legends-and-myths.com