Wild garlic, scientific name Allium ursinum, is a plant belonging to the Liliaceae family. The name, wild garlic, derives from the Latin word ursus, which means bear, based on the popular belief that bears, once they come out of hibernation, consume this plant to purify themselves of accumulated toxins and to regain their strength. Wild garlic is characterized by broad leaves that smell of garlic due to the presence of sulfur compounds. And it is precisely this aroma that makes wild garlic a really interesting culinary ingredient and, we add, also healthy, as evidenced by several scientific studies. So let's see the properties of wild garlic.
Wild garlic, properties
The wild garlic leaves, the part that is used for cooking, are rich in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants able to counteract the damages of free radicals. Not only that, wild garlic contains more quantities than normal garlic of two substances, adenosine and ajoene, both useful to stabilize blood pressure and cholesterol values (Bombicz et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2016). Don’t forget also that wild garlic is able to counteract platelet aggregation, helping to reduce the risk of thrombus formation (Carotenuto et al, Phytochemistry, 1996). Finally, this seedling is appreciated for its detoxifying, digestive and antimicrobial properties, also useful to support the immune system, especially in case of respiratory problems (Sobolewska et al, Phytochem Rev, 2015).
Wild garlic in cooking
Wild garlic leaves can be used in cooking to give to culinary preparations a tasty and healthy touch. In fact, you can prepare yummy pesto sauces, you just have to blend in a blender the wild garlic leaves, some basil, almonds and if you like also parmesan cheese! Season your pasta and enjoy your meal! In alternative, you can also spread this pesto on lightly toasted slices of whole wheat bread, perhaps adding slices of fresh cherry tomatoes.
Wild garlic, where it is found
You can find wild garlic leaves in the supermarket or you can decide to grow this special plant yourself. If you want to grow wild garlic, look for a not too sunny place, as otherwise the risk is that the leaves dry out, water regularly the plant but without exaggerating to avoid stagnation.
Wild garlic, side effects and warnings
To date, no particular side effects of wild garlic are known if taken with the diet and without excess. However, pay attention and ask for advice to your doctor if you are taking medications to keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control.