Growing Good Health with Garlic
Why should you grow Garlic?
Garlic has many culinary, medicinal and garden uses. It is also easy to grow across Australia - garlic produces an abundant harvest over two seasons and Autumn in Perth is the perfect time to plant your Garlic.
Garlic is part of the allium family which also includes edible plants like shallots, onions, leeks and chives.
Ornamental alliums are a popular bee-friendly flower, with striking tall, spherical blooms in Spring, and many, such as Society Garlic are also edible.
Garlic is also a wonderful companion plant for fruit tree guilds and vegetable beds in a Permaculture garden as both a beneficial insect attractant, as well as a repellent for insects we want to discourage in our gardens.
Bees are attracted to the beautiful purple blooms of these ornamental alliums
What are the health benefits of Garlic?
Apart from its benefits to the garden, Garlic is also popular in both cooking and medicine. Scientists have found it has many valuable health benefits.
A review of 11 studies found that garlic reduced systolic blood pressure, leading to suggestions that it should be used to replace salt when flavouring food if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Garlic is considered one of our best natural options to replace antibiotics because its chemical components have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties.
One study found that a group taking garlic had a 63% reduced chance of catching a cold.
Garlic is a popular ingredient in pasta dishes
Can Garlic help you live longer?
Members of the allium family are a great source of antioxidants and a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 that our bodies use more readily than water-soluble B1.
Garlic also contains compounds that may have an anti-ageing effect by counteracting the glycation process. Glycation ages the tissues through impaired elasticity of blood vessels, skin, and tendons and may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Scientists around the world have been studying Blue Zones - regions where a greater percentage of people celebrate their 100th birthday than in other areas of the world.
Some researchers have hypothesised that allium vegetables like garlic and onions could play a role in this, when combined with a diet high in plant foods, more fish than red meat, and a reduced sugar intake.
Many people also believe eating garlic can help to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects.
The benefits of Garlic, don't just extend to humans.
If you keep chickens, adding a clove or two to their drinking water, will help to boost their immune systems and also help prevent and treat parasites. You can also throw the skins into the coop or nesting boxes to help repel mites, lice and rodents.
Garlic is easy to grow across Australia
How do you grow Garlic?
For detailed instructions on how to easily grow garlic in small spaces and in backyards have a read of this article to learn how to grow, harvest and cure garlic.
Garlic growing in a root pouch in a small urban garden
What has been your Garlic growing experience?
We'd love to know how you have gone growing garlic and hear about your experience.