EN on Foods

September 2008 Issue

Garlic’s Allure: This Bulb’s For You...Benefits Too

For the past 5,000 years, garlic has been used to ward off vampires and cure all manner of physical ailments. Its culinary role, so important today, was once reserved for slaves, soldiers and laborers, as garlic was thought to boost strength and vigor. In World War I, before the introduction of antibiotics, garlic was used as an antiseptic to clean wounds and repel bacteria. The Facts. Garlic’s botanical name (Allium sativum) comes from Celtic for "hot" or "burning" and Latin for "cultivated." Though dubbed "the stinking rose," garlic actually is a member of the lily family, cousin to onions, leeks, chives and shallots.

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