Bear’s garlic, also known as wild garlic, is an herb with a long history of medicinal applications, mainly for treating high cholesterol and hypertension. Keep reading to learn all about bear’s garlic benefits, properties, most popular uses, and more.
Revered for its blood-cleansing properties, bear’s garlic, also known as ramson garlic and wild garlic, among other names, is one of the oldest and most popular medicinal plants among animals and humans alike. Read on to learn more about bear’s garlic and its present-day uses below.
Health Benefits of Bear’s Garlic
Considered medicinally more potent that common garlic, this underrated herb is packed with antioxidant, cardioprotective, antimicrobial and antifungal healing properties. The most popular and studied bear’s garlic health benefits are:
Improving cardiovascular health. The antiplatelet activity in bear’s garlic is responsible for thinning out the blood and reversing hypertension. On the other hand, bear’s garlic has been shown to lower harmful cholesterol levels, thus preventing cardiovascular disease.
Fighting infectious diseases. Thanks to its potent antimicrobial action, bear’s garlic helps to fight off bodily infection caused by bacteria, virus, and fungi. It can be used to speed recovery from the common cold.
In addition to these main benefits, research indicates that regular treatment with bear’s garlic can help eliminate toxins from the body and ease gastrointestinal problems.
BEAR GARLIC IS A HEART-HEALTHY HERB, KNOWN TO IMPROVE CIRCULATION AND REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA.
How It Works
Although it is composed of a long list of natural substances, bear’s garlic health benefits are thought to come from its high content of sulfuric compounds, phenols, and steroidal glycosides, all of which are believed to be responsible for the strong antimicrobial and antifungal actions of the herb.
Bear’s garlic health benefits are comparable to common garlic in many regards, but its chemical mechanisms are still being investigated. Some studies have shown that the herb is nearly 20 times higher in adenosine (a type of glycoside), and offers twice the normal content of ajoene (a sulfur-containing compound) when compared with other Alllium species. Both compounds seem to work together to stabilize blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce excessive coagulation and improve cholesterol metabolism.
BEAR’S GARLIC ACTIVE COMPOUNDS ARE THOUGHT TO INTERACT WITH CALCIUM AND POTASSIUM CHANNELS TO PROMOTE BLOOD VESSELS’ DILATION AND INHIBIT COAGULATION.
Other herbs with cardioprotective properties are avocado, olive, and sacha inchi, whereas echinacea, lime, and onion are also effective to treat and ward off the common cold, as well as other infectious diseases.
Bear’s Garlic Side Effects
With no serious side effects, bear’s garlic is mostly safe when consumed as a food crop. In special cases, however, it may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Bear’s Garlic Cautions
People sensitive to Allium species, such as garlic, onion, leek, and shallot, should avoid taking bear’s garlic. Breastfeeding women, children, and expectant mothers are likewise discouraged from its use due to a lack of clinical testing across these demographics.
Bear’s garlic is a blood-thinning herb that increases the likelihood of bleeding when taken with warfarin or other anticoagulant drugs.
How to Consume Bear’s Garlic
Cooked. The bold, onion-like taste of fresh bear’s garlic bulbs makes them attractive as boiled vegetables in hot soups, from where the antimicrobial and cardioprotective properties of the plant can be obtained.
Decoction. Often overlooked in medicinal preparations, the stems and bulbs of bear’s garlic can be boiled to obtain a concentrated liquid, which can be taken orally in order to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as for fighting the common cold and other infectious diseases.
Tincture. Ingesting about 30 – 60 drops of bear garlic tincture twice daily can provide the body with all it needs to recover from illness.
Capsules. Capsules are stuffed with the dried leaves of the bear garlic plant to provide a consistent dosage of cholesterol-lowering herbal treatment.
Can wild garlic be mistaken for any poisonous plants?
The early leaf growth could be mistaken for Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum) or Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis).
However, the best way to be certain is to crush the leaves. Wild garlic smells of “onions”. Lords and Ladies and Lily of the Valley do not.
Where do you find wild garlic?
You’ll find it growing in deciduous woodland, along hedgerows, and river banks.
It is also found all over the United Kingdom.
How do you store wild garlic?
Although you can blanch and freeze the leaves. I find the best way is to blend the plant in some olive oil, then pour into ice cube blocks and put in the freezer. This way you have a ready supply throughout the year.
Can you eat raw wild garlic leaves?
Most certainly. The young ones are best either raw or cooked.