Garlic Facts

Garlic Facts
Garlic is a type of bulbous plant that belongs to the family of lilies. This plant originates from central Asia. Cultivation of garlic started 4000 years ago. There are more than 300 varieties of garlic today that are cultivated usually in temperate and cold climates. People cultivate garlic mainly as a source of food. Other than that, garlic has application in medical and pharmaceutical industry, gardening (chemicals from the garlic repel pests) and in the industry of adhesives and food preservatives.
Interesting Garlic Facts:
Garlic can grow to the height of 4 feet.
Garlic has short, disk-shaped stem that forms at the base of the plant.
Garlic develops 4 to 10 smooth, green leaves. They are flat or V-shaped on the cross-section.
Garlic produces ovoid bulb that consists of 7 to 15 cloves. Color of the bulb depends on the variety. Most common types of garlic have white or pinkish bulbs. Root is located on the basal part of the bulb.
Garlic produces greenish, white or pink flowers arranged in spherical umbel (type of inflorescence). Flowers develop at the end of long scapes (flower stalks). Garlic produces hermaphrodite flowers (they contain both types of reproductive organs). Bees and other types of insects are responsible for the pollination.
Even though all parts of the plant (except root) are edible, bulb is typically used in human diet.
Garlic is rich source of vitamin C and vitamins of the B group. It also contains dietary fibers and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, calcium and zinc.
Garlic can be used raw, pickled or as an ingredient of various salty dishes, salads, sauces, and marinades.
Crushing of garlic cloves induces release of enzymes which trigger creation of sulfur compounds that are responsible for the pungent and long lasting odor of garlic.
Garlic is used as food and medicine for centuries. Builders of pyramids in the ancient Egypt were living on a diet based on garlic, bread and water. Garlic was used in treatment of intestinal parasites, respiratory disorders, indigestion and lack of energy in the ancient Greece.
Bouquets made of garlic and other herbs (instead of floral bouquets) were part of wedding ceremonies in the ancient Greece.
Latest medical studies showed that garlic acts beneficially on the cardiovascular system of humans. It prevents accumulation of fats on the arterial walls and lowers blood cholesterol level. Compounds isolated from garlic possess antibacterial (kill bacteria) properties.
Garlic was used against evil spirits, demons and vampires in the Europe in the past.
China is the greatest manufacturer of garlic in the world. It produces 10.5 million tons of garlic (77% of globally consumed garlic) each year.
Garlic is cultivated as annual plant (plant that completes its life cycle in one year).

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