If you are in tune with the seasons and the plants that appear throughout the year you will have noticed that it is wild garlic season, when I say its wild garlic season I mean its everywhere! it grows in woodlands and forests and likes damp shady conditions, you will smell it before you see it and if you like garlic you will be in heaven. There are tons of blog posts and websites to help you identify this amazing plant so if your foraging skills aren't brilliant have a read up and get to know the features and characteristics of wild garlic and remember, never munch on a hunch!
Garlic has a long and rich history, it is one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is believed to have originated in central Asia and spread throughout the world at super speed, it was used in ancient Egypt as it was thought to give slaves building the pyramids strength and it was used by the Romans as a currency. As far as physical healing properties are concerned garlic is said to be very good if you have a cold, it has powerful anti bacterial properties and is great for the heart, lungs and immune system.
(this is not medical advice, if you are pregnant or ill please consult a professional).
Magickally Garlic has been used for thousands of years to provide protection, strength and healing. People used to hang strings of garlic bulbs over their doorways to repel negative energy or spirits (Vampires?) they also used to make tinctures and salves to use to keep evil at bay. Garlic is also used to attract love, stimulate strength, lust and passion so is great for use in love spells.
There are also other magickal elements attached to garlic. it is associated with the deity Hecate and the crystals Black Tourmaline, Hematite, Carnelian and Obsidian so using these in conjunction with your garlic in a spell will add an extra layer of umph.
How I use my wild garlic in my practice
No matter what path you follow you can incorporate garlic. It can be used in so may recipes. Oils, salts, scones, sauces, salves, rubs, spells. I am going to use mine to make emerald salt to use in cooking and spell work. Here is how I do it:-
You will need
1kg of course salt
100g of coarsely chopped wild garlic leaves
blender or herb chopper and mortar and pestle.
Wash and dry the wild garlic leaves, roughly chop them and pop them in a blender (or chop with a knife) you need a rough pesto type consistency.
Add about 100g of the salt and continue to blend until it turns in to a creamy paste consistency.
Pour the remaining salt into a big bowl and add the garlic-salt paste. Use a fork and mix it until it is evenly combined. It will look like damp, green sand.
Line a roasting tray with baking paper and spread the damp salt evenly on it. Let it dry in the sun for 8 hours or place in the oven for about two hours at 80°C (175°F).
Let the salt cool and dry completely. The salt wont go off but it will loose flavour so make sure you are storing it in an air tight container or the freezer.
Not only does this powerful ingredient taste amazing it looks beautiful and smells divine so what are you waiting for? go forage some wild garlic!