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The healing power of garlic-without-garlic

  1. For those who want to forage from nature, knowledge of look-without-look is indispensable. At the beginning of the year, when it is still winter, this plant can already be harvested. Garlic without garlic is a biennial plant that can reach a height of 90 centimeters and is mainly found in Europe and a large part of Asia. The plant has been introduced in North America. This plant that you can just find in forests and parks is edible and even has medicinal value, especially in asthma and bronchitis. The leaves are useful for preparing a medicinal tea. You could plant it in the vegetable garden.


  1. History look-without-look Naming Growing garlic without garlic Spread look-without-look Traditional use look-without-look Family An edible plant in the field Eating tips look-without-garlic Ingredients Applications

History look-without-look

  1. Garlic without garlic is the oldest known herb in the world. There is evidence that the plant was used as a spice in Germany and Denmark 4000 BC for its pepper- and garlic-like taste sensations. In fact, indications for the use of garlic without garlic have been discovered in the Baltic States dating back to around 6,000 BC. Garlic without garlic was planted in every vegetable garden until well into the Middle Ages. The leaves are collected from April to June and can be dried for use the rest of the year. In the Netherlands we have forgotten that we can dry vegetables, but in many African countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia there are plenty of dried vegetables available on the market.


  1. The scientific, Latin name of garlic-without-garlic is Alliaria petiolata. Petiolata means 'with a stem'. Alliaria comes from allium, which is the name for all family members of the garlic such as garlic, onion and chives. The earlier Latin name of this plant is Alliaria officinalis. All plants with the addition of 'officinalis' were official medicinal plants. This plant is not called garlic, but it does taste like it. Hence the name look-without-look. In German this plant is called Knoblauchsrauke. In English-speaking countries, the name garlic mustard is mainly used because the leaf tastes not only of garlic but also of mustard.

Growing garlic without garlic

  1. The plant is hardly ever planted intentionally nowadays, although some vegetable gardeners like to plant it. It is an easy plant to grow. The plant has little ornamental value, except that it has small white flowers and it is an excellent ground cover. It grows well in the shade on moist soil. The plant has medicinal value and the leaves can be used as alternative salad leaves in an original salad.

Spread look-without-look

  1. Originally this plant grows in Europe, West Africa and almost all of Asia. Pioneers from the 17th and 18th centuries took the plant to North America to make sure they had something to eat in the unknown country. Garlic without garlic is an edible wild plant of the finial family, which includes mustard and all types of cabbage. All plant parts of this wild vegetable smell like garlic. If the plant is still low to the ground, the leaves are large and heart-shaped and as the plant grows, the leaves become more pointed and have serrations. The flowers are white. This plant can often be found in the forest or on the edges of the woods, in hedges, hedgerows, half-shaded verges and stream banks with shade.

Traditional use look-without-look

  1. Traditionally the plant is used for asthma and bronchitis. To do this, two teaspoons of herb are soaked for five hours, after which the water is briefly brought to the boil. Then the water is steeped for 10 minutes and the obtained infusion is drunk. It has antiseptic, mild diuretic or diuretic and expectorant activities. In folk medicine, compresses are made to treat insect bites. The roots are boiled in oil to obtain a lotion that is good against bronchitis; this garlic oil is smeared on the back in order to cope with the bronchitis patient. The leaves can be used to treat itching and bumps from insects. If the leaves are ingested it will cause sweating; or the release of waste. This makes it good against diseases caused by waste products such as asthma, bronchitis and atopic eczema.


  1. Garlic without garlic belongs to the finial family. Despite the name suggesting otherwise, this plant is not related to the allium family. Garlic without garlic is related to the mustard plant, types of cabbage such as broccoli and pointed cabbage, horseradish, turnip, barbara herb, rapeseed, field cherry, cuckoo flower, real spoon leaf, watercress, shepherd's purse, radish, black radish or black radish, white crod and garden cress.]

An edible plant in the field

  1. Garlic without garlic sometimes grows on arable land. The irony is that a farmer is bothered by this edible plant because it counteracts the growth of his planted edible crops. Farmers have to put in a lot of effort to control the plant with synthetic pesticides, while they could also choose to harvest and sell the plant or use it as a wild vegetable. In African countries they will never keep an edible plant from the field.

Tips for eating garlic-without-garlic

  1. In Germany, the leaves are shredded to put it through the quark or stirred yogurt. In England this plant is still said to be put on a cheese sandwich. The flowers are used to decorate, for example, a sorbet. The garlic-without-garlic black seed is a good substitute for the black pepper grain; it has a pungent taste. Garlic without garlic can also serve well in a soup or salad. Anyone who really wants something different can make a pesto from garlic-without-garlic leaves.


  1. Garlic without garlic uses the leaves, stems, flowers and the root. Only the root is actually used for medicinal use. It contains proteins, glycosides such as mustard oil glycoside and sinigrin, glucosinolates, vitamins A and C and flavonoids.


  1. Garlic without garlic is mainly used for colds, rheumatic diseases, gout and poorly healing wounds. If you want to eat it on a medicinal basis, it is good to pick it at least three times a week and to take it through meals. You can bruise the leaves against badly healing wounds and apply them to the wound. Drinking a tea can also be done daily very well.

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