The hedge garlic plant has a smell similar to garlic, and it shares many of its virtues. Experts recommend using the plant when it is fresh since it loses some properties when dried. Some people add young buds of hedge garlic in spring to their salad dishes, which gives those meals a refreshing flavor.
Hedge Garlic Scientific Facts
- Scientific synonyms: Alliaria petiolate (Bieb.) Cav.
- Other names: Jack-by-the-hedge.
- French: Alliaire officinale.
- Spanish: Alliaria.
- Environment: Common in mountainous and cold regions of Europe,;it also grows in the Americas.
- Description: Herbaceous plant of the Cruciferae family, growing from 30 to 90 cm high, with white flowers growing in a terminal cluster. Its appearance is similar to that of mustard.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The whole fresh plant, except the root.
Healing Properties and Uses
The entire plant contains sulfur glycosides similar to garlic, sinigrin (a glycoside also present in mustard), and essential oils. It has diuretic, stimulating, and antiseptic properties and is helpful in the following cases:
- Spring asthenia and exhaustion. This plant is useful to make a spring treatment. It is recommended for people suffering from gout, obesity, arthritis, and high blood pressure.
- Torpid wounds and skin ulcers. After washing them with fresh juice of hedge garlic, these afflictions undergo a quicker healing process due to the revitalizing and disinfectant properties of the plant. After washing wounds, you can apply a compress soaked in the same liquid (water with fresh hedge garlic juice) to enhance the healing properties.
How to use Hedge Garlic
- Fresh juice. The best way to take maximum advantage of hedge garlic virtues is through its fresh juice. Mash the plant in a mortar, strain with cotton gauze, or use the electric blender. Take two spoonfuls of juice after every meal.
- Cleansing. Skin wounds and ulcers are washed with distilled water to which a couple of fresh hedge garlic spoonfuls are added with each glass.
- Compresses. After washing wounds, place a cotton cloth soaked in the water mentioned above/juice mixture.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 560. Print.