Oh the wonders of this neatly packaged herb. So small and pungent, so beneficial and repulsive. Garlic is the herb we love and hate. We love it for its flavor and positive properties, but hate its powerful aroma. Especially after we eat it.
I plan to discuss and highlight the many valuable aspect Garlic holds for both Magickal and non-Magickal purposes. Garlic has been revered for thousands of years for its culinary and medicinal properties. Rich in folk lore, legend, and history, Garlic is an adventure beyond the pallet.
“There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic.”
Folk names: Stinkweed, Poor Man’s Treacle
Native to Central Asia, Garlic has been cultivated for over 7,000 years. Garlic is closely related to onion, shallot, leek, and chive. Garlic is a staple in many ancient and traditional dishes from Asia, to the Mediterranean, Africa, and Europe.
Garlic grows all year in mild climates. In cold climates, Garlic is planted in the fall about 6 weeks before the ground freezes. Garlic is usually very hardy and is not attacked by many pests or diseases. The Garlic clove, what is traditionally used in cooking, is not the only edible part of this delightful plant. The leaves and flowers (bulbils & spathe) are also edible.
When choosing a bulb of garlic you will want to be careful and take note of the condition of the outer wrapping of the bulb. The paper or outer wrapping should be tight and it should hold each clove snugly together. Also, give your bulb a little squeeze. The outer cloves should not give. Each clove should feel firm and solid. If you encounter a clove that gives or if the outer wrapping dips in with a little pressure you have a bad bulb. Go find some fresher garlic.
The medicinal properties of Garlic have been noted back to the time of when the Giza Pyramids were built. Hippocrates, among others noted Garlic for its ability to relieve and treat many conditions parasites, respiratory problems, and poor digestion. Garlic is also noted for having sexual energy and the ability to intensify one’s desires.
Most notably the medicinal properties of garlic include digestive, circulatory, and respiratory benefits. Recent studies show that garlic is stuffed with vital phytonutrients that help our systems cleanse and regenerate. Also noted is the evidence that garlic helps cleanse aortic plaques deposits.
However, the benefits don’t come immediately if you are cooking with Garlic. Another study indicates that if you cook with Garlic you should let it rest for about 10 minutes before you place actually cook it. This time allows the garlic to produce the phytonutrients that makes Garlic so valuable and useful. I find that pressing garlic also allows it to infuse your recipes more completely.
There is much discussion about pressing vs mincing garlic in culinary circles. I say do what works and what works best for you. For me pressing is the way to go, I have been pressing my garlic for YEARS. So I press my garlic and allow to sit for 10 minutes before I add it to any heat. I also find pressing is very beneficial in dressings and uncooked dishes where you want the essence of garlic without getting an overwhelming piece in your mouth.
Perhaps the usefulness of Garlic is the reason many cultures found it to also be critical in folklore and religious practices. It has been revered as an element of both good and evil. Garlic has been used for protection and “White Magick”. In European cultures, Garlic was thought to have the power to repel the supernatural, i.e. vampires, demons, werewolves, and the like. In the Philippines, garlic is believed to banish monsters.
Sex & Lust Magick
|Associated Deities:||Devas and AsurasHecate
|When In Season:||Year-round in mild climatesHarvested in late Spring in colder climates
|Medicinal Properties/Treatments:||parasitesrespiratory cleansing and ailments
aortic plaque deposits
preventing and fighting the common cold
regulates blood sugar, and may prevent complications related to diabetes
antiseptic & antimicrobial properties
proven effective in the treatment of MRSA
|Spell Work:||Place a clove of Garlic under your children’s pillow to protect them as they sleep.Carry garlic in your pocket for good luck.
Hang above your doorway to protect your home form unwanted and negative energies.
|Festivals, Observances, and Ritual:||Garlic is taken to crossroads in a number of practices and given as an offering, most notably to Hecate.It is also left at crossroads as an end-specific spell work.
|Culinary Use:||Roast it for a sweet flavor. Use it as a seasoning, garnish, and anywhere you need flavor in your food.Make Garlic oil or vinegar.
Add garlic to salad dressings for added flavor
Can be eaten raw or cooked (Remember to let your Garlic sit for 10 minutes after you cut, chop, mince or press it before adding to heat.)
|Preserving:||Preserve in wine, oil or vinegar.|
|Storage:||Garlic should be stored dry at a temp above or around 64° F. Some varieties are braided and hung. Peeled Garlic cloves can be stored in vinegar or wine in the refrigerator.|
|Home and Ritual Décor:||Braided garlic hung from a kitchen rack or on the wall is a great decorative element, as well as useful.|
Garlic Shrimp & Zucchini Soup
- ½ lb Bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 Red/Purple onion Chopped small
- I entire pod of garlic Minced or Pressed
- 2 lb of Shredded Zucchini seeded
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 lb medium clean and shelled shrimp
- ½ tsp of each dry oregano & thyme
- ¼ tsp dry Basil
- 1 Sprig of each Fresh Thyme & Oregano
- 3 Sprigs of fresh Tarragon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mince or press you Garlic and set aside. Render the bacon until crisp, in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Darin bacon and reduce heat to medium-low heat. Add the onions and sweat them for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 30-60 seconds. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't burn.
Add the zucchini and dry herbs, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 10-15 minutes. The zucchini should be soft. Add fresh herbs.
Remove from the heat. Allow to slightly cool, then blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a standing blender to puree until smooth. Use caution as the soup is still very hot and you will not want to splash.
Return the soup to the stove and bring back up to a near boil. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with crisp bacon and Tarragon leaves.
There is much ado about pressing garlic vs mincing. I love my garlic press and I will not give it up for anything, unless there is a better garlic press out there. I find it is an effective way to incorporate garlic into any recipe.
©2014, The Magick Kitchen
© The Magick Kitchen, 2014
**a source of information for this blog: Wikipedia, Jo Robinson, Eating on the Wild Side, and Scott Cunningham