Wild garlic or bear’s garlic is a wild herb with a garlic-like smell and taste that appears in the woods in spring. Considered a true wonder of nature, the plant has many beneficial effects on the body and can be used in many delicious recipes.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is a member of the lily family. It has a characteristic mild garlic smell and tastes similar to garlic. But it is not only similar in taste, it also has similar effects on the body.
It has natural antiseptic and antiviral properties, lowers cholesterol levels and has beneficial effects on digestion.
It contains vitamins A and C, B vitamins, mineral salts, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, copper and proteins. It has cleansing, detoxifying, antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. It also has antihypertensive, blood thinning and blood circulation improving effects, but it is not recommended to be consumed along with blood thinning medication.
Wild garlic can also be eaten raw, in salads, dips or spreads, or can be used in stews, soups and pesto. You can also extract the active ingredients from the leaves by macerating them: simply cut them up, place them in a jar and pour warm water over them. Steep for 4 hours, then strain and drink. It can also be used to make ointment to treat rheumatism.
Frequent consumption of bear’s garlic can reduce cholesterol levels, while it also improves liver and bile function; it is also beneficial for the intestinal tract, effective against intestinal worms and parasites, and enhances bowel function, making it effective against constipation. It can also be used against upper respiratory diseases, but is also useful against insomnia, dizziness and headaches.
How can we recognize bear’s garlic?
Bear’s garlic is a perennial plant. It thrives in moist, shady woodlands and prefers slightly acidic soil. Its leaves are picked in spring, before flowering, in March and April.
Its large elliptical, bright green leaves emerge in late March/early April and its tiny white flowers appear in May. Care should be taken when collecting as it can easily be mistaken for lily of the valley, all parts of which are poisonous. Its resemblance to garlic is a great help: rub its leaves between your fingers and you should smell the distinctive garlicky scent.
Bear’s garlic pesto
The original pesto is made with basil, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts, but pesto made from bear’s garlic can also be a special treat.
- 100 g bear’s garlic
- 70 g pine nuts
- 60 g extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a food processor, blend the bear’s garlic, the pine nuts and the salt in a blender and then add the ingredients to the olive oil and blend until smooth.
Bear’s garlic soup
- 2 bunches of green onions
- 2 bunches of bear’s garlic
- 1 carrot
- 8-10 quail eggs or 5 hen eggs
- 100 ml sour cream or cooking cream
- 500 ml borsht
- 1 bunch dill
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
Sauté the finely chopped green onion in a saucepan, add the grated carrots, sauté them too, and after about 5 minutes add water.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs until hard, peel and cut in half. Set aside two quail eggs or one hen’s egg, mix with the cream or sour cream and a pinch of salt. Add to the soup the washed and chopped bear’s garlic.
Bring the peppercorns to the boil in a separate pan, then add to the soup and bring to the boil. Then add the sour cream or cooking cream mixed with the egg, stirring continuously. When the soup is ready, add the dill and serve with the sliced boiled eggs.