Health and fitness

The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic -- possibly the earliest example of performance enhancing agents used in sports.

Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), tuberculosis, liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes and fevers.

And an Old Wives' Tale:

Rub raw garlic on an insect bite to relieve the sting or itch.

Grow your own

Garlic can be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked, but fall planting is recommended for most gardeners. Plant in the fall and you'll find that your bulbs are bigger and more flavorful when you harvest the next summer. Break apart cloves from the bulb a few days before planting, but keep the papery husk on each individual clove. Do not plant cloves from the grocery store.

Harvest time depends on when you plant, but the clue is to look for yellow tops. Harvest when the tops begin to yellow and fall over, before they are completely dry. In northern climates, harvesting will probably be in late July or August. In southern climates, it will depend on your planting date.


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