Hmm, wild garlic has to be a spring time favourite for me. Not just because of it’s medicinal properties but more so its very presence. Wild garlic or Ramsons, carpets my local woodlands at this time of year, the smell is prevasive but subtle and pleasant, just a constant reminder that she is there, waiting in the woods, even when you can’t see her. Once flowering her feminine beauty takes over the woodland floor with a snowlike mass of dainty white explosions.
Being both antiseptic and antioxidant Ramsons has plenty to offer the medicine chest. Just eating her generous dark green leaves and flowering heads is a delight for the taste buds and a boost for the immune system. She is a true food forager’s delight. We medicine forager’s also delight in her presence.
Every year I make wild garlic vinegar, so that I can enjoy her medicinal benefits throughout the year. It is a very simple recipe that anyone can follow:
- Collect a handful of fresh leaves. You can include the flowers although I prefer to eat them and stick to using the leaves in this recipe.
- Chop the leaves finely and place in a clean screw top glass jar.
- Cover with cider vinegar, I always use organic.
- Screw on the lid.
- Give your jar a good shake once a day for the next 3 weeks (singing or talking to the Ramsons while you shake helps make a more potent remedy!).
- After 3 weeks line a sieve with a sheet of muslin, cheese cloth or similar (if you don’t have any try using a paper coffee filter). Pour the liquid through removing all the plant matter.
- Store the liquid in a glass bottle or back in the jar and make sure you label with the contents.
- Keep in the fridge for up to a year.
- At the first sign of a cold or when just generally feeling under the weather mix a tablespoon of vinegar with a little water to dilute and drink 3 times a day until your symptoms have gone. You can also use it as an ingredient in salad dressing with healthy side benefits!!
So that’s it! I hope you have a chance to make some and enjoy this gorgeous plant all year.
For more simple remedy recipes like this, get a copy of The Medicine Garden.