Garlic (Allium Sativa) is one of the oldest cultivated and consumed plants in the world and has been recorded as a major crop in ancient China, Egypt and India with it probably originating on the Indian sub-continent. Loved for it’s strong smell and pungent taste, this bulbed plant goes into almost every dish that we cook in Nepal. A staple in almost every permaculture garden, this king of the spices also has many other uses.

Known for it’s super-natural powers, Garlic once was used by magic practitioners to ward of evil spirits and protect one from spells. A garland of bulbs was either worn around the neck or hung above someone’s bed to protect them from the lot of werewolves or vampires lurching outside their door. And even if you have some problems believing these mystical tales Garlic’s healing powers are hard to deny.

In Nepal and Ayurveda traditions the cloves are claimed to be both carminative (relieves flatulence) and stimulating (increases energy) as well as possessing antiseptic and antibacterial properties. From garlic soups and teas to smelling salts and garlic oil, this miracle spice heals everything from infections and parasites to respiratory ailments and high blood pressure.

If you don’t have this one growing in your garden or hanging to dry on your roof somewhere, you should think about including it in your design and learning how to use it as a medicine. Definitely something that every permaculturist needs in their life.