Monday, 10 May 2010

A R T I C L E 35 : G A R L I C .

By S. Olanrewaju Disu .

All-year round, garlic is found in our markets, both large and small, in Lagos State. Garlic serves diverse purposes in our people’s daily lives. It is used in the form of a seasoning – i.e. garlic salt used in cookery; as an antibiotic, etc.

Historically, garlic is a European bulbous herb. It is widely cultivated for its pungent compound bulbs. The garlic is botanically called “Allium sativum of the Family Liliaceae”, the lily family. The Family Liliaceae are native to the northern hemisphere, and are widely cultivated for their showy flowers.

Garlic has a peculiar smell. This is said to be due to the presence of diallyl disulphide, which is a bye-product of alliinase.

Traditionally, some people in Lagos State use the smell of garlic to ward off evil spirits, while some indigenes use garlic to neutralize harmful charms! Furthermore, garlic is used as an antibiotic.

Traditional medicine practitioners claim that garlic is found to lower cholesterol level in the blood. The list of traditional uses to which garlic is put to cure ailments is long : It is anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, anti-hypertensive as well as being good against intestinal worms. In this part of the world, there is great traditional belief in the medicinal powers of garlic. Hence, garlic is a popular agricultural product in Lagos markets.

( A )--- Garlic on sale at the “Mushin Weekly Market”.

( B )--- Bulbs of garlic.

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