Bear’s Garlic – The King of Spring Cuisine

Why bear’s garlic? It is actually a medicinal herb, vegetable and decoraction in one. For bear’s garlic (Allium ursinum), you can go to shady and moist places in the floodplain forests and groves, or plant the small cone-shaped bulbs in your garden.

They grow quite quickly and you can get the plants in garden shops, so you can leave bear’s garlic in the wild for the eye’s delight. In addition, it will also make a nice addition to the garden, for example in the northern part of the garden. All you need is a bit of humic soil, shade and moisture.

If you don’t have a garden, you have no choice but to go out into the wild. But be sure to remember the ban on collecting plants in protected areas, and be respectful of nature and others.

Is it bear’s garlic or lily of the valley?

We pick garlic-scented leaves from February until early May, when they start to flower and slowly lose their potency. In August and September, we collect the bulbs. Beware of confusion with lily of the valley – if you are not sure whether you are picking poisonous lily of the valley leaves, just crush the leaf and smell it. The typical garlicky scent is the way to go.

Sometimes bear’s garlic grows together with lily of the valley, but you don’t have to sniff each leaf separately. Bear’s garlic leaves grow separately from the soil, while lily of the valley has two leaves on one stem. If you’re still not sure, pull out the plant, the one with the bulb is edible, the one with the rhizome will give you dizziness, diarrhea and cramps at best, and drive you to the doctor at worst.

Once you have harvested enough leaves, you can try our recipes with bear’s garlic.

Why is bear’s garlic medicine?

The essential oils permeating the whole plant contain sulphur components and ammonia, bitter substances, phytoncides and other substances. The essential oil of bear’s garlic also contains vitamin C, but this is found in higher quantities in classic garlic.

This mixture of active substances helps to improve the stomach, promotes digestion, accelerates the healing of wounds and ulcers, in addition to soothing cramps and destroying internal parasites. In addition, it helps regulate high blood pressure and has been proven effective in preventing cardiovascular disease.

If you are taking anti-clotting medication, don’t overdo it with the consumption of bear’s garlic, as it contains flavonoids that reduce blood clotting.

The taste of bear’s garlic is reminiscent of a mixture of chives and fine garlic, so it’s perfect for use in salads, spreads and herb butter. Don’t stock up in your freezer, instead of leaves you’ll have a disgusting mess when thawed. Store your garlic in salt or oil, it only takes a little time and will last a long time marinated in such way in the cold.

Please note that the information provided on this website is not intended as medical advice or treatment recommendations. Modern medicine is based on best scientific practices, and more serious problems cannot be solved by alternative natural methods. Always follow your physician’s advice and consult with him/her for treatment of health problems.