Wild Garlic (Dried) - Allium ursinum
Wild garlic (or ramsons, bear garlic) can be found growing prolifically throughout the British countryside between the months of March and June. The plant is usually found in damp areas of woodland or riverbanks, but can easily thrive in urban areas, too. It is part of the allium family, along with onions, leeks and (unsurprisingly) garlic but is not the same as the ususal garlic bulbs most people use for cooking.
The plant’s common name of ‘bear garlic’ is from the belief that bears ate wild garlic to regain their strength after a long winter’s slumber and it is said Brown bears and wild boars have developed quite the taste for wild garlic, hence the plant’s Latin name Allium Ursinum.
Wild garlic is one of the few things that are safe to forage without much knowledge – while the plants do look similar to the toxic Lily of the Valley, simply rubbing a leaf between your fingers and smelling it will tell you whether you’ve picked the correct plant or not.
Early healers among the Celts, Teutonic tribes and ancient Romans were familiar with the wild herb and called it herba salutaris, meaning ‘healing herb’. The Physicians of Myddfai, a group of herbalists first recorded around the 13th century in Wales, used wild garlic as a healing plant.
Warning: Please contact a Medical Professional if you have or suspect you have a medical condition, the information posted is for educational purposes only.
The cloves of wild garlic were planted for good luck in the thatch of Irish cottages; this custom was also thought to deter fairies.
The plant makes an appearance in Irish legends and poems. The Mad Sweeney – a king of Country Antrim – exiled himself from society and survived in the wild by eating plants, including wild garlic.
The poem about the Hill of Howth, in north County Dublin, mentions the herb: “the peak brightknolled beyond all hills…full of wild garlic and trees”.
In magic and ritual, wild garlic was thought to scare away venomous creatures; as you’ll read later, this might explain why Dioscorides thought it cured snake bites. A stranger custom told athletes to chew a piece of the plant before a race to ensure victory, and a similar belief was held for men going into battle.
In astrology, wild garlic was ruled by Mars and Neptune. If it was planted at full moon, it was thought to grow like an onion with only one bulb.
In early Christian traditions, wild garlic flowers were used to decorate churches on the feast day of St Alphege (19 April). The church must have overwhelmed its congregation with the smell. Its smell is said to repel cats.
Checkout the herbal sheet we made for Wild Garlic here
At Thoth we try and keep things simple when it comes to prices and so have averaged the costs in order to provide you with a standard price for all the different herbs in our collection. What you will get is a choice between standard jar sizes filled with your choosen herb.
As you can imagine we get through alot of herbs and general supplies not just from using them in the many classes we hold, but also during the creation of the many products we have. We don't make much profit on the sale of herbs but we only use batches which meet our quality standards. Some of the herbs we sale are sold at far above the average market value and some well below it. Please shop around as we may not be able to offer you a competitive price on our range.