Allium ursinum (wild garlic) is known as one of the most versatile plants on earth. It has been used for thousands of years to maintain and improve health, but it faded into the horizon when garlic became an agricultural crop. Now wild garlic has been rediscovered and has regained tremendous publicity from the thousands of Canadians who have experienced its wild benefits.

Research has confirmed the European wild garlic species (Allium ursinum) is by far superior to Allium sativum, or common garlic. Common garlic is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties because of its sulfur content. Now imagine the potency of its European relative–confirmed to have four-and-a-half times more sulfur compounds than the common species.

Sulfur regulates cholesterol and stops aggregation of red blood cells, important for the prevention of arteriosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. As a pleasant bonus, wild garlic is naturally odourless after consumption because the sulfur compounds are bound to protein. In common garlic, sulfur is found in a “free” form.

Various minerals are found in much higher amounts in Allium ursinum than in common garlic. Wild garlic is known to be the “magnesium king” of plants: 1,700 mg of magnesium per kg of Allium ursinum leaves. Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral and protects the circulatory system, especially the heart. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include leg cramps, intestinal cramps and restlessness.

Manganese has also been found to be 17 times higher in wild garlic than in common garlic. Could this be a revolutionary finding for the prevention of osteoporosis? Manganese is needed to build calcium into bones, and noteworthy Texas studies have revealed that the bones of osteoporosis patients had 29 per cent lower manganese levels than those of healthy patients. Based on its high manganese content, wild garlic may be a solution to prevent or combat osteoporosis, rather than supplementing only with high amounts of calcium. Manganese also has key functions in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Diabetics generally have low levels of manganese.

After taking all scientific findings and publications into consideration, it certainly makes sense that Allium ursinum (wild garlic) is an option for Canadians who want to combat and prevent disease.

About the Author

Bernd Rohlf is a German naturopath and naturotherapist in Waterloo, ON.