These are the miniature jewels of the wild allium kingdom. Gathered from three cornered leeks and wild garlic, (that grow so abundantly they often cover over an entire woodland floor). Lucky for us that such edible and delicious plants are able to thrive so well on our land!
All members of the allium family contain the ingredient allicin which is now known to confer numerous health benefits.
To quote a scientific paper entitled ‘Allicin: chemistry and biological properties’
‘Allicin is physiologically active in microbial, plant and mammalian cells. In a dose-dependent manner allicin can inhibit the proliferation of both bacteria and fungi or kill cells outright, including antibiotic-resistant strains like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Furthermore, in mammalian cell lines, including cancer cells, allicin induces cell-death and inhibits cell proliferation’
‘In sub-lethal concentrations, allicin has a variety of health-promoting properties, for example cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering effects that are advantageous for the cardio-vascular system. Clearly, allicin has wide-ranging and interesting applications in medicine and (green) agriculture, hence the detailed discussion of its enormous potential in this review. (1)
What better way of getting such a beneficial compound than through wild foods that nature grows for us!
These are best eaten raw, sprinkled onto finished dishes to give a concentrated garlic flavour and provide a visually appealing garnish at the same time.