A member of the lily family that has been used worldwide
as a Garlic herb and medicine. It was cultivated throughout Europe,
where it was believed that using it or even mentioning its
name was a sure charm against witchcraft, the evil eye, and
vampires. Newly built houses and the sterns of boats belonging
to Greece and Turkey once had long bunches of garlic hanging
from them as a preventive against the fatal envy of any illdisposed
person. In ancient Rome soldiers believed that eating
garlic gave them courage in battle. In addition to its use as an
amulet, garlic was also credited with medical virtue as an antiseptic,
salve, and water purifier.
Garlic also appeared in the folklore of Mexico, South America,
and China, where it emerged as an antivampire agent. It
was also long believed to have aphrodisiac properties and was
forbidden in the diet of yogis in higher spiritual development
in ancient India.
Lehrer, Ernst, and Johanna Ernst. Folklore and Odysseys of
Food and Medicinal Plants. New York Tutor Publishing, 1962.
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book An Encyclopedia of the
Undead. Detroit Visible Ink Press, 1994.