Garlic used as magic

Essay by conscious916University, Master'sA-, July 2006

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Garlic, Allium sativum, from the family of Amaryllidaceae. They belong in the same family as onions , leeks and shallots and originated from Siberia and then spread into the Mediterranean. Throughout many centuries, people have found to believe that garlic has "magical" properties to ward off the dark forces of demons, evil spirits and vampires. It also had been said to make people fall in love with each other.

In Egypt, the Greek historian, Herodotus, has said the workers constructing the pyramid of Giza lived mainly on garlic and onions and when they were deprived from their ration of garlic, the pyramid builders would go on strike. Egyptians worshipped garlic as a god and its name was invoked at oath takings. They believed that eating garlic conferred strength, garlic is burnt every Friday to ward off evil. The Egyptians could buy a male slave for 15 pounds of garlic.

Romans believed that garlic increased stamina, they would eat garlic right before a battle because it was thought that garlic gives courage and after the battle they would plant garlic in the battlefield so the courage would float over to the soldiers fighting and those who are getting to fight.

Balkans, Christians, Greeks and Turks believed that garlic protected them from vampires. Balkans would rub garlic on doorknobs and window frames to discourage vampires. Jockey's would rub their horse with garlic and feel sure that nobody would pass them. Bull fighters would wear a clove of garlic to protect them from the bull horns.

Wreaths of garlic hung outside the door are said to ward off witches and in new boats and houses, it acts as a charm against envy. A clove of garlic suspended around the neck protects the wearer in his travels.

In Palestinian tradition, if the bridegroom...