Ransoms/Wild Garlic *Allium Ursinum*

This is going to be a fairly short post. But I wanted to include it anyway as it’s such an awesome tasty plant and the season to get out and gather some is also short.

Most people are familiar with ransoms even if it’s just the smell as you’re out walking this time of year (it’s pretty pungent). In fact, I did meet some city folk who didn’t know what it was last year. I was grabbing some for my sandwich and nibbling away, they started asking me questions about what I was doing. I was so surprised they didn’t know what it was and weren’t comfortable just eating it (crazy witch lady waving it about), as it didn’t come prewashed in a plastic bag. Different lives I suppose…

It grows in damp woodlands, poking through the mulch and leaf litter in early spring, quickly spreading to a gorgeous carpet of lush green. All parts are edible but as ever don’t be greedy; leave the roots and save most of the flowers for the bee’s. The little micro leaves that grow through as it flowers are divine in salads, the bigger leaves can be used like (stinky) spinach.

Little micro leaves growing in the shade of bigger ones.

A word of warning: don’t be tempted to just pull up handfuls willy-nilly, wild garlic grows in the same places as lords and ladies. Though different in shape and easy to identify. You don’t want to eat lords and ladies, it will burn you so be mindful when you’re picking. (I mean, you should be anyway)

Lords and ladies.

Medicinal Uses

Another name for it is ‘bears garlic’ as apparently bears seek it out when they come out of hibernation to get their digestive system moving.

Wild garlic has a lot of the same properties as good old, everyday garlic. Meaning, it’s helpful for just about everything:

  • Increases circulation and reduces blood pressure. Is a blood cleanser and reduces cholesterol so great for a healthy heart.
  • It’s antimicrobial, eases cold and flu symptoms, is an expectorant (helps to clear phlegm) and decongestant which makes it great for hayfever and sinusitis.
  • It’s antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, a great digestive aid and very warming.

It is not advisable to consume large quantities when pregnant as it can cause digestive discomfort. Also, be wary if you’re already on blood thinning medication but a little should be fine.

Eating large quantities will make you smell garlicky. I for one don’t care. I’m pretty sure garlic is just part of my charming natural odour being as I eat so much of it.

*disclaimer* I am not a medical professional. Do your own research and follow your doctors advice if you are concerned.

How To Use


Pesto, green goddess soup, wilted with potatoes and loads of butter, in omlettes, on pizza, risotto, raw in salads and sandwiches, rolled up, stuffed and steamed like dolmades, bake it into bread and scones, pack it into a bottle and cover with oil for a garlic infused oil you can use all year round.

The buds and seeds can be pickled like capers. There is even a local cheese which is wrapped in wild garlic leaves, it’s to die for.

Get inventive I’d love to here what recipes you have.

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Happy gathering! Peace out witches!

Love Kate xxx


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