Welcome to the blog for Colgate University's interdisciplinary course on food. This is the place to keep up with what students in the course are experiencing in their work at Common Thread Community Farm and through their everyday encounters with food.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Garlic and Vampires

On Thursday, my group peeled garlic so that the cloves could be planted and create new garlic plants. The garlic cloves we were working with were the hardneck variety, which are more durable and better for cold climates like Hamilton, NY. Needless to say, we all smelled a little bit garlic-y for the rest of the day.

With Halloween right around the corner, I wanted to learn a little more about garlic and why it is seen as vampire repellant in folklore. According to Vampires.com, many ancient societies considered it to have either healing or protective powers. Garlic contains the antibacterial, allicin, which has some potential health benefits such as decreased blood pressure. Apparently vampires have a bacteria in their blood that is killed by allicin, which offers one explanation as to why vampires must avoid garlic (http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/vampires-and-garlic.html). Unfortunately, Sandvik and Baerheim (1994) discovered that garlic may actually attract vampires after testing leeches. Since their leeches were significantly more attracted to hands with garlic on them, this study recommends that garlic not be used in trying to ward of vampires. Whether or not garlic actually repels vampires is unknown, but we do know that eating garlic can help fight diseases and contribute to overall health.




Sandvik, H. and A. Baerheim. 1994. Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 114: 3583-3586.

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