Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard in bloom.

This was supposed to be posted for week 13 of the Pagan Blog Project, but life got a little crazier than usual!

Country people at one time used the plant in sauces, with bread and butter, salted meat and with lettuce in salads, hence it acquired also the name of Sauce Alone. The herb, when eaten as a salad, warms the stomach and strengthens the digestive faculties. —Grieve 1931

Spring is hammering at Winter’s door, and it’s time to start thinking about those yummy edible weeds that will soon be popping up in lawns everywhere. I’ve written about garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) a couple of times, and it’s one of my favorite weeds to revisit. Named for its spicy-garlic-y flavor, garlic mustard is an invasive plant here in the Northeast, having been brought over from Europe as a culinary herb. It has an interesting relationship with the white-tailed deer in the northeast US.  Garlic mustard is easiest to identify in May when it blooms (it’s biennial, so this is the final phase of its growth cycle), and keeps me in cheap and tasty pesto for the rest of the summer.

Magical noo-nah: because of the rapidity of growth and seed dispersion, I tend to identify Garlic Mustard with the expansiveness of Jupiter; his flavor definitely aligns him with the element of Fire. Garlic Mustard is helpful for work in abundance and increase, and though I’ve never used it for such , I imagine he might also be helpful in money magic. He can be counted on to help you make room in your life for projects you weren’t sure you had time. Just make sure you can keep his influence in check, otherwise you may find yourself  spending more time than you intended on said project! Pushy and assertive, I find Garlic Mustard is an excellent ally for setting boundaries and repelling unwanted influences.

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