Friday, November 13, 2009

Price of Garlic Skyrockets in Serbia

.. they have long memory in that corner of the Balkans.

Serbians are snapping up garlic for flu prevention, over vaccines that their government recommends.

Swine flu causes surge of garlic sales in Serbia
(Dusan Stojanovic, 11/13/09 AP via Google)

"BELGRADE, Serbia — Belgrade's open-air markets were a welter of busy customers on Friday, pushing and shoving to buy one item — garlic.

"In Serbia, garlic has long been regarded as a good luck charm and a guard against many ailments. As far as the public is concerned, that includes the swine flu pandemic, which recently has spread in Serbia and triggered near panic among the local population.

"That is now evident in Belgrade's produce markets, where the price of garlic has shot up, thanks to a sudden increase in demand. The smell of the little white cloves also has become prevalent in public places as people munch on them as if eating apples.

""Garlic is the best, forget the vaccines," said Marko Jankovic, an elderly Belgrader, with the pungent smell of garlic obvious as he spoke at the crowded Kaleniceva Pijaca market. "From the vaccine, you can get sick. From garlic, you can only get bad breath."" [emphasis is mine]

Haha that's funny. And good for the old man.

As the article points out, garlic has been used around the world for centuries for treatment and prevention of medical conditions, from indigestion to cold to hypertension and cancer. (For more, check out this article from Life Extension.)

Roman legions carried garlic cloves with them, and quickly planted more garlic in lands they conquered. Dioscorides, the chief medical officer in the Roman army during the 1st century AD, treated infected soldiers with garlic. (from "How to Win the War" by Bill Sardi)

Serbian officials and doctors are not too happy about the populace gobbling up garlic, instead of their recommendations of washing hands, wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and getting pharmaceutical treatment. The AP article ends with this observation:

"But in Serbia, doctors are telling the public to stop considering it as a swine flu defense.

""People must take this pandemic more seriously and focus on real prevention and medicine," not garlic, said Zoran Djordjevic, a virology doctor at a Belgrade hospital.""

It must be like telling people that the sun rises from the west. People in Serbia are taking it very seriously, I think, and are going for the century-old, proven (to them anyway if not to the medical authority there) method, without known side effect (other than bad breath), to fight it.


nihaty said...

useful is a plant garlic in turkey, we use almost all the dishes and he's my taste wonderful natural antibiotic.

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