Twice within a week’s time, I saw references to using this plant which I hadn’t realized is edible. So I went down the hill to where I know there is a stand of it and cut a nice bouquet. It is a spring tonic type plant, to be used like chives or parsley, chopped raw, not cooked. I used three leaves for the two of us yesterday (in a grated carrot salad) and today (sprinkled over zucchini). We did not find it unpleasant and it has a mild garlic flavour. Shortly we should be entirely rejuvenated.
The first reference to it was in a magazine I picked up at the organic store. The second reference was in Maria Trében’s book “La Santé à la Pharmacie du Bon Dieu”, in English, “Health Through God’s Pharmacy”. I don’t know why, in French, especially when referring to plants, they add the word good to God. I have seen this book recommended many times and a friend of mine found herself with two copies so she gave me one. I have several books about herbs and subscribed to the magazine “The Herb Companion” for quite a few years and this is the first time I remember seeing this plant as edible. I have seen it in guides which point out its resemblance to lily of the valley. The leaves are similar but the allium ursinum, called l’ail des ours in French which means bears’ garlic, smells of garlic. The flowers are recognizably different, the allium ones being more star-like and the lily of the valley ones being more bell-like.
• ALLIUM URSINUM (noun)
The noun ALLIUM URSINUM has 1 sense:
1. pungent Old World weedy plant
Familiarity information: ALLIUM URSINUM used as a noun is very rare.
Herba Alii ursini
Dutch – Daslook, Beerlook, Berelook, Borslook, Hondsknoflook, Wilde Knoflook, Woutknooploock
English – Ramson, Wild garlic
Farsi – سیرخرس Sirkhers
Finnish – Karhunlaukka
French – Ail sauvage, Ail des ours
Gaelic – Creamh, Garleag
German – Bärlauch, Wilder Knoblauch, Waldknoblauch, Ramsen
Turkish – yabanî sarımsak
This page gives details on its properties: http://www.ramsdale.org/ramsons.htm