Allium sativum – allium was the Roman name for garlic; sativum means cultivated in Latin.
It is believed garlic originated in the mountains of Central Asia. It was found wild in the Altaic Mountains of Siberia and also much closer to Europe in the southern part of the Ural Mountains.
Garlic’s single character in Chinese, pronounced ‘Suan’, indicates its ancient introduction into China, probably by the nomadic Mongols. Early crusaders thought garlic was native to the Mediterranean because it was depicted on the Egyptian pyramids. It was part of the food supplied by the authorities to keep the builders strong and healthy.