Introduction to Garlic
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial plant in the Allium family, which also includes onions, shallots, and leeks. The plant is native to central Asia and has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Possible Benefits and What is in Garlic?
It has various compounds, mainly allicin, which have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Other Allium family members may have a single prominent benefit, for garlic, however, it has tons of amazing health benefits, such as;
- Lowering blood pressure: Studies have shown that to attain low blood pressure, garlic can be used. It also helps to prevent stroke.
- Reducing cholesterol: It has been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels in some studies, which may also help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Boosting immune function: It contains compounds (mainly allicin) as mentioned above, that have been shown to enhance immune function and may help the body fight off infections.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Garlic contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body and prevent chronic diseases.
- Antimicrobial properties: It has potent antimicrobial properties and may be effective against a range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Improving bone health: Some studies suggest that it may help improve bone density and may be beneficial for people at risk of osteoporosis.
The Benefit of Raw Garlic vs Pills
Whether taking pills or eating raw garlic, benefit spectrum is rather the same. What differs is the consumer’s convenience, for example; raw cloves may leave a lingering garlicky aftertaste, irritation, or burning sensation in the mouth. In contrast, pills that are usually coated with sweeteners/polymers or capsules that are tasteless, are easier to swallow without worrying about bad breath or irritation.
Adults: 600 to 900 mg/day dried powder.
Children: Not applicable
Possible Adverse Effects/Side Effects from Garlic
Although garlic is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts as part of the diet, it can cause adverse reactions in some individuals, especially when taken in high amounts or as a supplement.
Some of the most common adverse effects include:
- Bad breath
- Body odor
- Upset stomach
- Allergic reactions in some people
- Increased bleeding risk
Garlic is generally good to consume for most people as a part of the diet in moderate amounts. However, there are some contraindications for its use that should be taken into consideration.
Here are some contraindications for garlic use:
- Bleeding disorders: It may increase the risk of bleeding
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Although garlic is generally safe when consumed in small amounts still pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid consuming its supplements.
- Surgery: It may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery, so individuals should stop taking garlic supplements at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery.
- Allergic reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to garlic and may experience allergic reactions such as skin rash, itching, and difficulty breathing.
Traditionally, it is a widely used herb, thanks to its appetizing & distinct aroma, in addition, for anti-biotic purposes, a renowned benefit of garlic for health. However, consuming large amounts of its supplements or large portions of garlic-containing foods may cause adverse effects. If you are considering using its supplements, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure it is safe for you to take based on your health status and the medications you may be on.