Garlic: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions And Dosage

Garlic is scientifically known as (Allium sativum) and it is a herb belonging to the same family as onion, leeks, and chives. Remedies made from garlic are normally used for managing conditions pertaining to the heart and blood system.

Garlic produces a chemical called allicin which gives it a characteristic scent. However, some products of garlic are made “odorless” by allowing the garlic to age. This procedure unfortunately has a high probability to alter the effects of garlic.

Garlic is commonly used to manage health conditions related to or triggered by high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood, and hardening of the arteries. It is also used in the treatment of common cold, osteoarthritis, and many other health conditions. These claims have however not been fully supported with a good number of scientific evidence.

Side Effects Of Garlic

The side effects of garlic can be observed based on the mode of consumption or application of its products and remedies.

When garlic products are consumed through the mouth, it could present the following side effects; bad breath, heartburn, gas, and diarrhea. It could be worse when the consumer often takes in raw garlic. Some individuals may also show a certain degree of bleeding and allergic after taken in garlic medicines and products.

When the garlic product is required to be applied on the skin, it can be accompanied by adverse effects like; skin damage, skin burns, and other skin irritations.

Some Harmful Garlic Interactions

Garlic products can react with a group of drugs to cause harmful reactions and effects on consumers. Some of the effects of these harmful interactions are; bruising, bleeding, and low blood pressure. Garlic can also reduce the effectiveness of other drugs. Some harmful interactions are;

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) substrates) interactions with garlic
  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interactions with garlic
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interactions with garlic
  • Atazanavir (Reyataz) interactions with garlic
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS (Protease Inhibitors) interactions with garlic
  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interactions with garlic
  • Tacrolimus (Prograf) interactions with garlic


Garlic produces effective results when normally consumed by adults in doses of 2400 mg by mouth daily for 12 months. Garlic extracts are usually standardized by the amount of allicin they contain. This typically ranges from 1.1% to 1.3%.

It’s also a fantastic idea to look for supplements that are coated (enteric coating) so they will dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach. This reduces the risk of being prone to adverse reactions.

Garlic is possibly safe when taken by children in doses of up to 300 mg three times daily for up to 8 weeks. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if garlic is safe when used in larger doses or for longer than 8 weeks.

It is possibly unsafe to apply raw garlic to the skin. It might burn the skin. Garlic is also used in creams, gels, pastes, and mouthwashes. Consult a healthcare specialist or provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition

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