a strong-smelling pungent-tasting bulb, used as a flavoring agent in cooking and herbal medicine;
That’s the definition given by Google. And Google doesn’t say garlic is bad. Neither do the panel of experts sitting at Harvard.
And neither does my mother. Or your mom.
Which is why it pains me to talk about garlic side effects. It’s hard, you see. But so are all things that are true. The truth is hard to swallow – just like a clove of garlic.
Anyway, let’s get down to business. Garlic does have side effects. Some of them are potentially life-threatening. Which is why I am writing about them.
And which is why you must read this post. Right. Now. Okay?
17 Side Effects Of Garlic
Garlic – A Brief
Onions and chives are its close relatives. And so is the kitchen in every household. One of the most common ingredients in Indian cooking, garlic is being consumed for thousands of years.
And not just that – it also has been used for flavoring in traditional medicine. It is scientifically called Allium sativum, and can usually be grown year-round in mild climates. The plants are usually grown together with the bulbs having enough space to mature. There are numerous varieties of garlic, the most popular of them being the hardneck garlic and the softneck garlic.
The plant is not usually affected by any pests or disease. It, in fact, helps prevent a lot many diseases. But like said, there are two sides to a coin. So here we discuss few side effects of eating raw garlic.
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What Are Raw Garlic Side Effects?
Here we list out some of the potential side effects of raw garlic. Find out here in detail.
1. Might Hurt The Liver
There is no need to ponder over the importance of the liver. Being one of the most vital organs in the human body, it could be hurt by excessive garlic consumption.
Though rich in antioxidants, as per an Indian study, garlic can cause liver toxicity if consumed in excess (1). Similar findings have been recorded in a report published by the University of Penn State – garlic, though virtually non-toxic, can cause liver damage if taken in excess (2).
[ Read: Foods” to eat for a healthy liver> ]
2. Can Cause Bad Odor
This can hurt one’s self-confidence. Bad odor or breath can turn people off like no other. And, sorry to say, garlic does just that.
As per one Italian report, garlic breath and body odor were two of the most common adverse effects associated with garlic (3). Lack of personal hygiene is not the only cause of body odor, as consumption of garlic can result in the same too (4).
The odor of garlic has been found to linger in the mouth long after brushing (5). Certain experts believe that the chemicals in garlic that contribute to bad breath are the very same chemicals that also render it its benefits. Still, bad breath can be embarrassing – hence you probably need to think twice before consuming garlic.
Or take precautions. Like using a mouth-refreshing spray.
4. Nausea, Vomiting, And Heartburn
According to a report published by the National Cancer Institute, consuming fresh garlic bulbs, or the extracts or the oil on an empty stomach might cause nausea, vomiting, and heartburn (6). Certain observational studies have also shown that intaking garlic orally can cause heartburn and nausea (7). As per a report published by the Harvard Medical School, garlic is one of those foods that can cause GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) (8).
Consuming garlic on an empty stomach can also cause diarrhea (9). Another report states garlic to be a gas-forming food and hence might trigger diarrhea (10).
6. Might Aggravate Bleeding
This effect of garlic has been stated in a report published by the University of Maryland Medical Center – garlic can increase the risk of bleeding (11). Which is why it must not be taken along with blood-thinning medications. Especially if you are on blood-thinning medications like warfarin, clopidogrel, and aspirin (12).
This is true especially in the case of fresh garlic. It is also important to note that it is better to stop garlic consumption at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery – as it can prolong bleeding and interfere with blood” pressure levels> (13).
7. Might Cause Gastric Issues
In one Japanese study, enteric-coated garlic products, upon ingestion, resulted in the reddening of the gastric mucous membrane (14). The results suggest that caution must be exercised before using garlic and related products as they might have certain undesirable effects on gastric health.
In fact, as against popular belief, there is no evidence that links garlic intake to the prevention of gastric cancer (15).
One report published by the University of Maryland Medical Center states garlic as one of the foods to be avoided for treating GERD (16).
[ Read: How” to get rid of gas troubles> ]