Garlic has many benefits for our health, but eating too much garlic can cause some side effects. These bad effects include liver damage, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, and bleeding.
In this article, we discuss the potential bad effects of garlic.
Bad effects of eating too much garlic
1. Garlic can cause liver damage
Eating too much garlic may affect the liver. Though raw garlic has antioxidant potential, eating too much garlic can lead to liver toxicity. As per rat studies, garlic in high doses (0.5 grams per kg of body weight) may induce liver damage. However, low doses of garlic (0.1 grams to 0.25 grams per kg of body weight) on a daily basis are safe for the liver.
2. Garlic causes bad odor
As per one Italian report, garlic breath and body odor were two of the most common adverse effects from eating garlic. Eating garlic causes bad odor for the breath and the body.
Garlic odor has been found to linger in the mouth long after brushing teeth. Some experts believe that the chemicals in garlic that contribute to bad breath are the same chemicals that also render it its benefits. However, bad breath can make you embarrassing. Hence, you probably need to think twice before eating garlic.
3. Garlic may cause nausea, vomiting, and heartburn
Evidence suggests that eating fresh garlic on an empty stomach may cause nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. Certain observational studies have also stated that eating garlic can cause heartburn and nausea. Eating too much garlic may also cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in some people. More research is needed to understand this side effect of garlic.
4. Garlic can cause diarrhea
Eating too much raw garlic can cause diarrhea. Garlic may trigger diarrhea as it may cause gas.
5. Garlic may cause gastric issues
One Japanese study speaks about garlic products which are coated with a polymer barrier to prevent disintegration in the gastric environment. These garlic products, upon ingestion, resulted in the reddening of the gastric mucous membrane. The results suggest that you should be careful before using garlic and related products, because these products may have undesirable effects on gastric health.
6. Garlic may lower blood pressure too much
Garlic may lower blood pressure. But if you are already taking medications to treat high blood pressure, eating garlic may lead to hypotension (low blood pressure). Supplemental garlic has also shown to lower blood pressure levels. Hence, taking garlic supplements could be a bad idea when you are already taking blood pressure medications. Eating garlic can also modestly reduce blood pressure.
7. Garlic may aggravate bleeding
Garlic may increase the risk of bleeding. Hence, you must not eat garlic or use garlic products along with blood-thinning medications like warfarin. This is true especially in the case of fresh garlic. You should also stop garlic consumption at least 7 days before a surgery. Garlic has antiplatelet effects and may increase bleeding during surgery.
8. Garlic may induce sweating
As per some studies, garlic may also cause profuse sweating in some people. However, we need more research about this effect.
9. Garlic may cause dizziness
Eating too much garlic can cause dizziness. But the mechanism behind this effect is not yet studied.
10. Garlic may cause eczema or skin rashes
Prolonged contact with garlic may cause skin irritation. Some specific enzymes in garlic may lead to this irritation. Evidence shows that eczema can also happen due to an allergy to garlic.
As per one study, frequent handling of garlic for cooking could lead to skin rashes.
11. Garlic may interact with some drugs
Garlic was found to interact with some medicines, such as chlorpropamide, fluindione, ritonavir, and warfarin.
12. Garlic may cause headache
Garlic, especially when you eat raw garlic, could trigger migraines. Although garlic doesn’t directly cause a migraine headache, it activates a process which causes migraine.
Although researchers do not clearly know the reason, they believe that the reason may involve the trigeminal nerve – the major pain pathway in the body. Eating garlic may stimulate this nerve to release neuronal signaling molecules called neuropeptides. These neuropeptides go to the membrane covering your brain and cause headache.
13. Garlic may aggravate vaginal yeast infection
Garlic cloves may irritate the tender tissue of the vagina. Some women insert garlic cloves into the vaginas as a remedy to treat vaginal yeast infections. This method is not recommended.
14. Garlic may cause vision changes
Researchers found that excessive ingestion of garlic can lead to a condition called hyphema, which refers to bleeding inside the eye chamber. Eye chamber is the space between the iris and the cornea. Garlic has anticoagulant substance, and eating too much garlic may cause or aggravate hyphema. Hyphema may also cause permanent vision loss.
Many people also report about other side effects of garlic. Eating too much garlic may cause loss of appetite, may lead to kidney hematomas, chemical burns in the mouth, and life-threatening allergic reactions.
Garlic may also cause a condition called pemphigus, an autoimmune disease.
There is a list of foods that may cause side effects if taken along with garlic. See below.
Foods you should avoid when taking garlic
You should avoid consuming certain foods together with garlic to avoid bad side effects. These foods include:
- Horse chestnut
- Red clover
Garlic is a common ingredient in cooking with several medicinal properties. However, excessive consumption of garlic may cause serious side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, gastric problems, and bleeding. If you are easily susceptible to allergies, consult your doctor before consuming garlic.
Some common questions about garlic
Question: How long does garlic stay in my body?
Answer: Garlic will stay in your body from 24 to 48 hours. Spices like garlic get excreted through your sweat and your digestive system.
Question: Why does my stomach hurt when I eat garlic?
Answer: Garlic is high in fructans. Many people report that garlic may cause difficulty in digestion. Garlic may lead to abdominal pain, stomach bloating, and gas in some people.
Question: Does garlic elevate blood pressure levels?
Answer: There is no research to support that garlic can elevate blood pressure levels.
Question: Does garlic induce birth labor in pregnant women?
Answer: There is not any research which state this. However, pregnant women can consult their doctor before taking garlic.