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Garlic Side Effects

Nicks J

Bad breath, headache, nausea are some of the common side effects of garlic. To know more about its severe side effects, read on.
Garlic is commonly added as a spice in a variety of mouth-watering dishes. The herb is well-known for its antiviral and anti-bacterial properties, hence can provide a sundry of health benefits. Preliminary research also indicates that the herb has cancer-fighting potential. However, including too much of garlic in the diet, can cause some bothersome side effects. They are discussed below:

Common Side Effects

Burning Sensation

Although the herb has a high medicinal value, consuming raw garlic in excess amounts is certainly not recommended. A clove of raw garlic is enough for daily consumption. As it is used to spice up a food product, eating too much of raw garlic cloves can trigger a burning sensation in the mouth.
When garlic is chewed or crushed, it produces a chemical compound known as allicin that is primarily responsible for giving garlic that hot burning flavor. Eating the clove along with meals helps to reduce the burning sensation considerably.

Bad Breath

The pungent flavor of the herb can also cause bad breath. Also known as garlic breath, it is common in people who consume excess of raw garlic cloves or foods that contain a high amount of garlic. Breath issues due to raw garlic consumption can always be avoided by roasting it.

Allergic Reaction

Allergy to garlic means the person should stay away from this herb. This is because consuming it even in small amounts can trigger a severe allergic reaction. Although, the intensity of symptoms due to allergens will vary depending upon an individual's health, the most common warning signs of an allergic reaction are given below:

Skin Rash

A skin rash (formation of blisters) may develop anywhere on the body that may cause extreme itching. It can also cause hives, a skin condition that gives rise to formation of itchy red welts on the skin.


Unexplained swelling that is particularly seen around the mouth and the face. In some cases, the tongue and the lips appear swollen. This reaction occurs immediately after taking the herb and can be life-threatening if treatment is not taken at the earliest.

Breathing Problems

Consuming the herb in its pure form or through supplements and experiencing difficulty breathing, indicates that the person is allergic to it. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing are some of the symptoms of severe allergic reactions.

Stomach Problems

Having excess intake of garlic can also be detrimental to the digestive tract. Stomach irritation is one of the most common side effects of taking too much garlic. Garlic overdose may cause the following digestive issues:
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Garlic Dangers

Some people who are very sensitive to garlic may suffer from some really nasty side effects. These health issues cannot be taken lightly and demand urgent medical attention. They are mentioned ahead.

Internal Bleeding

When the normal color of the stool changes to black or bright red, it is an indication of gastrointestinal bleeding. This means that there is damage to the gastrointestinal tract and in such circumstances avoiding garlic altogether is essential. Internal bleeding in the form of brain hemorrhage can also occur due to garlic overdose.

Speech or Eyesight Impairment

A slurred speech or blurred vision can also be the result of garlic overdose. These side effects are usually temporary and discontinuation of the herb may help resolve the issue.
In most cases, side effects of this herb are not a cause for concern and go away without any treatment. Usually the doctor may advise you to reduce your garlic intake to prevent occurrence of any bothersome issues.