Garlic is a commonly used vegetable that is found in almost every kitchen. It belongs to Onion genus, Allium and is closely related to Onions, shallots, chive, and Chinese onion etc. It is a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc. and the presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for our health and as well as for our skin and hair. Although garlic is very beneficial for us and provides a number of health and beauty benefits, there are also some side effects of eating too many garlic. In this article, we will know about the major side effects of eating too many garlic, but first, let’s take a look at below mentioned nutrition chart of garlic.
Nutrition Chart of Garlic
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Garlics
(1) Eating Too Many Garlic Is Bad For Liver
The liver is a vital organ of our body that performs various functions to keep us healthy. Some of the major functions performed by the liver are the production of bile juice, aids in blood purification, carbohydrates metabolism, fat metabolism, protein metabolism, removes ammonia from our body, and performs many other functions.
Given the importance of liver to our health, it is necessary for us to take good care of our liver, and for this, you must not eat garlic in excessive quantity.
As per a study conducted in India and an another report published in the University of Penn State, it was found that consuming garlic in excessive quantity can damage our liver by causing liver toxicity.
(2) Can Cause Bad Breath
No doubt, eating garlic provides a number of health benefits, but still, it is better to eat them in moderation as there are also some side effects to it.
Garlic has been found to be very good for our oral health because of it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, eating too many garlic is bad for our oral health as it may cause extreme bad breath, which is hated by most people.
When consumed in excess, garlic can lead to not just the bad breath but also the bad body odor. The main reason for the cause of bad breath is the sulfur compound present in it. It should be noted that sulfur present in garlic plays an important role in maintaining our oral health, but in excess, it can do the opposite.
For this reason, it is advised to add garlic to your diet in a responsible manner.
(3) May Cause Nausea, Vomiting And Heartburn
Another major side effect of eating garlic in excessive quantity is their ability to cause nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
Garlic is very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. This is an advantage of garlic as it prevents us from many stomach disorders like abdominal pain, intestinal gas, bloating etc. Although this is an advantage of garlic, it could turn into a disadvantage when garlic is consumed in excess or on an empty stomach.
As per a study published by the National Cancer Institute, it was found that oral consumption of raw garlic cloves or extracts, or taking garlic oil on an empty stomach can lead to nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. In an another study published by the Harvard Medical School, it was found that excessive consumption of garlic in our diet can increase the level of acid in our stomach and this can lead to heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
For this reason, it is advisable to eat garlic in moderation and completely avoid consuming them on an empty stomach.
(4) May Cause Diarrhea
Garlic is a good source of dietary fibers that acts as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our body. This benefit of garlic plays an important role in providing relief from constipation and other digestive problems like intestinal gas, abdominal pain, bloating etc.
This advantage of garlic can turn into a disadvantage when garlic is consumed in excess, and this may lead to diarrhea. Also, some other gas forming compounds like sulfur present in garlic also plays an important role in triggering diarrhea.
This is another reason of eating garlic in moderation.
Also, Read 19 Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic
(5) Might Aggravate Bleeding
Garlic is a natural blood thinner as it can prevent blood clots from forming and this plays an important role in keeping our cardiovascular system healthy and reduces the risk of heart attack, heart strokes etc.
This advantage of garlic can turn into a disadvantage for the individuals who are already taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin, aspirin etc. This is because combined effect of blood thinning medication and garlic is dangerous, and it might aggravate heavy bleeding even with a small injury.
For this reason, it is advisable to eat garlic in moderation, and if you are on blood-thinning medications like warfarin and aspirin, then you should first consult with your doctor. Also, if you are about to undergo a surgery, then it will be better to not consume garlic two weeks prior to surgery and two weeks after the surgery.
This is because blood thinning properties of garlic could interfere with the surgical process, and your wounds and stitches may take a longer time to heal.
(6) May Cause Gastric Problems
Garlic is good for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. However, in excessive quantity, garlic is bad for our stomach and might cause gastric issues like abdominal pain, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating etc.
This is because of the presence of gas-forming compounds like sulfur in it. They increase the level of acids in our stomach and this lead to heartburn, indigestion, GERD etc.
In fact, a report published by the University of Maryland Medical Centre states that, if you’d like to treat GERD ( Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), then you should completely eliminate garlic from your diet.
(7) May Cause Hypotension Or Low Blood Pressure
Eating garlic on a regular basis has been found to be very beneficial in keeping our blood pressure under control, and thus reduces the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
This benefit of garlic is mainly due to the presence of “Potassium” in it. Potassium is a vasodilator which means it relaxes our blood vessels and ensures proper blood circulation. By doing so, it controls elevated blood pressure level and thus reduces the risk of hypertension.
Although this is an advantage of garlic, it can turn into a disadvantage when garlic is consumed in excessive quantity. This is because eating too many garlic may lower the blood pressure to a dangerously low level and this may lead to hypotension or low blood pressure. Some of the common symptoms of hypotension or low blood pressure are fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision etc.
Also, if you are already taking medication for high blood pressure, then eating garlic along with it may lower your blood pressure to an extremely low level.
For this reason, it is advisable to eat garlic in moderate quantity, and if you are on blood pressure medication, then you should include garlic to your diet only after having word with your doctor.
(8) May Cause Excessive Sweating
As per few clinical studies, it was found that eating too many garlic for a prolonged time may lead to excessive sweating.
Although there is nothing bad about sweating, and it is our body’s mechanism to get rid of toxins and impurities, get rid of excess water, and also for regulating our body temperature ( and for keeping us cool in scorching heat), but excessive sweating is bad and is not at all liked by anyone.
What makes it worse is that the sulfur compounds present in the garlic may cause your sweat to smell bad ( which will lead to body odor), and this will force your friends to wave you goodbye from miles away ( coz’ no one likes body odor)
(9) May Cause Dizziness
As mentioned earlier, eating too many garlic may lower our blood pressure to an extremely low level and this may lead to hypotension or low blood pressure.
One of the common symptoms of hypotension is dizziness.
As per a 16 weeks study conducted in 1997, people were given deodorized garlic for consumption and it was reported that 1.3 percent of these reported signs of dizziness. Although this number is very low, this is something to be kept in mind, and as they say, it is better to be safe than sorry, one should not eat too many garlic.
(10) Might Triggers Skin Irritation Or Rashes
Topical application of garlic has been found to be very beneficial for our skin as it helps in keeping our skin soft, supple, radiant and healthy. It also protects our skin from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals and thus reduces the premature signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots etc.
However, it should also be noted that prolonged contact of garlic is not so good for our skin and may cause skin irritation, hand rashes, eczema etc. This side effect is mainly due to the presence of an enzyme named “Alliin Lyase” in it.
(11) May Cause Or Worsen Hyphema
The antioxidants and the antioxidantal compounds present in garlic fights with the free radicals of our body, stabilize them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells. It is also effective in keeping our eyes healthy as it protects our eyes from the oxidative stress and reduces the risk of development of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma etc.
Given the benefits of garlic for eyes, one would definitely like to eat garlic as much as possible. However, it is better to not avoid making this mistake.
This is because excessive consumption of garlic can lead to hyphema. Hyphema is the bleeding inside the eye chamber- the space between the Iris and the cornea. Garlic is anti-coagulant in nature, and in taking large doses of it may cause and worsen hyphema. Hyphema can even cause permanent vision loss, which is something you are not at all looking for.
(12) Might Triggers Migraine
Another major side effect of eating too many garlic is their ability to cause headaches and ability to activates the process responsible for a migraine.
The exact reason how garlic triggers a migraine is unknown but experts believe that garlic stimulates trigeminal nerve of our brain and forces it to release neuronal signaling molecules “neuropeptides”. These signaling molecules then rush to the membrane that covers our brain, and this leads to a migraine.
(13) Not So Good For Pregnant And Nursing Women
Although garlic provides a number of health benefits, given the number of side effects associated with garlic, it will be safe to say that garlic is not much suitable for pregnant women and the nursing women. For this reason, it is advisable for the pregnant women and lactating women to eat garlic only after consulting with your doctor.
Also, it is better to eat them in moderation as excessive ingestion of garlic has been found to induce labor undesirably.
(14) May Worsen Vaginal Yeast Infection
We love treating ourselves with the home remedy and we have a home remedy ready for almost everything. One such remedy is to use garlic cloves for treating vaginal yeast infection.
Without debating about whether or not this remedy works, it is better to know that garlic cloves can irritate the tender tissues of the vagina. For this reason, it is better to avoid using garlic cloves for treating vaginal infections. Instead of trying dozens of home remedies, it is better to consult your doctor and get the infection treated effectively.
(15) May Interfere With Certain Medications
Another major side effect of eating garlic in excessive quantity is their ability to interfere with certain drugs.
As mentioned earlier, eating too many garlic could lower our blood pressure to extremely low level and if you are already taking medication for lowering blood pressure, then combined effect of blood pressure medication and the intake of garlic can be life threatening.
Similarly, garlic is also effective in removing clots and for blood thinning, and if you are already taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin and aspirin etc, then it can be dangerous to your health.
Consuming excessive quantity of garlic also interferes with the functioning of “Rofecoxib”, a drug used to treat inflammation.
For this reason, it is better to eat garlic in moderate quantity. And, if you are on medication of any kind, then you should first consult your doctor about the same, and only eat garlic only as per the recommendation of the doctor.
(16) Too Much Fiber Is Bad For Our Stomach
The dietary fibers present in garlic plays an important role in keeping our digestive system healthy as it acts as a laxative, improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our system. This helps in providing relief from constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, bloating, intestinal gas, cramping etc.
However, it should be noted that high level of dietary fibers in our system is not at all good and may give rise to complications like cramping, diarrhea, malabsorption, constipation, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage etc.
In addition to this, excessive consumption of garlic can also increase the level of acid in our stomach and this can give rise to heartburn, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, abdominal pain etc.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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