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General Information

Garlic has been used both as a medicine and as a seasoning for thousands of years.

Common Name(s)


Scientific Name(s)

Allium sativum

Scientific Name(s)

Garlic cloves can be eaten. They can also be dried or powdered, then used in tablets and capsules. Oils and extracts can be obtained from the cloves as well.

What is this product used for?

Garlic is traditionally used in herbal medicine to provide relief for symptoms related to respiratory infections, manage high cholesterol, and prevent heart disease.

It may also be used to manage blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, improve gum health, improve liver function in those with fatty liver disease, and relieve pain caused by endometriosis.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

There is some evidence that shows garlic may be helpful for the above uses. It is unclear whether garlic is effective for other purposes.

Garlic appears to be safe for most adults. Most common side effects include breath and body odor, heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, and allergic reactions. These side effects are more common with raw garlic.

Garlic may interact with the following:

  • anticoagulants (e.g., apixaban, warfarin)
  • antiplatelets (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), clopidogrel)
  • atazanavir
  • blood pressure lowering medications (e.g., amlodipine, ramipril)
  • HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, darunavir)
  • isoniazid
  • sofosbuvir
  • tacrolimus

Ask your doctor before taking garlic if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have a bleeding disorder
  • have diabetes

Garlic can increase your risk of bleeding. Stop taking garlic at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


  1. Health Canada. Drugs and Health Products. Monograph – Garlic.
  2. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Garlic.

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