Garlic

Garlic

Garlic
Garlic is used as an herbal treatment for conditions of the heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries. As with any herbal remedies, the effectiveness of this treatment is not widely documented, so best to consult with your doctor on using garlic supplements to treat blood pressure, cholesterol or any other conditions. Learn more about garlic from our experts.

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    Garlic, a perennial plant, is a member of the amaryllis family, along with the onion, leek and shallot. With a legendary history as a food and medicine, garlic is grown throughout the world. Herbal preparations of garlic are derived from the whole fresh bulb of the plant, the dried bulb, or extracted oil.

    Herbal garlic preparations can be used to help treat:
    • age-related impairment of blood flow
    • abnormal thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
    • upper-respiratory infections

    Garlic is available in a variety of product types. The recommended daily dose of garlic is 1,200 or 2,400 milligrams of garlic powder or the equivalent of four grams of fresh garlic. Use of garlic can be ongoing.

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    The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, does not recommend any dietary supplement for the prevention of cancer, but recognizes garlic as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties. Because all garlic preparations are not the same, it is difficult to determine the exact amount of garlic that may be needed to reduce cancer risk. Furthermore, the active compounds present in garlic may lose their effectiveness with time, handling, and processing. The World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines for general health promotion for adults is a daily dose of 2 to 5 g of fresh garlic (approximately one clove), 0.4 to 1.2 g of dried garlic powder, 2 to 5 mg of garlic oil, 300 to 1,000 mg of garlic extract, or other formulations that are equal to 2 to 5 mg of allicin.
    This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.
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    Based on information from iGuard.org, a free medication monitoring service, 10% of patients experience side effects while taking Garlic. Some of the side effects reported by iGuard members inlcude: Bad Breath. Please follow up with your doctor or other healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms that worsen or do not go away.

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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Garlic

    While garlic has been believed to treat the common cold, the research is less than robust. 

    In a study of over 145 individuals, those who took garlic daily for three months suffered with a cold the same length of time as those taking a placebo.  However, if you want to add it to chicken soup for a little flavor, it certainly won't hurt.

    Garlic
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    The following cautions should be considered before using ginger:

    Situations in which use of ginger is not advised:
    • Do not use ginger supplements if you have gallstones.
    • Because the safety of using ginger supplements during pregnancy has not been established, do not use ginger supplements if you are pregnant. 

    Side effects:
    There are no known side effects of ginger supplements.

    Drug interactions:
    Do not use ginger supplements with Coumadin or other blood-thinning drugs except under medical supervision. Ginger has a mild, but dose-dependent, blood-thinning effect.

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    Although garlic has been used safely in cooking, excessive consumption can cause some side effects, in addition to strong breath and body odors. Garlic occasionally causes allergies that can range from mild irritation to potentially life-threatening problems. Ingestion of fresh garlic bulbs, extracts, or oil on an empty stomach may occasionally cause heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some animal and human studies suggest that garlic can lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin.
    Garlic has been shown to interfere with several prescription drugs, especially the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) HIV medication saquinavir (brand name Invirase). Garlic can lower the serum levels of saquinavir by as much as 50 percent. Garlic also acts as a natural blood thinner and, thus, should be avoided by pregnant women, people about to undergo surgery, and people taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (brand name Coumadin).
    Garlic bulbs are sometimes contaminated with the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum can grow and produce botulinum toxin in garlic-in-oil products that are not refrigerated and do not contain antibacterial agents.
    In addition, chemical burns, contact dermatitis, and bronchial asthma can occur when garlic is applied to the skin. Garlic should also be avoided by people who are prone to stomach conditions, such as ulcers, as it can exacerbate the condition or cause new ones.
    This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.
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    A , Geriatric Medicine, answered
    In addition to warding off Count Dracula, garlic, the spicy favorite in Italian fare, has been shown to improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, consuming half to one clove of garlic daily may reduce cholesterol by nearly ten percent. Your breath might suffer, but your heart will thank you. As an antibacterial, it is often used to treat minor infections.
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    A , Fitness, answered

    I suggest using an aged-garlic extract (AGE) with high allicin potential that includes all constituent parts, including S-Allyl cysteine. If AGE isn't available, unaged garlic extract appears to work at slightly higher doses.

    I've tried consuming it fresh, chomping on cloves, and it isn't kind to your digestive tract. If you are going the whole-food route, use it in your cooking to prevent stomach self-destruction.

    For precision and convenience, I use supplements to reach my target baseline in dosing, and I use extra garlic in food for delectable (but not necessary) insurance above that baseline.

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    A , General Practice, answered
    Are garlic supplements safe for pregnant or nursing women?
    Garlic is not only used in cooking, but also in supplement form for many reasons. In this video, integrative medicine specialist Tieraona Low Dog, MD, explains why women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid taking concentrated garlic supplements.
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    The following cautions should be considered before using garlic:

    Situations in which use of garlic is not advised:
    • Do not use garlic if you have inflammation of the stomach (gastroenteritis).
    • Do not take large amounts of garlic during pregnancy; in large amounts, garlic may stimulate uterine contractions and secretions (Farnsworth et al 1975).
    • Do not use garlic while nursing.

    Side effects: At the recommended doses, there are no known adverse effects of garlic use. Rarely, and only after frequent contact with the plant, an inflammatory condition of the skin (eczema) or other allergic reactions may develop.

    Drug interactions: There are no known interactions of garlic with any drugs.