How does Garlic work?
Garlic produces a chemical called allicin. This is what seems to make garlic work for certain conditions. Allicin also makes garlic smell. Some products are made "odorless" by aging the garlic, but this process can also make the garlic less effective. It's a good idea to look for supplements that are coated (enteric coating) so they will dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach.
Are there safety concerns?
Garlic is safe for most people. Garlic can cause bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odor, and diarrhea. These side effects are often worse with raw garlic. When used on the skin as a thick paste, garlic can cause damage to the skin that is similar to a burn.
Do not take garlic if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- You have a bleeding disorder.
- You are scheduled for surgery within two weeks.
- You have stomach or digestion problems.
- You are being treated for HIV/AIDS.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.