Garlic (Allium sativum) is the edible herb form the lily family native to Europe and central Asia. Allicin (thiosulfinates) is one of the active constituents of garlic.1,2 Traditionally, garlic has been valued as a culinary herb and for its use in herbal formulas.

Health Benefits

Garlic is a beneficial ingredient for heart health. Garlic may increase healthy cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) levels while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and fat (triglycerides) levels in the blood.1-5 Garlic may aid in lowering blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and inflammation.6-8 Fermented Garlic may reduce the arteriosclerotic diseases in individuals with elevated blood lipid levels.5 In addition, garlic may have antibacterial activity and may reduce tumor size by inducing cell death.9,10


Garlic may cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some individuals.7


  1. Garlic. MedlinePlus. NIH. Accessed in July 2015.
  2. Garlic. American Botanical Council. Accessed in July 215.
  3. Rotzsch W, Richter V, Rassoul F, Walper A. [Postprandial lipemia under treatment with Allium sativum. Controlled double-blind study of subjects with reduced HDL2-cholesterol]. Arzneimittelforschung. 1992 Oct;42(10):1223-7. German. PubMed PMID: 1472142.
  4. Duda G, Suliburska J, Pupek-Musialik D. Effects of short-term garlic supplementation on lipid metabolism and antioxidant status in hypertensive adults. Pharmacol Rep. 2008 Mar-Apr;60(2):163-70. PubMed PMID: 18443377.
  5. Sumioka I, Hayama M, Shimokawa Y, Shiraishi S, Tokunaga A. Lipid-lowering effect of monascus garlic fermented extract (MGFE) in hyperlipidemic subjects. Hiroshima J Med Sci. 2006 Jun;55(2):59-64. PubMed PMID: 16813070.
  6. Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP, Fakler P, Sullivan T. Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2008 Jun 16;8:13. doi: 10.1186/1471-2261-8-13. Review. PubMed PMID: 18554422
  7. Srivastava KC, Tyagi OD. Effects of a garlic-derived principle (ajoene) on aggregation and arachidonic acid metabolism in human blood platelets. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1993 Aug;49(2):587-95. PubMed PMID: 8415808.
  8. Higdon, Garlic. Linus Pauling Institute: Oregon State University. 2005 Acessed in July 2015.
  9. Viswanathan V, Phadatare AG, Mukne A. Antimycobacterial and Antibacterial Activity of Allium sativum Bulbs. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2014 May;76(3):256-61. PubMed PMID: 25035540; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4090836.
  10. Tilli CM, Stavast-Kooy AJ, Vuerstaek JD, Thissen MR, Krekels GA, Ramaekers FC, Neumann HA. The garlic-derived organosulfur component ajoene decreases basal cell carcinoma tumor size by inducing apoptosis. Arch Dermatol Res. 2003 Jul;295(3):117-23. Epub 2003 May 20. PubMed PMID: 12756587.