Health effects of garlic

Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jul 1;72(1):103-6.


Garlic has long been used medicinally, most recently for its cardiovascular, antineoplastic, and antimicrobial properties. Sulfur compounds, including allicin, appear to be the active components in the root bulb of the garlic plant. Studies show significant but modest lipid-lowering effects and antiplatelet activity. Significant blood pressure reduction is not consistently noted. There is some evidence for antineoplastic activity and insufficient evidence for clinical antimicrobial activity. Side effects generally are mild and uncommon. Garlic appears to have no effect on drug metabolism, but patients taking anticoagulants should be cautious. It seems prudent to stop taking high dosages of garlic seven to 10 days before surgery because garlic can prolong bleeding time.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bleeding Time
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Food-Drug Interactions
  • Garlic* / adverse effects
  • Garlic* / chemistry
  • Garlic* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / prevention & control
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Infection Control
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Phytotherapy / adverse effects
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Phytotherapy / standards
  • Research Design / standards