Oxygen-free radicals and other oxygen/nitrogen species are constantly generated in the human body. Most are intercepted by antioxidant defences and perform useful metabolic roles, whereas others escape to damage biomolecules like DNA, lipids and proteins. Garlic has been shown to contain antioxidant phytochemicals that prevent oxidative damage. These include unique water-soluble organosulphur compounds, lipid-soluble organosulphur compounds and flavonoids. Therefore, in the present study, we have tried to explore the antioxidant effect of garlic supplementation on oxidative stress-induced DNA damage, nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide generation and on the total antioxidant status (TAS) in patients of essential hypertension (EH). Twenty patients of EH as diagnosed by JNC VI criteria (Group I) and 20 age and sex-matched normotensive controls (Group II) were enrolled in the study. Both groups were given garlic pearls (GP) in a dose of 250 mg per day for 2 months. Baseline samples were taken at the start of the study, i.e. 0 day, and thereafter 2 months follow-up. 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), lipids, lipid peroxidation (MDA), NO and antioxidant vitamins A, E and C were determined. A moderate decline in blood pressure (BP) and a significant reduction in 8-OHdG, NO levels and lipid peroxidation were observed in Group I subjects with GP supplementation. Further, a significant increase in vitamin levels and TAS was also observed in this group as compared to the control subjects. These findings point out the beneficial effects of garlic supplementation in reducing blood pressure and counteracting oxidative stress, and thereby, offering cardioprotection in essential hypertensives.