Clinical effectiveness of garlic (Allium sativum)

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Nov;51(11):1382-5. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700073.


The objective of this review is to update and assess the clinical evidence based on rigorous trials of the effectiveness of garlic (A. sativum). Systematic searches were carried out in Medline, Embase, Amed, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Natural Standard, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (search date December 2006). Our own files, the bibliographies of relevant papers and the contents pages of all issues of the review journal FACT were searched for further studies. No language restrictions were imposed. To be included, trials were required to state that they were randomized and double blind. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of garlic were included if based on the results of randomized, double-blind trials. The literature searches identified six relevant systematic reviews and meta-analysis and double-blind randomized trials (RCT) that were published subsequently. These relate to cancer, common cold, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, peripheral arterial disease and pre-eclampsia. The evidence based on rigorous clinical trials of garlic is not convincing. For hypercholesterolemia, the reported effects are small and may therefore not be of clinical relevance. For reducing blood pressure, few studies are available and the reported effects are too small to be clinically meaningful. For all other conditions not enough data are available for clinical recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Garlic* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic