Potential Raw Garlic Side Effects


When taken by mouth, raw garlic can cause burning a sensation in the mouth or stomach, bad breath, heartburn, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, body odor, and diarrhea. The likelihood of these side effects increase with an increase in the amount of raw garlic consumed.

In general, garlic in any form can increase bleeding risk because it acts as a natural blood thinner. Speak to your doctor before consuming raw garlic if you take blood thinners. Due to bleeding concerns, stop taking garlic at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, garlic is believed to be safe in food amounts but might be unsafe in medicinal amounts.

When taken by mouth in appropriate, small amounts for short periods of time, garlic is said to be safe for children. However, garlic should never be given to children in large doses.


If you have any gastrointestinal problems, it’s important to know that raw garlic can irritate the GI tract. People with ulcers should most likely avoid raw garlic.

Raw garlic can cause severe, burn-like skin irritation if applied to the skin alone directly so be cautious with skin contact.

Talk to your doctor before consuming raw garlic if you have low blood pressure, ulcers or other GI issues, thyroid problems, or any other ongoing health concerns.

Also speak with your doctor before consuming raw garlic medicinally if you are taking any medications, especially the following:

  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Isoniazid (Nydrazid)
  • Birth control pills
  • Cyclosporine
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

These are the best ways to guard against any possible negative garlic side effects:

  • Consume garlic in culinary doses.
  • Eat traditional recipes.
  • Avoid taking raw garlic in massive amounts.


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