Garlic is a popular herb grown all around the world. It is in the same category with onions, olives and leeks. Garlic has been conceived to have cardiovascular (heart) protective and immune-modulatory (immune support) properties.
We have had different people and cultures, acknowledging the potential use of garlic to prevent and also treat various diseases throughout its history.
Contemporary research has supported the effects of garlic and its extract in a wide variety of usage. Traditionally, since inception, Garlic has been considered an antidote for refurbishing strength, reducing fatigue, and increasing immunity both in prevention and treatment of contagious diseases and gastrointestinal conditions.
In recent time, garlic has also been associated with enhancing cardiovascular health, including cholesterol, blood pressure and other cardiovascular markers.
Today, garlic is available as pills for the above medical conditions. This article intends to review if garlic pills lower blood pressure, and if so, how garlic really works on hypertension. Like any tablets, regardless they are natural or not, they may have side effects, and there is no exception to garlic pills, so that’s worth visiting too. And, after all there are many things to consider before taking garlic for hypertension.
9 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic
Here you go.
1. Garlic pills are known to improve the activity of the immune system. It also helps to prevent and reduce the bitterness of common illnesses like the flu and common cold.
2. Garlic is highly nutritious; it is calorie-restricted but rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. Garlic also has a trace amount of numerous other nutrients. Garlic consists of a sulfur compound which is believed to have produced some of the health benefits.
3. Garlic is grown in various part of the world, it is quite popular, and we all have heard about it if not using it as a common ingredient for cooking. Its ingredients are used in cooking because of its pleasant scent, delicious taste and of course its health benefits.
4. Cardiovascular diseases like health attack and strokes are the biggest killers. Studies also reveal that hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the major initiators of these diseases. Ample consumption of garlic believed to assist in normalizing blood pressure, especially for those whose cases with high levels of blood pressure. If there must be any positive effects, or getting the desired result, supplement doses must be pretty high. There are also cases where supplements must be as effective as the usual medication (but this has not been scientifically proven).
5. Garlic contains antioxidants that help to support the body’s protective mechanism against damage and ageing. It is also capable of reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
6. Garlic supplement appears to reduce total and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol by about 10-15% in those with high cholesterol levels.
7. Garlic oil is one of the effective essential oils for diabetic nerve pain.
8. Garlic is used as a remedy to manage joint pain.
9. Garlic has a low Glycemic Index, hence diabetes-friendly.
Garlic on High Blood Pressure or Hypertension
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery wall is too high. The disease could be fatal in the long run. If it is not attended to or untreated, it may lead to many heart and kidney diseases.
Consumption of a healthy diet is one of the best ways in which high blood pressure could be managed. Research has suggested the garlic is among one of the best foods known to support managing high blood pressure.
Aside from providing rich flavor to the meals, garlic is said to have shown quite positive results in boosting overall health too.
As the body increases the production of angiotensin1-converting enzymes, or “ACE” enzyme,” blood pressure also increases. Garlic, on the other hand, contains gamma-glutamylcysteine, a natural ACE inhibitor. In combination with the high allicin content, this chemical enables garlic the ability to dilate arteries, thereby to lower blood pressure.
How Garlic Works on Hypertension
Garlic has sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin, dially1 disulfide, dially1 trisulfide and many others. Allicin is mainly responsible for the strong smell of garlic. Some products are made without odor by aging the garlic but make the garlic less effective. Raw garlic provides powerful medical effects.
A fresh clove of garlic weighs approximately 4 grams and contains 1 per cent allicin.
Garlic supplements are available in several forms, which include pills, powders, oil and extracts ranging from 100mg up to 500mg. Since some supplements have little to no allicin, it is advisable to check the label for adequate allicin level.
Ways Garlic can Lower Blood Pressure
The power of garlic has a significant effect when taken raw. Fresh garlic prompt allinase for easy release of maximum allicin. Raw garlic should be consumed within one or two hours of stimulating allicin for an additional health benefit. It is appropriate for persons with high blood pressure to eat raw garlic regularly to be able to control their blood pressure.
This is also fresh and flavorful. Therefore, adding it in daily meals can likewise lower blood pressure. Roughly, when taken 600-900mg of garlic powder, it could provide about a 9-12% reduction of high blood pressure.
Garlic milk is usually used as a medicine, and it is favorable for general health. A good number of peeled and grinded garlic cloves are required to prepare this drink. The ground garlic, therefore, is added into warm water with a tablespoon of honey for a better result.
Fresh chopped garlic is an essential ingredient in many dishes. It can also be added to favorite salads. Ground raw garlic is a better option to make salad delicious and healthy. Making this grated garlic salad a part of a daily diet will help control high blood pressure.
Side Effects of Garlic
Garlic can cause a bad odor
One of its disadvantages is the odor emanating from garlic, and this lingers in the mouth even after several attempts to wash it off. Experts, on the other hand, believe that the same chemical in garlic that causes the bad breath is the same that makes it potent.
Research suggests that Garlic is actually a gas-forming food, and as such, eating or chewing garlic on an empty stomach is not advisable as it may cause diarrhea.
There has been a report that prolonged touch with garlic has every tendency to propel skin irritation, although it has a lot of benefits attached.
The presence of the enzyme in garlic called allicin lyase could also be the cause of the irritation. Eczema is one of the conditions that are vulnerable to this allergy.
Too much intake of garlic can lead to a condition called hyphema, which is also known as bleeding inside the eye chamber. This is quite strange, but the reality of it is that the excess of garlic effects as an anticoagulant (blood-thinning agent) can cause hyphema, which will possibly lead to vision loss.
It can hurt the liver
Excess consumption of garlic can cause harm to the liver. A study reveals that though garlic is rich in antioxidants, it can also cause liver toxicity if taken too much.
Tip: Krill oil is an antioxidant too, which could help lower blood pressure.
Garlic can cause nausea, vomiting and heartburn
The National Cancer Institute published a report that consuming fresh garlic bulbs, or the extracts or even the oil on an empty stomach is likely to cause nausea, vomiting and heartburn. Another research revealed that the oral intake of garlic might also cause nausea and heartburn opposed to using it as an oil.
Tip: Did you know garlic oil is one of the effective essential oils for diabetes?
5 Things to Consider Before Taking Garlic for Hypertension
Underling diseases and side effects
It is more appropriate to seek medical advice before embarking on any self-medication. A doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider should be consulted on the safety of the use of garlic if you are having a:
- Stomach ulcer.
- Digestion problems.
- Blood clotting disorders (e.g. haemophilia) or bleeding.
It is considered safe to include garlic as a flavoring ingredient in food during pregnancy. But what is not yet clear is if taking it in place of medicine will harm an unborn baby. It is, therefore, more appropriate to consult professionals for advice before making use of garlic as a medicine during pregnancy.
Tip: You should watch for Diabetes during Pregnancy too.
Consumption of garlic by a nursing mother could harm the baby while feeding on breast milk. Therefore, it is not proper to administer any herbal supplement to a child without consulting a medical professional, which also include garlic.
Use in Children
Children are not advisable to consume garlic as pills (as a medicine) without medical advice.
Before Surgical Procedures
Patients who are going in for surgery or any medical procedure are not expected to take in garlic at least two weeks to the time. This is because garlic can affect blood-clotting and may increase the likelihood of bleeding.
If you are suffering from Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Kidney Disease or Psychological Disorders the medicinal forms of garlic such as pills, oil, and tablets are not to be taken at the same time except by the doctor’s prescription.
Things to Avoid While Taking Garlic for Hypertension
It is crucial to note that some other supplements in the market shouldn’t be merged with garlic because the end result could be fatal.
For example, garlic shouldn’t be taken with fish oil or vitamin E at the same time.
Combining garlic with other herbal supplements should as well be avoided because it may likely affect the blood-clotting process. Some of these herbal supplements that should be avoided while taking garlic are;
- Red clover
- Horse chestnut, and
Tip: Ginger is a Home Remedy for Type 2 Diabetes.
Tip: Gingered Apple Smoothie is one of the popular smoothies among people with diabetes.
Tip: Cloves, ginger, turmeric oils are Essential Oils.
Tip: Ginger ale is a cheat day tryout of our Diabetic Gastroparesis Food List.
With What Medication the Garlic Pills Should Not be Taken?
Here they are.
- Birth control pills
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Warfarin (Coumadin, jantoxlen)
- HIV or AIDS medicine
- Drugs that are used to prevent blood clots
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) e.g. aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Celecoxide, Indomethacin, diclofenac, meloxicam…etc.
Also, garlic should not be taken when using a medication to treat any of the following health conditions, unless on medical advice.
- Anxiety or depression
- Allergies or asthma
- Any type of infection (e.g. malaria, HIV, or tuberculosis)
- Migraine headaches
- Psychiatric disorder
- High blood pressure,
- heart conditions
- high cholesterol
- Autoimmune disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Heartburn or gastritis
- Erectile dysfunction.
Tip: If you experience a seizure as diabetes patients while traveling, always call an ambulance or head to an emergency department.
The Alternative to Garlic Pills for High Blood Pressure
Onion is seen as one of the remedies of high blood pressure because of the presence of ‘quercetin’ – an antioxidant flavonol.
Eating one medium size of raw onion daily or taking mixed one-half teaspoon each of onion juice and honey twice a day for the period of one to two weeks can be of great help.
Lemon removes any muscle rigidity
and helps keep blood vessels soft and pliable, thereby reducing high blood pressure.
Drinking lemon juice regularly can go a long way to help lower the chances of heart failure because of the amount of vitamin C contained in it.
Watermelon seed has a compound known as cucurbocitrin that helps capillaries. It also helps to improve kidney function at the same time. They also help in reducing the rate of high blood pressure and also treats arthritis.
A teaspoon of the mixture of dried watermelon seed and poppy seeds (khus khus) in the morning and evening would likely help your overall health.
Honey has a calming effect on the blood vessels and is capable of lowering pressure on the heart.
Taking two teaspoonfuls of honey first thing in the morning or mixture of 1 teaspoon each of honey and ginger juice with 2 teaspoons of cumin seed powder can give pleasing results.
Tip: In Greek, “Diabetes” means “go through” and “Mellitus” means “Honey”. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
are types of Diabetes Mellitus. But, do you know the Difference between Diabetes Mellitus And Diabetes Insipidus?
High blood pressure patients should maintain well-hydrated bodies. It is advisable to take up to eight or ten glasses of water daily. In addition, to maintain a healthy blood pressure level, coconut water is particularly beneficial.
In addition to coconut water, coconut oil can also be used when cooking.
Banana is rich in potassium. It helps to reduce the effect of sodium. People with high blood pressure should eat banana regularly to control the body’s sodium-potassium balance.
Eating one or two bananas daily with dried apricots, orange juice, raisins, currant, spinach, cantaloupe and baked sweet potatoes can be very helpful in lowering high blood pressure.
Do You Use Garlic to Reduce Severe Hypertension and Unstable Blood Pressure? – Caution!
Both cooked and raw garlic helps to control high blood pressure and also reduces the level of cholesterol in the body.
Garlic stimulates the production of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide, which helps to relax blood vessels. In as much as constant intake of garlic helps to enhance the health and guard against high blood pressure; however, it is also important to note that garlic should not be used on cases of severe hypertensive patients.
The use of garlic supplement is just a suggestion to diet supplement and not to treat an already-existing or severe conditions. As always advised, any health issues and supplementation should be discussed with a medical professional before making them part of your lifestyle.
Tip: These Tips on Choosing the Best Doctor To Treat Diabetes, contain useful insights of a ‘good doctor’ which can be helpful to you in choosing a doctor to treat your high blood pressure too.
Some of Reputable Garlic Pills Brands that would help Lower Blood Pressure
In addition to lowering blood pressure, garlic supplements also have lots of other health benefits. They are been used to support the heart health and circulatory system for centuries, combat yeast infections, reduce blood cholesterol, and fight against some cancers.
Below are some of the popular garlic pills that can help lower high blood pressure.
Natural Vitamin Co. High Allicin Garlic Pills
These pills believed to have a strong immunity support formula that enhances the main health component in garlic, which is beneficial to the immune and circulatory system.
The special manufacturing process seems not to lose Allicin and other components from garlic. Natural Vitamin Co. High Allicin Garlic tablets are coated with a natural delayed-release coating that eliminates odor.
Sundown Natural Garlic Odorless Soft Gels
These pills are made with pure garlic oil and extract. The antioxidants seen in them go through a specialized cold processing method to retain all the natural components while removing the unpleasant odour.
These pills come as gels, so they are easy to swallow and free from sweetener, flavor and artificial color.
Puritan’s Pride Odorless Garlic Repaid Release Soft Gels
This pill has antioxidant properties to help keep healthy circulation and cholesterol levels. Its cold processing method believed to maintain all the natural goodness of garlic at the same time by reducing the odor.
Some Extra Benefits of Garlic, Which Has Not Scientifically Proven
Garlic improves memory
Pharmaceutical companies sell antioxidant supplements for a large amount of money, but garlic which does not cost much believed to contain a huge quantity of component that hinders the brain from aging.
Older adults who eat garlic reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while the younger ones would enrich their brain and memory productivity if they eat garlic regularly.
Garlic reduces toothache
Garlic contains antibacterial and antifungal properties which likely favor the mouth cavity.
With those properties, garlic can heal inflamed gums and kill harmful microbes. It should also reduce the risk of sunken or decayed tooth. Therefore, a person that eats garlic regularly has no business seeing the dentist whatsoever.
Garlic helps to reduce weight
Garlic is believed to be another good remedy for wrong or inappropriate weight gain. It helps to burn excess calories that accumulate in the body, thereby destroying some fatty deposits.
Garlic makes one more attractive
Men who eat garlic are said to look more attractive. In as much as garlic has an unpleasant smell, yet women are impressed having men around who consumes garlic about 12 hours prior to a date according to research.
Scientists are yet to come up with an explanation as regards this phenomenon, though. However, the reason may be hidden in the antimicrobial properties of garlic.
Tip: Here are the Best Blood Pressure Monitors!
Tip: The RESPeRATE Blood Pressure Lowering Device could help to manage hypertension too.