Eating raw garlic: properties, benefits and contraindications

While raw garlic can offer health benefits, it’s essential to consume it in moderation and be aware of potential side effects or interactions

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By Edward Campbell

eating raw garlic

Eating raw garlic is good for the health, regardless the consequences on your breath: it’s an antibacterial, antibiotic and a natural blood thinner.

It is certainly not pleasing to all palates and certainly does not make us easily approachable, unless a couple of hours have passed since we ate it. But anyway garlic is a vegetable with many valuable properties, thanks to the presence of bioactive compounds and nutrients.

Garlic’s benefits are known since ancient times.  This unique vegetable was regarded primarily as a tonic, an invigorating substance and a a highly energetic stimulant.

It was, in fact, given to the slaves to increase their strength from the soldiers of ancient Rome. In ancient Egypt raw garlic was provided to all those who worked on building the pyramids.

Actually, garlic was also used for the known antibacterial and antiviral properties.

It’s always been appreciated in the kitchen to accompany a first or a second course meal, for its flavor, but many use it only during cooking, and later remove it, just because not everyone enjoy eating it.

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Benefits of raw garlic

The benefits coming from the consumption of garlic are numerous.

It is a purifying antiseptic, antibacterial, deworming, energizing and invigorating the heart and circulatory system, blood thinner, just to name a few. However, to benefit from these advantages it should be drunk in raw form instead of cooked. The active ingredient in garlic is called allicin.

The raw consumption, as already previously mentioned, can be unpleasant because of allicin. This is the main active substance that gives the intense odor that garlic cloves emanate when cut and chopped.

It’s also the reason for the intense flavor when chewed. Allicin is also the substance that protects the plant from parasites that may attack it. It’s an effective antiparasite and antibacterial both for the plant and the person introducing it into the body.

Allicin is beneficial especially for blood circulation and blood pressure. It helps ease the pressure coming with hypertension, so those who are on the contrary, and have low blood pressure, should consume it in moderation. It helps keep the arteries clean, and plays the role of a vasodilator action, reducing the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

It also helps eliminate the LDL cholesterol, since it’s an antioxidant, and it fights free radicals protecting the entire body from the negative effects of aging, both physically and intellectually. Allicin also has obvious antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Based on scientific evidence, it’s a good antibiotic, in addition to fighting bacteria, and it doesn’t lead to the formation of resistant bacterial strains.

eating raw garlic
Eating raw garlic: benefits and contraindications

Contraindications of garlic

However you should know that eating raw garlic has a few drawbacks. Those suffering from gastritis, ulcers or in general are a subject to stomach problems should not overdo it. Raw garlic can cause heartburn, and excessive consumption can lead to nausea and irritation in the intestines.

For pregnant women it’s not recommended to take advantage of the anticoagulant effects on the blood, whereas during lactation it can alter the taste of the milk which might not be welcomed by the newborn.

Lastly, Allicin can interact negatively with some anticoagulants and antiplatelet drug treatments and therapies against HIV. But do not forget the devastating consequences on your breath… and sweat!

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