Garlic is an herb that is grown around the world. It is related to onion, leeks, and chives. It is thought that garlic is native to Siberia, but spread to other parts of the world over 5000 years ago.
Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, and lung cancer. It is also used to treat prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
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Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Garlic is LIKELY SAFE to use during pregnancy when taken in the amounts normally found in food. Garlic is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and when breast-feeding. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of applying garlic to the skin if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Garlic is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth and appropriately for a short-term in children. However, garlic is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large doses. Some sources suggest that high doses of garlic could be dangerous or even fatal to children. The reason for this warning is not known. There are no case reports available of significant adverse events or mortality in children associated with taking garlic by mouth. When applied to the skin, garlic might cause damage to the skin that is similar to a burn.
Bleeding disorder: Garlic, especially fresh garlic, might increase the risk of bleeding.
Stomach or digestion problems: Garlic can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Use with caution if you have stomach or digestion problems.
Low blood pressure: Garlic can lower blood pressure. In theory, taking garlic might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Garlic might prolong bleeding and interfere with blood pressure. Stop taking garlic at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
BY MOUTH: For hardening of the arteries: A 300 mg garlic powder tablet (Kwai, Lichtwer Pharma), taken as a single dose or three times daily for up to 4 years, has been used. Also, 150 mg of a specific garlic supplement (Allicor, INAT-Farma, Moscow, Russia) twice daily for 24 months has been used. Combination products containing garlic have also been used. A specific aged garlic extract supplement (Kyolic, Total Heart Health, Formula 108, Wakunga) containing 250 mg of aged garlic extract taken daily for 12 months, has been used. Also, a combination product containing 300 mg aged garlic extract, taken at a dose of four tablets daily for one year, has been used. For colon cancer and rectal cancer: Capsules containing 2.4 mL of aged garlic extract taken daily for 12 months have been used. For high blood pressure: 300 mg to 1500 mg of garlic tablets taken in divided doses daily for 24 weeks has been used. 2400 mg of a specific garlic powder tablet (Kwai, Lichtwer Pharma) taken as a single dose or 600 mg daily for 12 weeks has been used. Capsules containing 960 mg to 7.2 grams of aged garlic extract, taken daily in up to three divided doses for up to 6 months, have been used. Specific products containing aged garlic extract include Kyolic (Garlic High Potency Everyday Formula 112, Wakunga/Wagner). 500 mg of garlic oil 500 mg plus 600 mg of fish oil daily for 60 days has been used. For prostate cancer: 1 mg/kg of a water-soluble garlic extract, taken daily for one month, has been used. For tick bites: Capsules containing 1200 mg of garlic taken daily for 8 weeks has been used. APPLIED TO THE SKIN: For fungal skin infections (ringworm, jock itch, athlete's foot): garlic ingredient ajoene as a 0.4% cream, 0.6% gel, and 1% gel applied twice daily for one week has been used