Garlic has several sought-out features and benefits. But is garlic for blood pressure control on the list? Find out what the experts have to say!
- The herb garlic commonly targets heart and blood related ailments, including high blood pressure.
- Garlic produces the chemical allicin which has been linked to lowering pressure by relaxing vessels. Moreover, garlic is a powerful antioxidant.
- Although effective, there are potential side-effects and contrasting evidence to keep in mind when using garlic for blood pressure.
Garlic, or Allium sativum, has been used as a medicine for decades. Archaeologists even found garlic bulbs in the Egyptian Pyramids!
Cholesterol reduction and cancer prevention are just some of their potential advantages. However, did you know controlling elevated blood pressure is also one of them?
If you’re looking for a natural remedy to control hypertension, this article explores the pros and cons of using garlic for blood pressure.
The Expert Say On Garlic For Blood Pressure
According to the World Health Organization, around 1.28 billion people globally between the age of 30 and 79 have hypertension and live with an increased risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease. Moreover, an estimated 46% of adults with the ailment are unaware they have it since the disease doesn’t display any noteworthy symptoms.
According to Dr. Karin Ried and her colleagues at the University of Adelaide:
“Garlic preparations are superior to placebo in reducing blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.”
Her team is not alone in supporting this notion. For example, another experiment demonstrated that garlic controls blood pressure with fewer side effects than prescription drugs.
But what is the science behind it?
Allicin, the primary component of garlic, is responsible for these health factors. Experts propose that allicin relaxes blood vessels, lowering your pressure instantly.
This compound has also been found to increase the human body’s nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide levels. These chemicals are crucial to regulating blood pressure.
Garlic’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are some ways the herb further helps. According to Providence, this helps strengthen the immune system and contributes to garlic’s ability to reduce blood pressure.
The Flip Side
Garlic supplements are generally safe for use as most users only experience bad breath, body odor, or taste.
Nonetheless, since the supplement is not FDA-approved, it is crucial to consider a few of the potential side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Throat or mouth burn
It is also important to remember there is limited research examining the relationship between garlic and blood pressure. Small study sizes and restricted design makes it difficult for authorities to prescribe garlic as a supplement for hypertension.
In recent years as previous trials are reviewed, the evidence is often insufficient to suggest reduced mortality in high blood pressure patients. Also, most studies only look at extremely high doses of garlic, disregarding other blood pressure conditions such as hypotension. Therefore, simply increasing garlic intake as part of your diet might not be sufficient to see results.
Garlic is an effective and safe natural remedy to lower blood pressure right in your kitchen . It can be consumed in several forms, including raw, oil, extracts, powders, or supplements.
Even then, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before adding garlic to your regimen- particularly if you have a pre-existing condition or are currently taking medication.
- Multum, Cerner. “What is garlic?” Drugs.com Herbal Supplementation (2022). https://www.drugs.com/mtm/garlic.html
- “Three reasons a heart loves garlic.” Providence.org (2020). https://www.providence.org/news/uf/414540885
- García-Trejo et al. “Effects of Allicin on Hypertension and Cardiac Function in Chronic Kidney Disease.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5136635/
- Ried, Karin. “Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: A review and meta-analysis.” Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 19.2 (2019): 1472-1478. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966103/
- Ried, Karin et al. “Effect of garlic on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 8.13 (2008). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2442048/
- “Hypertension.” World Health Organization (2021) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension
- Merschel, Michael. “Sorting folkore from fact on the health benefits of garlic.” American Heart Association News. (2021) https://www.heart.org/en/news/2021/04/19/sorting-folklore-from-fact-on-the-health-benefits-of-garlic
- Xu, Qian. “Garlic for the prevention of cardiovascular morbidity and morality in hypertensive patients.” Summaries of Nursing Care-Related Systematic Reviews from the Cochrane Library 11.1 (2013): 83. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007653.pub2/full