Side Effects of Eating Raw Garlic

Updated July 20, 2017

Garlic has been believed to be an effective medical treatment for disease for more than 3,000 years. Researchers and health care professionals declare garlic to have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibiotic benefits if consumed. Of course, when using garlic for medicinal purposes, it is like any other botanical in that care and caution must be taken. As with taking any medication, side effects are possible.

Body Odor

Bad body odour is the main side effect of large amounts of garlic consumption. Until the garlic has made its way through digestion and has been completely flushed from your system, any bodily secretions will have the odour of the garlic itself. The odour will likely last a week or so after consumption has ceased while the bodywork to rid itself of the garlic.


We all know how foods can affect our breath after eating, so we can only expect that eating raw garlic would have definite effects. Both drinking garlic juice and eating the raw garlic will cause moderate to severe bad breath. Luckily, it will subside after discontinuing consumption and brushing your teeth. However, you can probably expect the body odour (see above) to kick in within the next few hours.


Since garlic can thin the blood, it is considered to have anticoagulant properties. Take caution in consuming large amount of garlic before any surgeries or if you are taking any other medications that may have anticoagulant properties to avoid any risks of excessive bleeding.

Abdominal Discomfort

Some people may experience abdominal discomfort in many forms after eating raw garlic. These particular side effects may include upset stomach, diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating of the stomach and acid indigestion.

Allergic Reaction

As with any food or botanical, allergic reaction (while uncommon with garlic) is a possibility. Reactions may include raised rash along the skin, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and breathing difficulties. Of course, if any swelling of the tongue, mouth or throat occurs, seek immediate attention from a medical professional.

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About the Author

Born and raised in Texas, Carey Peacock began published writing in December 2009. Peacock has written eHow articles related to teaching in the preschool classroom. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education with a minor in English from Angelo State University.