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Garlic in pregnancy

January 15, 2021
Garlic in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very special stage in the life of any woman. The growth and proper formation of the future baby require the mother to adopt certain changes in her lifestyle, especially in diet. As you well know, it is not only important to increase the size of your portions, but also to pay attention to what you eat.

In this article we will be talking about a very common ingredient in our diet: garlic . Keep reading below to learn about possible healthy benefits , ways of consumption, recommended doses , some contraindications to consider, and frequently asked questions about garlic in pregnancy .

Is it safe to eat garlic in pregnancy?

In addition to adding incredible flavor to foods, garlic ( specifically raw garlic ) is credited with excellent health properties1 . It is not surprising that many want to consume it daily as part of their routine. Butis it considered safe for pregnant women to consume it?

The answer is yes. Garlic can be safely consumed in pregnancy and lactation as long as the portion size is controlled2 . When the usual amount that we use to prepare any recipe is not exceeded, garlic does not pose a danger to the fetus or the pregnant woman.

This is especially true during the early stages of pregnancy. Foods and ingredients ingested early in pregnancy are known to have less of an effect on the fetus, compared to later trimesters. During the second and third trimesters, regular consumption of raw garlic can increase the risk of low blood pressure and blood thinning in some cases3 . Scientific evidence indicates that garlic has anti-hypertensive and anticoagulant properties4 5.

See later:

Does garlic have healthy benefits for pregnant women?

Thanks to the potential of its bioactive compounds, garlic is said to help treat health problems that generally occur during pregnancy, such as poor blood circulation and high blood pressure.

Different investigations have reported that the allicin compound present in raw garlic has antibiotic, anticoagulant, antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, circulatory and immunostimulating properties, among others.

Here are 9 healthy benefits of eating garlic during pregnancy :

1. Reduces the risk of preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure, is a potentially dangerous condition that affects nearly 1 in 10 pregnant women. Consuming garlic on a regular basis can help reduce the risk of developing pre-eclampsia , and prevent its associated complications (fetal growth restriction, premature labor, placental abruption, HELLP syndrome, eclampsia, organ damage, cardiovascular disease)6 7.

2. Promotes the baby’s weight gain

Scientific research has observed that if a woman eats garlic, the risk of her baby being born underweight or prematurely is much lower . Garlic extract has been shown to be able to enhance enzyme activity and stimulate the growth of placental cells8.

3. Provides calcium

Many do not know, but fresh garlic is rich in calcium 9 , anessential mineral for mother and baby. First, calcium is necessary to support the health of a woman’s musculoskeletal, nervous, and circulatory systems. In the case of the fetus, calcium not only favors its proper formation; it also helps it develop faster10.

The American Pregnancy Association has reported that pregnant women who do not get enough calcium are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis later in life 11.

4. Improves blood circulation

Garlic has proven to be a great natural stimulant for blood flow. Having good blood circulation is essential for the well-being of the mother and the gestation process in general; however, almost all women experience poor circulation at this stage . Including garlic in your diet on a regular basis can be a simple, tasty and effective prevention measure.

Several changes occur in pregnancy that affect venous blood flow. This usually causes stagnation of the blood, swelling of the legs and an increased risk of developing varicose veins, among other disorders of the circulatory system.12.

5. Helps control fatigue

Many women say that garlic is a great ally to alleviate the symptoms of fatigue so common in pregnancy. Here they include dizziness , the nausea, the vomiting and fatigue .

6. Strengthens immunity / Offers antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial protection

The antioxidant compounds in garlic have been shown to improve the functioning of the immune system, helping fight germs, prevent disease, and eliminate more toxins. Likewise, it is known that garlic allicin exhibits an incredible antimicrobial effect , hence it helps to stop the spread and proliferation of common infections that can affect the health of the mother and the growing fetus.13 . It is a good ally against colds, flu, and fungal or yeast infections.

It may interest you: Garlic as an Antibiotic – Findings, Benefits, Advantages and Contraindications

7. Reduces blood cholesterol levels

On the other hand, allicin also helps to eliminate the plaque accumulated in the arteries and reduces cholesterol levels 14 . All pregnant women shouldkeep blood cholesterol under control. This effect, along with its ability to regulate pressure levels and improve circulation, makes eating garlic in pregnancy help reduce the risk of developing heart problems.

8. Prevents hair loss

Some pregnant women experience significant hair loss, either during and / or after pregnancy. Garlic, like other bulbs in the Allium family, is rich in sulfur compounds, a mineral essential for maintaining good hair health15 . It is recommended to eat it if you need to combat hair loss and promote the growth of new hair.

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9. Offers natural protection against cancer

Last but not least, cancer prevention is another of the most relevant properties of garlic , something especially beneficial in pregnancy. Numerous studies have reported that eating raw garlic regularly can protect us from some forms of cancer , especially colon cancer.16 . Likewise, some scientists have confirmed that eatingonion,chivesand garlic can greatly reduce the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer.

How many cloves of raw garlic can you eat per day?

Although the appropriate amount may vary depending on each case, the recommended dose of garlic in pregnancy is 2 to 4 cloves daily. This dose allows you to take advantage of the potential benefits without experiencing side effects.

Depending on the product, other garlic doses to consider are:

  • 600 – 1,200 milligrams of aged garlic extract, per day.
  • 03 – 0.12 milliliters of garlic essential oil, 3 times a day
  • 20 milliliters of garlic tincture, per day
  • 400 milligrams of garlic in the form of lyophilized tablets, 3 times a day.

In any case, remember to consult your doctor about what might be the most suitable dose of garlic for your pregnancy. These recommendations may vary depending on specific factors, for example general health, the use of any treatment, individual sensitivity to garlic compounds, etc.

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Can garlic have contraindications and side effects in pregnancy?

As we have seen throughout the article, moderate consumption of garlic is considered beneficial and safe, even in pregnancy 17 . Even so, it is noted that there arecontraindications and possible side effects, especially when taking raw garlic.

Among the main cautions and warnings to consider are:

  • When consumed in excess , garlic can cause significant gastrointestinal upset.
  • Garlic has anticoagulant properties . This means that it can increase the risk of bleeding or hemorrhage. Avoid consuming garlic before, during and after childbirth, as in the case of a surgical procedure or cesarean section.
  • Garlic, including supplements, can interact with blood-thinning medications and increase their effect.
  • Eating too much garlic can result in too low blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
  • Pregnant women with some sensitivity , or a known allergy to garlic , should always avoid it.

* During pregnancy you should not ingest garlic doses that exceed the amount that you could consume in your normal daily diet. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to consult your doctor first.

More details in: Do you know the Contraindications of Garlic? Side Effects, Dosage and Precautions

Quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Are garlic pills good during pregnancy?

The garlic supplements (pills, capsules) are usually used to prevent some common conditions in pregnancy, such as hypertension and preeclampsia. But it should be noted that its excessive or uninterrupted use can be counterproductive for the mother and the growing fetus. If you are considering taking garlic pills during pregnancy, please consult your doctor.

What if I eat too much garlic while pregnant?

Eating too much garlic can cause different symptoms and adverse effects . These include:

  • Bad breath
  • Body odor
  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Increase in any bleeding
  • Allergic symptoms

Can garlic interrupt pregnancy or cause miscarriage?

Although not a common occurrence, garlic can have an abortive effect if eaten excessively . A study on traditionally used abortion techniques conducted in Tanzania reported that garlic can cause miscarriage when ingested in doses higher than those we normally eat as part of the diet18 . This is not something you should be concerned or shy about including garlic in your meals.

Which of the two is better, raw garlic or cooked garlic?

When it comes to taking advantage of the healthy properties of garlic , it is always recommended to consume raw garlic , but not before cutting or crushing it and letting it rest for several minutes so that the allicin is released.

  • It can be cut into slices and taken with water on an empty stomach as if it were a pill. Some people prefer to take raw garlic with milk .
  • Chop it finely and sprinkle it on top of soups, pastas and salads.
  • Add several cloves of crushed garlic to the olive oil to spread it on toast.


What are garlic eggs used for in pregnancy?

Due to its antimicrobial properties, both antibacterial and antifungal, fresh garlic is a very popular home remedy for fighting vaginal infections , for example yeast and bacterial vaginosis. Typically, a clove of garlic is inserted into the vagina and allowed to act to promote a more balanced vaginal flora.

Although these infections are very common in pregnancy, it is not recommended to use garlic vaginal ovules without first consulting with your doctor.

Final thought

Is garlic safe in pregnancy? Yes; garlic is a safe ingredient in the vast majority of cases. Its consumption does not represent a danger for the mother or the baby, as long as it is done in moderation. Even so, it is recommended that each pregnant woman consult her doctor if she has doubts about this or another aspect of her diet.

Learn more about garlic and other bulbs!

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My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.