3 Ways Garlic Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Garlic has been known for its numerous medicinal properties, but is lowering blood pressure one of them? Find out why garlic is good for high blood pressure, the best way to eat it, and more!

Garlic has been a staple presence in Indian cuisine for ages. It has also been popular in folk medicine for centuries for the many health benefits it offers. Garlic has been known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, but does it lower blood pressure? Read about the benefits of garlic for high blood pressure, how and when to eat it, and much more! 


Garlic: Nutritional Profile

Garlic belongs to the onion family of vegetables and is derived from the bulbs of the plant Allium sativum. It is a great source of minerals and vitamins like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, copper, selenium, manganese, vitamin C, and B complex vitamins. 

The following is the nutritional profile of 100 g of raw garlic, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

NutrientsGarlic, raw
Energy149 kcal
Water58.6 g
Total lipid (fat)0.5 g
Protein6.36 g
Carbohydrates33.1 g
Fiber2.1 g
Sugars1 g
Calcium181 mg
Iron1.7 mg
Magnesium25 mg
Phosphorus153 mg
Potassium401 mg
Sodium17 mg
Zinc1.16 mg
Copper0.299 mg
Manganese1.67 mg
Selenium14.2 µg

Garlic is also rich in a sulfur-containing compound called allicin, which has many health benefits. Allicin is released when the cells in garlic cloves are damaged (through crushing, chewing, or chopping) and it is responsible for the characteristic smell of garlic.

How Does Garlic Reduce Blood Pressure?

The effect of garlic on blood pressure is threefold. Allicin is responsible for the anti-hypertensive properties of garlic. It:

Inhibits the production of angiotensin II

Studies suggest that allicin can help block the production and release of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a hormone that constricts your blood vessels and contributes to the retention of sodium and water in your body, which raises your blood pressure levels. Thus by blocking angiotensin II, allicin keeps your blood pressure low. 

Increases the production of nitric oxide

Allicin stimulates your body to generate nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide, both of which are vasodilators. These compounds can help relax the smooth muscles that line your blood vessels, thus relaxing your arteries and lowering your blood pressure.  

Exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

Allicin, along with other antioxidants present in garlic, can help prevent oxidative damage to the endothelial cells that are present in the inner lining of arteries. Chronic inflammation and damaged endothelial cells can lead to stiffening, clogging, and narrowing of blood vessels which can elevate your blood pressure. Garlic prevents this by reducing inflammation and oxidative cell damage.

How Much Garlic Should You Take for High Blood Pressure Management?

Consuming about one or two fresh cloves (4 g) of raw garlic every day can help you lower your blood pressure levels.

What is the Best Time to Eat Garlic for High Blood Pressure?

The best time to eat garlic for blood pressure control would be along with breakfast or before lunch, as the nutrients from garlic are better absorbed when your stomach is not completely full. It is important to consume freshly chopped or crushed garlic immediately, as allicin only remains active for about 1 to 2 hours.

What is the Best Way to Consume Garlic for High Blood Pressure?

  • Include freshly chopped garlic in salads or sandwiches to enhance their flavour.
  • Add freshly crushed or chopped garlic to sauces, dips, or dressings.
  • Mix in some freshly crushed garlic to extra virgin olive oil and let the oil soak in the flavour for about 30 minutes. This oil can be used as a salad dressing, to add flavour to soups, or brushed over bread.

Make sure to consume garlic in its raw form instead of heating, roasting, or cooking it, since heat can deactivate the allicin in garlic, which lowers its effectiveness.

Are There Any Risks of Over Consuming Garlic?

  • Due to its sulfur content and pungency, raw garlic can give you bad breath and body odour.
  • Eating too much raw garlic can cause heartburn and acidity.
  • Increased garlic intake can also cause stomach problems like bloating and gas.
  • Due to its anti-thrombotic properties, eating too much garlic can increase your risk of bleeding, especially if you are on blood-thinning medication.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Garlic?

  • Garlic has antimicrobial properties that can help fight bacteria and prevent food poisoning.
  • Garlic can strengthen your immune system and help prevent frequent bouts of the common cold.
  • Garlic can help regulate and lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve joint pain.
  • Garlic can help reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol levels in your blood, thus improving your heart health.
  • Garlic has strong antioxidant properties that prevent damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress to your cells and organs.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Garlic is a rich source of micronutrients like potassium, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, vitamin C, and B complex vitamins.
  • Garlic is also rich in a compound called allicin, which is released when raw garlic is crushed.
  • Allicin prevents the constriction of your blood vessels, relaxes the smooth muscles around your arteries, and prevents damage to the endothelial cells in the inner lining of your blood vessels, thus lowering your blood pressure.
  • You can consume up to 2 cloves (4 g) of fresh, raw garlic daily to lower your blood pressure levels.
  • Consume garlic when your stomach is not yet full, as this helps your body absorb its nutrients better.
  • You can add freshly chopped garlic to your sandwiches, salads, dips, sauces, or dressings.
  • Eating too much garlic can give you bad breath, and cause heartburn, acidity, bloating, indigestion, gas, and excessive bleeding or blood thinning.
  • Garlic has antimicrobial properties that prevent infections and food poisoning, antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress, and anti-inflammatory properties that relieve joint pain. 
  • It can also boost your immunity, lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol levels, and stabilize your blood sugar levels.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat high blood pressure problems together. 

Friendly Asked Questions

Is garlic good for high BP patients?

Yes, including raw garlic in your diet can help lower your blood pressure levels if you have hypertension. It can also lower your LDL or bad cholesterol levels and improve your heart health.

How fast does garlic lower your blood pressure?

Some studies have shown that eating garlic regularly or taking garlic extract capsules every day could lower your blood pressure by 5 to 10 mm Hg in a period of 2 to 3 months.

How do you prepare garlic for high blood pressure?

Garlic needs to be crushed in order to activate allicin, the substance that helps lower blood pressure. Crushed raw garlic needs to be consumed within one or two hours as allicin becomes inactive after this time period.

Does garlic reduce blood pressure?

Yes, studies show that eating one to two cloves of raw garlic every day can help lower your blood pressure.

Is garlic good for low blood pressure?

Garlic can help improve circulation, hence it may be beneficial if you have hypotension. However, do not consume too much garlic as it may cause your BP to drop lower due to its anti-hypertensive properties.