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Botanical name

Allium sativum

Common Names





Belonging to the onion family, garlic has been used as both a food and a medicine for several hundred years. 

Part supplied

The dried bulb.

Food Use

Garlic is used all around the world to flavour dishes and fight infection. 

As garlic helps to boost the immune system, it is a good addition to a winter tea (combined with lemon and honey) to stave off colds and influenza. Crush or slice it beforehand for the best result.


Use about half a teaspoon (0.5 to 1 g) of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

When used as a medicine, it helps relieve colds, flu, catarrh and other winter ailments. In high strengths it has potent, broad spectrum antibiotic properties and is a powerful antimicrobial and anti-fungal. 

Key actions: Expectorant, stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, mild hypotensive, antiseptic, hypolipidaemic. 

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat respiratory conditions including bronchitic asthma, catarrh, chronic bronchitis as well as worm infestation. 

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.


Infusion: About half a teaspoon (0.5 to 1 g) of herb to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 2 to 4 ml (1:5 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 2 to 3.8 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 1 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known.



There is a known sensitivity to garlic. 

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Alliaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.

Side effects

Increased body odour, small gastrointestinal issues, skin reactions (contact dermatitis) are fairly usual adverse reactions. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

High strength garlic (more than 5 g of fresh garlic per day) should not be taken with blood thinning medication such as warfarin. Do not take with anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs. 

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.


No specific research has been carried out on pregnant and breast feeding women, but it is considered safe by herbalists based on traditional use, within the correct dosages. It may however, flavour breast milk and put the baby off the breast.


Use of high strength garlic should be discontinued before a planned operation or surgery. Garlic naturally thins the blood and this can lead to problems with post-operative bleeding, especially if combined with blood thinning and some other medications.

More Information


There are currently no articles related to this herb.


Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.


Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

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