Garlic, belonging to onion family, is used frequently in Indian kitchens to flavour curries, chutneys, snacks and more. Known as ‘rasona’ In Ayurveda, it has been trusted as an effective medicine for controlling blood pressure for thousands of years. Garlic’s BP-lowering properties are mostly because of a compound allicin in it which promotes blood vessel health and partly because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which also contribute in keeping the blood pressure in control. (Also read: People are finding it hard to digest this ice cream made of garlic cloves. Watch)
Garlic’s BP-lowering properties are mostly because of a compound allicin in it which promotes blood vessel health
Some studies have also supported garlic as a natural way to bring down blood pressure. According to an article published in National Library of Medicine, the meta-analysis of 12 trials and 553 hypertensive participants confirmed that garlic supplements lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) by an average of 8.3±1.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP, n=8 trials, n=374 subjects) by 5.5±1.9 mmHg, similarly to standard anti-hypertensive medications.
However, it is advised not to take garlic supplements if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications. Some other side-effects of taking garlic supplements could be stomach upset, gas, reflux, or abdominal pain.
Ayurveda expert Dr Dixa Bhavsar in her recent Instagram post talked about garlic and its effectiveness in lowering blood pressure.
“So my dad got diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) in Dec 2021 and ever since I’ve been giving him 1 raw garlic clove to chew first thing in the morning and it’s really working for him. I’m sharing the remedy with you all only after getting positive follow ups from more than 500 patients of mine (of all ages from late 20’s to late 80’s),” says Dr Bhavsar.
Talking about the properties of garlic that help in blood pressure, the Ayurveda expert says it possesses anti-hypertensive property due to its piercing, pungent and vata-kapha reducing qualities which help in clearing the body channels (best for blockages).
BENEFITS OF GARLIC
Dr Bhavsar lists all the benefits of garlic:
– It helps in controlling blood pressure
– Eating garlic can reduce joint pain
– Garlic helps in eliminating worms (krimi)
– Garlic also have cholesterol lowering properties
– Garlic wards off cough and cold
– It improves digestion
– Garlic boosts immunity
– It improves brain functioning
– It helps in balancing blood sugar
– Garlic helps in weight loss
BEST WAYS TO CONSUME GARLIC
* Chew 1 garlic clove daily first thing in the morning for Vata-kapha prakriti.
* For pitta (people with heat issues)- Either fry it in ghee or have it with breakfast/lunch (and not on empty stomach) as its hot in nature.
* Various bioactive compounds present in this herb which also helps providing various health benefits are:
Volatile oil – 0.06-0.1%
Carbohydrates – Arabinose, Galactose etc
Vitamins – folic acid, Niacin, Riboflavin, thiamine, vit c
Amino acids – (arinic, Asparagic acid, methionine etc.);
Enzymes – allinase
Volatile compounds – allylalcohol, allylthiol, allylpropyl disulphide etc.
Dr Bhavsar warns that one shouldn’t stop their anti-hypertensive medicines even if they are taking garlic daily. She says it works best for preventive purpose which means if you have high blood pressure in family history, you can prevent it with garlic consumption and healthy lifestyle.
“For managing blood pressure- have it daily for 21 days and then measure your blood pressure. Continuing it for 8-12 weeks along with healthy lifestyle choices (if needed- with herbs like Gokshur, Arjun, etc) can reduce the dependency on anti-hypertensive pills for sure,” says Dr Bhavsar.