10 Incredible Benefits of Garlic Oil

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Benefits of garlic oil include its ability to aid in weight loss efforts, soothe headaches, reduce inflammation, stimulate circulation, optimize digestion, and boost cognitive function and the immune system. Other benefits include relief from congestion, lower cholesterol levels, and normal blood sugar levels.

What is Garlic Oil?

Garlic oil is made through steam distillation of fresh garlic cloves or by soaking the cloves in a carrier oil and allowing the active components of the garlic to be leached into the oil. Garlic is scientifically known as Allium sativum and is known as one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet.

Garlic oil can be used in culinary applications and is also widely applied in natural medicine practices. The oil is also widely available in oral tablet or capsule form, although this delivers a far less concentrated dose of garlic’s active ingredients. The majority of the health benefits acquired through garlic oil are attributed to its high content of allicin, sulfide compounds, key amino acids, and enzymes, as well as ajoene and other antioxidant compounds. [1]

Benefits of Garlic Oil 

Using garlic oil is popular for people struggling with obesity, metabolic disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, indigestion, a weak immune system, anemia, arthritis, congestion, colds, flu, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and poor nutrient uptake, among others.

Improves Digestion

Garlic juice can be a very effective remedy for constipation and inflammation in the gut, given its high antioxidant content and stimulating nature. It can help improve digestion and stimulate peristaltic motion, and even reduce the risk of various gastrointestinal issues.  [2]

A mini jar of garlic infused olive oil with dill, garlic pods, and a whole garlic

Garlic infused olive oil Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Reduces Inflammation

Allicin, found in significant levels in garlic oil, makes it valuable for topical remedies and internal use for soothing inflammatory conditions. Allicin is a very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that can ease tissue irritation and reduce pain in joints and localized areas. [3]

Treats Metabolic Disorder

Many people use garlic oil for the treatment of metabolic syndrome, which tends to be accompanied by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and obesity. The antioxidants in this oil can directly impact this syndrome, lessening all of those risk factors and optimizing metabolic activity. [4]

Relieves Headaches

Anecdotal evidence suggests that applying small amounts of garlic oil to the temples, or consuming a small amount of this concentrated oil, can quickly relieve inflammation in the temples and capillaries. This may reduce the occurrence of migraines and headaches.  [5]

Powerful Antioxidants 

Allicin is not only one of the most versatile and powerful antioxidants that we know of but is also found in extremely high concentrations in garlic oil. Antioxidants are linked with decreasing oxidative stress, preventing premature aging and also reducing the risk of various diseases.  [6]

Regulates Diabetes

The hypoglycemic nature of garlic oil is well known, as it can help to regulate insulin production and energy consumption by the body. This oil is ideal for optimizing metabolic activity and help prevent glucose spikes and drops. According to an animal study by the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, garlic oil boosts glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. [7] [8] [9]

Prevents Obesity

The use of garlic oil is known to kick-start the metabolism, which equates to passive fat burning, in addition to the cholesterol-lowering power of this oil. Garlic can also help suppress the appetite, while the sulfide compounds can create a feeling of fullness, which will reduce overeating and snacking between meals. [10]

Maintains Respiratory Health

Inhaling garlic oil, similar to eating garlic, can quickly clear the sinuses and relieve pressure. Beyond that, however, garlic oil can also reduce allergic sensitivity, helping minimize asthmatic episodes and clear congestion.  [11]

Strengthens Immune System

Not only is garlic oil packed with antioxidants but it also has clear antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. This makes it ideal for treating topical ailments on the skin, while also boosting digestive health and wiping out bacterial infections growing in your gut. [12]

Stimulates Nutrient Uptake 

The sulfide compounds and antioxidants found in garlic oil can stimulate more efficient nutrient uptake in the digestive system, including the absorption of calcium, iron, and potassium. For people struggling with anemia or other nutrient deficiencies, garlic oil is an excellent base for their diet. 

Performance Enhancer

Traditionally, garlic has been used by athletics in ancient Greece to enhance performance in the Olympics. It had also been used to reduce fatigue and build up the energy of laborers. [13] [14]

Strengthen Bones

Preliminary studies show that the oil extract of garlic can minimize bone loss and prevent osteoarthritis by increasing estrogen levels in menopausal women. [15] [16] [17]

Garlic Oil Side Effects

This powerful natural oil does come along with certain side effects, including dangerously low blood pressure and blood sugar, stomach issues, skin inflammation, excess bleeding, body odor, and bad breath. Responsible use of this oil, after consulting with your doctor, can often help you avoid the more serious side effects of this oil.

  • Bleeding: The active ingredients in garlic oil do have anticoagulant effects, which may be dangerous for people on blood-thinners, or those who are preparing for surgery in the near future.
  • Heart Problems: This oil may lead to a drop in blood pressure and cholesterol, and may cause dangerous levels of hypotension if taken in conjunction with blood pressure-lowering medications.
  • Odor Issues: Garlic is legendary for its potent smell, which can affect breath and body odor, as the aromatic compounds can emerge in one’s sweat. If you consume an excessive amount of garlic oil, you may experience bad breath and body odor, but this is a side effect difficult to avoid.
  • Skin Irritation: Due to the highly concentrated nature of the active ingredients of garlic oil, it is known to cause skin redness, irritation, swelling, and even hives when topically applied. This is more likely in people who are allergic to garlic but can also occur in people with sensitive skin.
  • Gastrointestinal Distress: When consumed in excessive amounts, garlic oil can have powerful effects on the gastrointestinal system, including diarrhea, cramping, bloating, vomiting, gas and heartburn. If you experience these side effects to a serious degree, discontinue use immediately and speak to your doctor about other options for less potent oils.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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