Are you thinking about eating garlic before bed?
Here are the main pros and cons of eating garlic before bedtime.
Garlic is commonly used in cooking as a flavoring agent. It is also a renowned herbal medicine that has been known to have excellent anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It has been used to address strokes, arthritis, cataract formation, and other heart-related diseases.
Garlic, whether taken raw, cooked or added as seasoning, has a number of health effects. There are widely recognized positive effects but there also negative ones that are rarely discussed. But the question remains, should you take garlic for your health? Is taking some before going to bed good for you?
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of eating garlic before bedtime.
Is Eating Garlic Before Bed Good or Bad?
There are several benefits that you can get from garlic. If taken before bedtime, the following positive impacts can be expected:
1. Crushed bedtime remedy
Detoxifying enzymes are released when garlic cloves are peeled, crushed and exposed to air for about 5 minutes. Taking crushed garlic exposes you to this enzyme that helps flush carcinogens, toxins, and bacteria out of your system. Garlic’s sulfur content can help eliminate the heavy metals and toxins in the liver.
2. Natural antibiotic and decongestant
Garlic is a powerful antibiotic and decongestant. Having some chopped garlic before bed will help strengthen your immune system to fight off colds and flu.
If you easily suffer from lung problems especially on a cool night, garlic will act as a decongestant and can help clear up your lungs from phlegm and mucus.
3. Easy skin care
Who does not want smooth and glowing skin?
There are tons of beauty products available in the market today but these usually cost a lot of money. Garlic is a cheap and convenient alternative to these products. It is rich in antioxidants that help protect and regenerate your skin. Eating a clove of garlic before bedtime stimulates cell renewal. Garlic also fights acne-causing bacteria, which means that you get to benefit from clearer skin.
4. Reduces cholesterol levels
Garlic contains substances that help keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Properly controlled cholesterol levels reduce the risk of heart issues. Eating a clove or two of garlic before bed keeps your cholesterol in manageable levels which in turn prevents plaque build-up in the arteries and this means that your heart wouldn’t have to work as much as it had to in order to pump blood into your organs.
5. Helps your joints
Arthritis’ main symptoms are pain and inflammation of affected joints. Garlic extract has anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the production of cytokines that cause inflammation. Having some raw garlic will help you reduce pain caused by your arthritis at night time.
6. Fungal infection
Drinking raw garlic juice before sleep can help treat fungal infections. You can also apply the juice to the affected area overnight to soothe and remove the itch.
Although eating garlic before bed has a lot of benefits, there were some side effects that you should also be wary of:
1. Causes bad odor
Bad odor or bad breath is unpleasant. Eating garlic before bed, unfortunately, causes that. Allicin, a sulfur-containing molecule and a substance released from a cut or pressed garlic, gives a pungent smell that is exclusive to garlic. This odor has been found to linger in the mouth even after brushing teeth before sleeping.
As it is, stinky morning breath happens to everyone. Odor-causing bacteria that accumulate between your teeth and on your tongue while you sleep at night already make your breath smell – add garlic to the mix and you are guaranteed to have foul-smelling breath in the morning.
2. Stomach irritant
Garlic is a gastrointestinal stimulant that intensifies salivary flow and gastric juice secretion which, if taken before bedtime, can keep you up all night. It can cause bloating, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal upsets. Experts recommend taking garlic in small amounts and only with other food to reduce these side effects.
3. Can cause bleeding
Garlic has blood thinning properties that make it an effective in preventing clots and blockages. But if anti-coagulants or blood thinning medications are taken with garlic, this can increase the risk of bleeding.
4. Lowering blood pressure
Garlic has blood pressure lowering properties and is found to be a good supplement to help manage blood pressure levels. Sleep is also found to be an effective way to keep one’s blood pressure in acceptable levels. Now, taking garlic before bed can severely lower your blood pressure which in turn can cause strokes, heart attacks or kidney failure.
5. May cause heartburn
Consuming garlic can cause heartburn and nausea. Eating a clove of garlic before sleep increases the risk of inducing these symptoms which makes for a rocky night.
6. Might impact your vision
Excessive garlic intake has been found to lead to hyphema or worsen it. Hyphema is a condition that refers to the bleeding inside the eye chamber which includes the space between the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the cornea (the thin dome-shaped tissue that covers the front of your eye). Aggravated hyphema can cause permanent vision loss.
Some do not experience vision loss but have subconjunctival hemorrhage where the white part of the eye turns bright red. It does not affect vision but it looks unpleasant.
7. Triggers migraines
Garlic, especially if taken raw, could trigger migraines. Garlic is believed to stimulate a major nerve that releases neural signaling molecules that rush to the membranes covering your brain and cause headaches. Once triggered migraines will definitely lead to a rough night.
8. May damage liver
Although rich in antioxidants, consuming excessive amounts can lead to liver toxicity which can lead to severe liver damage if left untreated.
Garlic is a powerful medicinal herb. It is an effective solution to many common health issues. Eating garlic before bed can either prepare your body overnight for better performance the following day. But similar to other organic foods, there are some undesirable side effects, although generally minor or only when taken in excessive amounts.
So if you choose to add that into your diet and your pre-sleep routine, make sure you do so moderately. Also, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before introducing significant additions to your diet.
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