Garlic is one of the most essential ingredients when it comes to cooking a variety of dishes. As such, it can be found in almost everything, especially cuisines that rely heavily on its unique taste.

However, many people have qualms when it comes to eating garlic-heavy dishes as the most common side effect of eating garlic is the smell. While it’s a well-known fact that consuming too much garlic gives you bad breath, there are other side effects that most people may not know about.


When ingested in copious amounts, many experts believe raw garlic can trigger the process responsible for headaches. This process starts with the trigeminal nerve which is the largest cranial nerve responsible for motor functions and sensations felt in the face.

Eating raw garlic stimulates this nerve, causing it to release neuropeptides, molecules that are used by neurons to signal one another, which then go to the membrane covering the brain known as meninges and thus triggering a headache.

Headache Headaches are one of the side effects of over-consumption of raw garlic. Those prone to migraines should eat raw garlic in moderation

People prone to migraines may think twice before consuming too much raw garlic as they are usually the ones affected by garlic-induced headaches.

Skin Rash

There is an enzyme in garlic called alliinase which is responsible for the herb’s distinctive smell. This enzyme, however, is not only responsible for the smell but is also reported to be the cause of most skin rashes. For those with sensitive skin, tread carefully when ingesting too much raw garlic as enzymes found in the herb can trigger an allergic reaction ranging from mild in most cases, to severe in rare cases.

Triggers GERD

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as heartburn, is when stomach acid rises up to the esophagus giving the feeling of a burning sensation in your chest amongst other things. Consuming raw garlic or garlic oil on an empty stomach can trigger nausea, gastrointestinal pain, and vomiting, some of the tell-tale signs of GERD. It is not recommended to ingest too much raw garlic for those prone to acid reflux and GERD as it is considered to be a dietary trigger for both conditions.


While garlic has been proven to have tons of health benefits, it is important to remember that it comes with its own list of side effects much like many things and as such, should be eaten in moderation.