So what if garlic is treated like a cure-all by every herbalist worth his mortar and pestle? You hate the way it tastes and you despise how it makes you smell like an Italian restaurant for hours after you eat it. You aren't going anywhere near it and nothing is going to change your mind. Just for you, here are 5 reasons NOT to indulge in this amazing herb.

  1. Heart disease doesn't scare you. So There. Who cares if garlic has repeatedly been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thin blood clots or prevent hardening of the arteries? Cardiovascular disease doesn't scare you, does it?
  2. Cancer schmancer! You know all about how when you crush raw garlic it produces a sulfur compound called allicin and you know all about how allicin then exerts all kinds of anti-cancer actions in the body. So what if garlic is linked to lower rates of colon, stomach and esophogeal cancers? Cancer schmancer!
  3. You like a good cold or flu now and then. Yeah, you remember Grandma's advice about an apple a day and you're pretty sure there was a similar saying about a clove of garlic. But you. . . you don't care that garlic is widely praised for its immune-boosting activities or that a 2006 piece in the Journal of Nutrition claimed that it actually prevented colds and flu. You enjoy being miserable for 7 to 10 days, don't you?
  4. Real men wear their athlete's foot like a badge of honor. Maybe athlete's foot stinks, itches like the dickens and is about as contagious as a baby's smile. You don't care. Nor do you care that a substance in garlic is currently being studied for topical use for athlete's foot. There's nothing wrong with a little fungal infection between friends, right?
  5. You're pretty sure garlic and breast milk don't mix, thank you very much. You don't care that 2 different studies, published in Pediatrics and Pediatric Research, both found that babies prefer "garlic milk". So what if the little buggers nursed longer, more consistently and ingested more of that nutritious stuff if Mom had eaten a little garlic beforehand? Big deal. You're no baby, after all.
So there you have it. 5 reasons not to take garlic supplements. Of course, if you were interested in the potential health benefits of garlic, you could always force yourself to crush a clove or two then mix it with a tablespoon or so of honey to cover the taste. And you could always take it just before bed so you didn't have to worry about the smell of it on your breath. Yeah, you could probably force yourself to eat garlic. But only if you really, really thought you should.

On a Serious Note:

Remember, every herb, no matter how "natural", has the potential to harm you and garlic is no exception. Before you embark on a garlic-taking regimen, take a few moments to ask you doctor if a daily "dose" of a couple of cloves of garlic is appropriate for you.