Garlic–Magic Cure or Herbal Placebo?



  1. Raw, crushed garlic: A
  2. Raw, bottled garlic: B+
  3. Garlic supplements: (Grades vary. Average score: B-)

Note: Beware any supplement that makes bold safety and efficacy claims on the front of the bottle and hides a “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA…” on the back. Many ‘all-natural’ products have been found in our testing to include contaminants and false claims.

The Basics (For those who never took CHEM 101):

  1. Garlic is most effective when crushed raw at room temperature. It is somewhat less effective in the form of bottled, chopped garlic. Garlic is expected to be least effective in supplement form.
  2. To maximize the health benefits of garlic, crush at least fifteen minutes before cooking. Light heating is much better for the active compounds vs. microwaving.
  3. Aged garlic extract is most commonly used as a source of cancer-fighting antioxidants, while raw, fresh garlic is most frequently connected to the treatment of high blood pressure.

Intermediate Information (For our favorite amateur researchers):

  1. Raw, crushed garlic has been linked to decreased risk in high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and certain cancers.
  2. “NIH specifically recommends that breast and uterine cancer patients avoid this product, as it may have an adverse interaction with some cancer drugs.”
  3. Due to the careful preparation required to maximize the active ingredients in garlic, there will be wide variations between the effectiveness of different garlic supplements. LabDoor will continue its academic research and perform detailed chemical analyses of their own in the near future.

Advanced Science (For those MD/Ph.D. geniuses):

  1. The active ingredient expected to unlock the major anti-oxidant benefits of garlic is allicin, a thiosulfinate released when garlic is crushed.
  2. At a cellular level, allicin increases the production of hydrogen sulfide, a natural anti-oxidant already produced in our cells.
  3. A meta-analysis of 11 academic studies from the past 50 years suggests that garlic preparations are superior to placebo in reducing blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.