Garlic is full of health benefits. It is good for your digestive system. It also helps you lower your blood pressure, promotes heart health, improves your cholesterol levels, and assists in fighting diseases or infections. Eating cooked garlic might confer these benefits. However, research shows that eating raw garlic provides more complete benefits. It is thus is the healthiest way to eat garlic.
Chewing raw garlic is not an easy task for many due to its pungent and spicy taste. It can burn your mouth when chewed. Some people recommend swallowing raw garlic cloves whole. However, research has shown that chewing raw garlic is more beneficial than swallowing a whole clove. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the full benefits of garlic, you will need to know the best way to eat raw garlic without burning your mouth.
Why Does Garlic Burn Your Mouth?
Before exploring the best way to eat raw garlic without burning your mouth, it is important to understand what exactly causes the burning sensation.
Raw garlic burns your mouth due to a chemical substance known as allicin. Allicin gets released when garlic is chewed, cut, or crushed. It usually interacts with the inner lining of your mouth causing a burning sensation. Oral garlic burns can make your tongue, gums, and lips feel sore.
In addition, raw garlic can burn your throat because allicin irritates and injures the inner throat lining. As a result, your throat becomes inflamed and may feel sore. A heartburn is also likely to happen after eating raw garlic and might cause a burning sensation in your throat.
The Best Ways to Eat Raw Garlic Without Burning Your Mouth
One way to eat raw garlic without burning your mouth is by crushing the cloves using a garlic press or cutting them into thin slices and adding the paste to a glass of water. Doing so helps dilute allicin and other compounds that cause the burning sensation in your mouth.
Another way to reduce the burning in your mouth is by adding honey to the crushed or pressed raw garlic. The honey helps you mask the pungent and spicy taste of raw garlic. You should take the mixture of garlic and honey preferably in the morning on an empty stomach.
Eating raw garlic with honey is very beneficial because both have strong antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, they can significantly boost immunity and aid in weight loss.
Taking cold milk with garlic is another effective way of minimizing the burning sensation in your mouth. It works well because milk neutralizes the substances that cause the pungent taste of raw garlic and soothes the oral mucosa or the inner lining of your mouth.
Besides reducing burning in your mouth, milk helps remove the bad breath associated with eating garlic.
You can also eat raw garlic in a salad. In this case, you can add crushed or cut pieces of fresh garlic to dressings, dips, and sauces to improve the taste and reduce the burning in your mouth.
Alternatively, you can add garlic to a smoothie to reduce the risk of burning your mouth.
Eating raw garlic with yogurt can further help minimize burning in your mouth. It brings a new twist to raw garlic consumption and enables you to beat the pungent taste.
Crushing or pressing fresh garlic into a paste usually makes it easy to mix and ingest.
Side Effects and Precautions When Eating Raw Garlic
Although eating raw garlic is good for your health, you should not take too much of it because of the risk of liver injury or damage (hepatotoxicity). Taking about 1-2 garlic cloves a day is sufficient to guarantee the full benefits.
Eating raw garlic might also hurt or irritate your stomach and might cause heartburn, gas, stomach pain, and bloating. These stomach issues mostly arise if you eat too much garlic at once. Stomach pain might occur if you have fructan intolerance.
Allicin and other strong compounds in raw garlic might irritate and cause burning in your stomach. Taking cold milk might help soothe your digestive system.
If you eat too much garlic, you should eat bland foods. A few good examples of such foods include rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, and bananas. At the same time, you should avoid fried, greasy, and spicy foods.
Garlic also has blood thinning properties. Therefore, people on anticoagulants, such as warfarin, should exercise caution because garlic can increase the power of these medications and cause unexpected drug reactions. It is also important to watch your raw garlic intake if you are taking cyclosporine and aspirin.
If you expect surgery, you should not take garlic for at least two weeks because it increases the risk of bleeding.
How to Get Garlic Taste Out of Mouth
Once you’ve eaten raw garlic, you might want to get the taste of garlic out of your mouth. One way to get rid of garlic taste in your mouth is by chewing fresh mint leaves. Mint leaves can help neutralize garlic breath, with tests indicating they have the highest deodorization effect compared to raw apples and raw lettuce.
Eating an apple can also help get garlic taste out of your mouth. Apples contain an enzyme that acts against compounds responsible for bad garlic taste and breath. As such, eating apples can also help reduce bad breath once you eat raw garlic.
Other ways to get rid of garlic taste include eating raw lettuce, chewing mint-flavored gum, sipping lemon juice, and brushing your mouth.