Last update Sept. 10, 2015


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

The bulb of this plant is originally from Asia which is widely used over the world as condiment, food and therapeutic mean, either systemically or locally. It contains sulfoxides (Alin), thiosulfinate (Allicin), polysaccharides, amino acids, vitamins, mineral salts and prostaglandins.
Alleged properties (some proven): hypolipemiant, vasodilator, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antimicrobial.
Indications based on the Commission E of the German Ministry of Health: Arteriosclerosis, Hyperlipidemia, Hypertension.
It may cause generalized and contact allergies, as well as local burns (avoid applying it on the nipple). It has a platelet anti-aggregation effect which is a reason to avoid any abuse by mothers with hemorrhagic disorders. Also, garlic may compete the liver metabolism of some anti-HIV medication causing a decrease in effectiveness.

One of the most used herbs during breastfeeding in many regions of the world. Some cultures use it as a galactagogue but such effect has not been proven.

Its odor and flavor is transmitted through the breast milk which may later induce the infant to longer suction periods that can condition to a better adaptation of several flavors at the introduction of complementary foods.
It is not responsible for the appearance of colicky pain in infants.


We do not have alternatives for Garlic since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Garlic in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Garlic in its composition:


  1. Vanaclocha B, Cañigueral S. 1992 - - Disponible en: Consulted on June 9, 2022 Abstract
  2. OMS. Consejos para la población acerca de los rumores sobre el nuevo coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 2020.06.16 Consulted on June 20, 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Amer MR, Cipriano GC, Venci JV, Gandhi MA. Safety of Popular Herbal Supplements in Lactating Women. J Hum Lact. 2015 Abstract
  4. Hepper PG, Wells DL, Dornan JC, Lynch C. Long-term flavor recognition in humans with prenatal garlic experience. Dev Psychobiol. 2013 Abstract
  5. Kennedy DA, Lupattelli A, Koren G, Nordeng H. Herbal medicine use in pregnancy: results of a multinational study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Sim TF, Sherriff J, Hattingh HL, Parsons R, Tee LB. The use of herbal medicines during breastfeeding: a population-based survey in Western Australia. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. The Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria Australia. Herbal and Traditional Medicines in Breasfeeding. Fact Sheet. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Budzynska K, Gardner ZE, Dugoua JJ, Low Dog T, Gardiner P. Systematic review of breastfeeding and herbs. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Beauchamp GK, Mennella JA. Flavor perception in human infants: development and functional significance. Digestion. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Amuthavalluvan V, Devarapalli J. Indigenous knowledge and health seeking behavior among Kattunayakan: a tribe in transition . Glob J Human Soc Sci.;11 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. WHO. World Health Organization. WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). WHO monographs. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  12. Beauchamp GK, Mennella JA. Early flavor learning and its impact on later feeding behavior. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009 Abstract
  13. Zhang AL, Story DF, Lin V, Vitetta L, Xue CC. A population survey on the use of 24 common medicinal herbs in Australia. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2008 Abstract
  14. Borrelli F, Capasso R, Izzo AA. Garlic (Allium sativum L.): adverse effects and drug interactions in humans. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Abstract
  15. Lee LS, Andrade AS, Flexner C. Interactions between natural health products and antiretroviral drugs: pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects. Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Abstract
  16. Tesch BJ. Herbs commonly used by women: an evidence-based review. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Abstract
  17. Rafaat M, Leung AK. Garlic burns. Pediatr Dermatol. 2000 Abstract
  18. WHO. World Health Organization. Geneva. WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume I. WHO monographs 1999 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  19. Lust KD, Brown JE, Thomas W. Maternal intake of cruciferous vegetables and other foods and colic symptoms in exclusively breast-fed infants. J Am Diet Assoc. 1996 Abstract
  20. Mennella JA. Mother’s milk: a medium for early flavor experiences. J Hum Lact 11:39-45 1995
  21. Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. The effects of repeated exposure to garlic-flavored milk on the nursling's behavior. Pediatr Res. 1993 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  22. Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. Maternal diet alters the sensory qualities of human milk and the nursling's behavior. Pediatrics. 1991 Abstract

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