Heart Health

About This Health Centre

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death among Canadians - and many people don't know they're at risk. But it's not hard to stay healthy and fit if you know what to do. Learn about how to stay healthy, recognize risk factors, and understand and deal with cardiovascular problems when they occur. For additional health information, please talk to your Costco Pharmacist.

Heart Health



General Information

Garlic has been used both as a medicine and as a seasoning for thousands of years.

Common Name(s)


Scientific Name(s)

Allium sativum

How is this product usually used?

Garlic cloves can be eaten. They can also be dried or powdered, then used in tablets and capsules. Oils and extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredients can be obtained from the cloves as well.

What is this product used for?

Garlic has been used to manage high cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and decrease blood pressure. It is also used to prevent certain types of gastrointestinal cancer, such as stomach and colon cancers.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

There is some evidence that shows garlic can lower blood cholesterol levels when used for 1 to 3 months. There is also limited evidence indicating that garlic may slow down hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), thereby slowing development of heart disease and stroke.

The evidence of garlic's effectiveness in lowering blood pressure is not clear.

Garlic appears to be safe for most adults. Most common side effects include breath and body odor, heartburn, upset stomach, and allergic reactions. These side effects are more common with raw garlic.

Garlic can slow the blood’s ability to clot. Use garlic with caution if you are planning to have surgery, dental work, or if you have a bleeding disorder or are on medications for blood thinning.

Garlic has been found to interfere with the effectiveness of saquinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection. Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. Garlic. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/garlic//p>


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