Garlic is one of the most poplar spices in the world, and is also widely heralded as having great medicinal properties. Since it is such a widely and regularly used item, it is generally considered safe to be eaten during pregnancy, but it also has some properties that might make it a bit undesirable for use during those nine months.
However, that is not to say that garlic should definitely be avoided, because its side effects, if any, are minor and infrequently seen. The key, like everything else, is in moderation, and the process of consuming it.
Garlic contains the constituent alliin, a sulfurous amino-acid derivative that converts to allicin. Allicin appears to have antibiotic, cholesterol-lowering, blood-thinning and antioxidant effects. Garlic also seems to lower blood pressure and reduce gastric and colorectal cancer risks. Additionally, garlic relaxes the smooth muscles, dilates the blood vessels, stimulates immunity while inhibiting antibody reactions, improves selenium absorption and reduces oxidative stress.
For pregnant women, garlic may help improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels, Sloan-Kettering reports. Garlic could potentially reduce fatigue during pregnancy, as well as destroy harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Garlic’s antimicrobial properties are seen both in topical remedies applied to the skin and oral forms taken by mouth. Garlic could help in treating vaginal infections, including yeast hypersensitivity syndrome and chronic candidiasis, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. As with any natural remedy or supplement, talk with your physician/pharmacist before using garlic for medicinal purposes during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
A WORD OF CAUTION
All said and done, however, it is best to consult with your physician/pharmacist before eating garlic. It is a pretty strong item, and may interfere with the functioning of some medications. It also has blood thinning properties, which might lead to extraordinary bleeding during delivery. There are many different ways in which you can eat garlic. The best, of course, is to eat it raw, but the taste might be too strong for most people. You can instead add it to foods, and alternatively, opt for extracts and capsules, for which you need to consult the physician and determine the dosage.