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How to Get Rid of Garlic Breath Fast

Updated on October 2, 2015
JCielo profile image

As a researcher and author, John provides information in an easy-to-understand way that helps readers understand their condition.

I Love Garlic Don't You?

One of the most important ingredients in any dish for me is garlic. I love it! I love all styles of food; French, Italian, Spanish, South American, Chinese and Indian, etc. And, of course, tasty garlic is prevalent in all these great styles of cooking.

But garlic just doesn't taste great, it has very many health benefits too, with studies showing that it may lower the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

Now, here's the thing; even if you love the taste of garlic and the aroma while it is being cooked, the smell on your breath after eating it is atrocious for anybody near you. In fact it can be quite overwhelming for them and hugely embarrassing for you.

But not to worry, here, you'll discover some simple natural ways to get rid of garlic on your breath fast.

Why Does Garlic Make Your Breath Smell So Badly?

There are many foods that make your breath smell, but garlic does seem to be one of the worst, if not the worst. So why does this happen?

Garlic contains allicin which produces volatile sulfur compounds when it breaks down. Because they are volatile, these compounds produce gases in your mouth when you chew raw garlic or garlic food, thus giving you the dreaded garlic breath.

And these sulfur compounds will remain there -- trapped in tooth cavities, between teeth, below the gumline and especially at the back of the tongue -- until they eventually break down and / or are flushed out through brushing, flossing, rinsing, and so on.

But even after all that you can still be left with garlic breath. Why?

The culprit is a particular volatile sulfur compound, allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), produced in your gut (not in your mouth as with the other compounds) during the metabolism of garlic. AMS does not break down as quickly as the other sulfur compounds and so can remain in your body in significant amounts for many hours, even days.

What makes it so special is that it is reabsorbed into your bloodstream and makes its way to your lungs, kidneys and skin for excretion. AMS gas will therefore travel from your lungs to your mouth when you exhale, leaving you with horrible garlic breath. And, it will also give off a bodily odor as it is excreted through your skin.

How to Get Rid of Garlic Breath Fast

Here are 6 tips on how to get rid of garlic breath as fast as possible...

1. Milk

According to a study carried out by the Ohio State University, drinking milk -- particulalry before or during a meal -- has the ability to reduce garlic breath.

It seems to work in two ways: as a liquid it works as a mouthwash and the fat in the milk neutralizes the sulfur. So full fat milk is best!

Interestingly, the study implies that milk may be the most effective of all the foods studied so far in terms of helping to get rid of garlic breath.

2. Fruit

Eat lots of fruit, particularly pineapples, apples, kiwis, and berries. Their natural enzymes can help to break down sulfur compounds.

3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain polyphenols (antioxidant enzymes) which can help to neutralize the effect that garlic has on the breath. So add them in salads, sauces, soups, and so on. They are more effective when mixed in the garlic dish itself.

4. Parsley

A well-known folk remedy for garlic breath is parsley, although its effectiveness hasn't been scientifically proven.

However, it is known that plant chemicals like chlorophyll and polyphenols bind to the sulfur compounds and it's this that may help to neutralize the bad odor.

Other herbs that work in the same way as parsley are basil, mint, thyme, dill and cilantro.

Eat them raw, but, as with the mushrooms, they are particularly effective when actually in the garlic dish or eaten separately but at the same time as the garlic meal.

5. Green Tea

There are polyphenols in green tea too, so drink green tea before or during your garlicy meal.

6. Mints and Mouthwashes

Although mouthwashes and sucking mints may help to reduce the garlic odor produced in the mouth, they cannot help with garlic breath arising from AMS in the lungs and the skin. At best all they can do is help to 'mask' the odor somewhat.

How Do You Get Rid of Garlic Breath?

What has worked best for you?

See results

References for How to Get Rid of Garlic Breath Fast


The content of this Hub is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for proper medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and you should not assume that it is. Always consult your health-care provider / physician / doctor before taking any medications, natural remedies, supplements, or making any major changes to your diet.

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    • profile image

      Lori 2 years ago

      Nothing but time woks for me. My garlic breath last 2+ days, no matter what I do or how many times I brush my teeth/tongue.

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 4 years ago from England

      @loveofnight - yes, now no need to offend others with these tips! lol

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      I love garlic and eat it in some form almost everyday. I usually don't care if someone is offended by my garlic breath because I thought that there was no relief. But now I can be considerate of others, thanks so much.

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 4 years ago from England

      @Neil@Donna@Crystal@Rajan - Thanks for your interest and kind comments guys.

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Cool - I never knew many of the anti garlic smell options... I LOVE garlic.

      thanks - off for some green tea

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 4 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I just "discovered" tapenade and made some for a party last night. So, these tips are interesting - will have to be sure and serve a fruit tray too next time. Thanks for the tips.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Very helpful and practical hub. I'm sure milk is very effective, although the thought of drinking a glass after eating a lot of garlic makes me feel a little sick! Voting up and useful - great job!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks for these well researched remedies to get rid of garlic breath. I love milk, basil and cilantro of these.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 4 years ago from England

      @Dr Pran Rangan @bac2basics - Thanks ever so much for taking the time out to both read my article and leave your comments.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 4 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      A good hub. You have clarified the role of AMS (allyl methyl sulfide) in causing garlic breath. Thanks

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Jcielo.

      What a well researched and helpful hub.

      I remember many years ago after coming back from France I was well into garlic and added it to everything I could possibly think of until my sister had to tell me it was actually surrounding me with a pong that was far from pleasant, even when I hadn´t eaten any that day it was oozing out of my pores. Needless to say although I still love the taste I don´t go overboard with it these days...well unless someone makes ali oli of course, and who can resist that LOL.

      Will try drinking more milk afterwards from now on. Before reading this I just cleaned my teeth more and used mouthwash afterwards and also chewed a lot of gum.

      Great hub J, thanks for sharing. :)