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Penicillin is often the first line of defense for treating a bacterial infection 1. You might not consider garlic as a form of medicine, but the plant has potent antibacterial agents that might destroy bacteria in much the same way that penicillin does 1. Once you know the benefits and drawbacks of penicillin and garlic, you can talk to your doctor about whether either has a place in your treatment plan 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Garlic has been used as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent for centuries. Ancient cultures used garlic to treat leprosy and as a clotting treatment for horses. Garlic was also used as a treatment for deafness during the Middle Ages. American Indian tribes used garlic to treat scurvy, flatulence and earaches. Garlic inhalation was also used as a treatment for tuberculosis. During World War II, garlic was used as an antibacterial agent to disinfect wounds. The compound in garlic responsible for its antibacterial capabilities is called allicin, which is a type of sulfur that cleanses and purifies.
- Garlic has been used as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent for centuries.
- During World War II, garlic was used as an antibacterial agent to disinfect wounds.
Garlic for Herpes
Clinical trials indicate that garlic has the ability to help treat certain bacterial infections, though its use is limited. A 2006 study in the "Journal of Nutrition" found that garlic supplements can help treat Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause gastric ulcers. A 2001 study, also published in the "Journal of Nutrition," found that Helicobacter pylori infection and stomach cancer rates were lower among patients who consumed garlic. The study also found that raw garlic juice can kill bacteria that causes diarrhea, and that garlic might be effective at treating strains of bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics.
- Clinical trials indicate that garlic has the ability to help treat certain bacterial infections, though its use is limited.
- A 2006 study in the "Journal of Nutrition" found that garlic supplements can help treat Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause gastric ulcers.
Penicillin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections 1. Penicillin works by eradicating illness-causing bacteria and by inhibiting their growth as you recover 1. There are numerous forms of penicillin, and each one is used to treat certain infections, but not all forms are effective for all bacterial infections 1. Penicillin is used to treat common infections, such as an ear infection or strep throat, as well as less common infections, such as gangrene and typhoid fever 1. Penicillin is only available in prescription form 1.
Allicin Garlic Side Effects
Tell your doctor if you have asthma, kidney disease, clotting disorders or any type of allergy before taking penicillin 1. Side effects include:
- vaginal discharge
- easy bruising
- loss of consciousness
Tell your doctor if you have any of these side effects while taking penicillin 1. Garlic might be an effective alternative if you experience side effects. Speak with your doctor about whether garlic supplements might be effective for your type of infection. If you are allergic to penicillin, your doctor will prescribe a different antibiotic to treat your symptoms 1.
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- Drugs.com: Penicillin
- Drugs.com: Garlic
- The Everything Superfoods Book; Delia Quigley and Brierley E. Wright
- MayoClinic.com: Penicillin (Oral Route, Injection Route, Intravenous Route, Intramuscular Route)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Evaluation and diagnosis of penicillin allergy for healthcare professionals. Updated October 31, 2017.
- Cleveland Clinic. Think you’re allergic to penicillin? Why you may be mistaken. 2016.
- Mirakian R, Leech SC, Krishna MT, et al. Management of allergy to penicillins and other beta-lactams. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015;45(2):300-27. doi:10.1111/cea.12468
- Brown KA, Khanafer N, Daneman N, Fisman DN. Meta-analysis of antibiotics and the risk of community-associated Clostridium difficile infection. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013;57(5):2326-32. doi:10.1128/AAC.02176-12
- Żukiewicz-Sobczak WA, Wróblewska P, Adamczuk P, et al. Drugs as important factors causing allergies. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2015;32(5):388-392. doi:10.5114/pdia.2014.44021
- Adkinson NF, Mendelson LM, Ressler C, Keogh JC. Penicillin minor determinants: History and relevance for current diagnosis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018;121(5):537-544. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2018.09.459
- UpToDate. Allergy to penicillin and related antibiotics. Updated November 11, 2019.
- Fox S, Park M. Penicillin Skin Testing in the Evaluation and Management of Penicillin Allergy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011;106:1-7.
- Nugent JS, Quinn JM, McGrath CM, et al. Determination of the Incidence of Sensitization After Penicillin Skin Testing. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003;90:398-403.
- Pre-Pen Package Insert. ALK-Abello.
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.