With its powerful aroma, garlic is a popular spice. It also has numerous health benefits. On the downside however, garlic breath is a challenge that you often have to contend with a day after or so of taking this spice. Although it lingers around for a few hours to a couple days before vanishing on its own, there are numerous home remedies that can help to make it go away quickly. This article will give you a comprehensive breakdown of how to get rid of garlic breath at home naturally and avoid its recurrence.
What Causes Garlic Breath The Day After a Nice Meal?
The offensive garlic breath is attributed to a chemical compound known as Allyl methyl sulfide (AMS). This is only released when a clove of garlic is either copped or crushed. AMS is absorbed into the bloodstream during metabolism and then excreted by the lungs (hence the garlic breath) and sweat glands.
What Causes Garlic Breath Without Eating Garlic?
If garlic constitutes an integral part of your culinary delicacies, then you wouldn’t be as much shocked that you have garlic breath but what if you have not taken a single clove in months but your breath is still laden with garlic smell? There is always the chance that you have taken garlic in a meal unknowingly, e.g. at a restaurant or a friend’s home but if oral consumption is out of the question, then you may be dealing with one of the following possible causes of the problem:
- Herbal supplements: Herbal dietary supplements are often formulated with garlic extracts and oils. How to get rid of garlic breath due to herbal supplements is easy; discontinuing the supplements and then use the home remedies listed in this article to neutralize and mask the garlic odor.
- Chemical poisoning: According to TheraBreath, garlic breath without eating garlic may be a sign of selenium, tellurium, or polonium poisoning. Being a radioactive element, polonium poisoning is in particular a concern. According to Dr. Greene arsenic, phosphorus, thallium, and organic phosphate insecticides poisoning can also cause garlic breath.
If you have developed garlic breath but have not at all eaten garlic or taken herbal supplements, it is advisable to urgently seek medical attention.
How Long Does Garlic Breath Last?
The main offending chemical in garlic, allyl methyl sulfide, stays around in the body for a long time. How long garlic breath takes to go away varies from one person to another depending on how fast their bodies are able to metabolize the offensive compounds. This can take anything between a few hours and two days after consuming garlic. If you have been eating garlic for a long time, it may even take longer than 2 days for the garlic breath to stop.
How to Get Rid of Garlic Breath Fast
If waiting two days for the garlic breath to get cured on its own is simply not acceptable, then there are various proven home remedies that you can use to make the problem go away faster. These include:
Eat an Apple
The same enzyme that makes an apple turn brown when cut and left exposed to the air can oxidize the offending sulfides from garlic and thus help to eliminate garlic breath.
Eating apples has been scientifically proven to get rid of garlic smell in breath and is actually one of the best ways to get rid of the problem.
For your next meal, what about throwing in an apple to the salad? It may go a long way in not only avoiding but also getting rid of already formed garlic breath e.g. a day after eating a garlic meal.
Sip Green Tea
Green tea is a wonderful gift from nature. A study done at Ohio State University has shown green tea to be effective in getting rid of garlic breath fast. This is attributed to chemical compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols work by deodorizing the sulfides in garlic responsible for the pungent smell.
Take Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can also help to kill garlic breath faster naturally. Acidic in nature (due to citric acid), lemon juice works by lowering the pH which in turn neutralizes the enzyme allinase that is released upon chopping or crushing garlic cloves. This then reduces the rate of formation of the volatile compounds (especially allyl methyl sulfide) that cause the garlic breath. As regards how to get rid of garlic breath with lemon juice, here are some options to consider:
- Slice a lemon juice into two halves and then squeeze the juice into a glass. Sip the lemon juice immediately after eating garlic.
- Alternatively, cut a lemon juice into small wedges and suck them to stop garlic breath.
- Chewing the peels of a fresh lemon is also effective in combating garlic smell in breath.
Eat Raw Parsley to Remove Garlic Breath
An article on removing garlic breath is hardly finished without saying something about this herbal remedy.
Parsley has been scientifically proven to neutralize the offensive compounds n garlic naturally, in particular allyl methyl sulfide, working in the same way as apples. For the best results, you should chew raw, fresh (not dried) parsley.
Tip: Spinach, lettuce, and mint are also effective in removing garlic breath.
Drinking milk is a great way to avoid garlic breath. A study published in the journal of Food Science in 2010 showed that milk helps to reduce the concentration of sulfides in garlic responsible for the garlic breath. A comparison between whole milk and skimmed milk showed whole milk to offer more help. It is thus thought that the fat in milk is responsible for the garlic neutralizing effect. For the best results, sip a glass of milk before or while eating garlic-laden meal.
Use Mustard to Fix Garlic Breath
Mustard is also claimed to be very helpful for garlic breath. You can either use this natural remedy as follows:
- Scoop 1 teaspoon of mustard and swish it around in your mouth for five minutes before spiting it out.
- Follow this by swallowing half a teaspoon of mustard.
Chew Sugarless Gum
This doesn’t eliminate garlic breath but will help to mask it until it can naturally go away in a couple days or so. Gums that contain cinnamon are particularly beneficial to garlic breath.
More Ways to Remove Garlic Breath Fast Naturally
- Brush your teeth regularly. Don’t forget to scrape your tongue as it also harbors lots of food debris and bacteria.
- Rinse your mouth with Listerine regularly for at least 30 seconds each time. Don’t use alcohol-containing mouthwash products as this may dry your mouth.
- Chew some coffee beans: When it comes to home remedies, what works may at times leave you in awe. Some people will swear to the effectiveness of coffee beans in getting rid of garlic small in breath.