Can too much garlic give you a headache?

Garlic is an essential ingredient in cuisines all around the world. Whether it’s garlic bread, spaghetti aglio e olio, or even kimchi, there are some dishes that just aren’t complete without this pungent bulb contributing to its flavour profile. And while we can sing praises about the deliciousness that comes from biting into a freshly baked garlic naan, what happens when you eat too much? Does eating too much garlic cause headaches? And most importantly – how do we prevent them?

How Garlic Causes Headaches

In scientific terms, there are no concrete studies showing that garlic causes headaches given abundant consumption. However,it’s understood among many communities of nutritionists and food lovers alike that consuming excessive amounts of raw or cooked garlic could trigger headaches for those who have especially sensitive heads.

The main culprit behind causing a headache due to overindulging on your favourite garlicky dish is allyl methyl sulfide(AMS). It’s dubbed as one off-putting chemicals responsible for bad breath after consuming foods rich in sulfur like onions or cruciferous vegetables. But worse than smelly breath would be getting hit with AMS-caused migraines.

Types Of Headaches Caused Due To Excessive Garlic Consumption

Headaches caused by by excessive amount of AMS (courtesy of our beloved herb), may fall under distinct categories:

  1. Tension-Type Headache
  2. Migraine
  3. Cluster Headache

Let’s delve deeper into each so you know if you’re suffering from any aftermaths other than someone calling out ‘garlic-lover’ every time they pass by!

Tension-Type Headache

If the pain feels like something pulsing at both sides above your eyebrows with sore neck muscles and continued pressure around your head then congratulations darling! That might be tension headaches. Though due to irregular eating habits or overconsumption of food like garlic they can occur too.


If your headache feels throbbing, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light you are probably facing migraines.McCombs recommends magnesium-rich foods such as nuts and greens accompanied by reducing caffeine intake(including chocolate)as a preventive measure against this type

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches resemble stabbing pain on one side of the head with restlessness, teary eyes and fatigue-like symptoms accompanying it. If post excessive garlic consumption these persist then maybe cut down?

Preventing Garlic-Induced Headaches

Now that we have known how excess intake of our favourite herb could negatively affect us mentally AND physically let’s discuss ways on preventing especially if you’re prone to migraines.

  1. Slowdown: eat at a slower pace rather than rushing in-the-mouth gulps for proper digestion.It is mostly observed that people gobbling up their meals end upto having more pulsating headaches.
  2. Reducing sulfur-containing meat products like eggs could be helpful before consuming any garlicky dish paired with carb-based sides.
  3. Drinking chamomile tea which acts as an analgesic substance helping relieve stress,Tiredness calms down relieving severe migraine attacks.
    4.Unfortunately;garlic supplements won’t help.Although in every mentha space you’d encounter bottle after bottles advocating high potential effects for those who consume these! In reality since there isn’t enough evidence proving its impact on health overall ,it might not release AMS into your body but surely loaded doses taken would overpower leaving traces /after-taste behind!

Ahah! Call me Mother Theresa already because here’s another amazing table detailing other items that cause headaches.Dive deep so never fall prey off-screen from unsuspected sinus pressures,you know what I mean? Hopefully,you saw this early enough (before accumulating intense hatred towards garlic itself !)

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