The only possible upside of having garlic breath is that you can keep vampires at bay...if you believe in that sort of thing. But in the real world, garlic breath will only keep human company away.
In fact, little annoys people more than having to carry on a conversation with a person who has garlic breath.
If you’re a garlic lover, garlic odor on your breath can be an everyday problem or one that keeps you from indulging in your favorite foods.
A compound called allicin that’s present in garlic is not only responsible for its beneficial health properties, but also for its aroma and ultimately the stinky odor on your breath. Funny thing is that allicin is only released upon crushing or chopping the garlic.
Since allicin is unstable, it further breaks down into volatile components, namely diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, allyl methyl disulfide and allyl methyl sulfide. These volatiles are responsible for garlic’s characteristic sulfuric odor.
Garlic volatiles are continually released as allicin gets digested in the stomach and liver. It doesn’t matter if you brush, floss, use mouthwash or wash out your mouth with soap – once consumed, garlic can linger on your breath for up to 24 hours.
Raw garlic is more potent than cooked garlic when it comes to its lingering odor-causing abilities. Even consuming garlic supplements in capsule form can give you garlic breath.
- Natural Treatment for Garlic Breath at Home
- Method 1: Use Lemon
- Method 2: Use Apple
- Method 3: Use Parsley
- Method 4: Use Lettuce
- Method 5: Use Mint
- Method 6: Use Milk
- Method 7: Use Sugar-free Gum
- Method 8: Use Peanut Butter
- Method 9: Use Green Tea
- Method 10: Use Coffee
- Some important tips for relief
Natural Treatment for Garlic Breath at Home
While there is an entire line of products that target halitosis symptoms, they often don’t work that well. Alcohol-based mouthwashes can also disrupt saliva production and destroy the natural flora of the mouth, worsening the bad odor emanating from your mouth and giving rise to dry mouth.
So, the best course of action is to go natural to get rid of garlic breath instantly. You can simply chomp on some specific foods to neutralize the garlic odor.
Enzymes in raw foods and phenolic compounds in both cooked and raw foods, help eliminating the odor-causing garlic volatiles. Raw foods are usually more effective, as they contain both enzymes as well as phenolic compounds.
Use any of these 10 simple and natural remedies to get rid of garlic breath instantly the next time you dig into your favorite garlicky pizza.
Method 1: Use Lemon
Lemon is acidic enough to destroy the enzyme alliinase, which triggers the break down of allicin into compounds responsible for the sulfuric smell. Lemon juice not only neutralizes the offending odor, it also acts as a breath freshener.
Step 1. Add lemon juice to water
- Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into a glass of water.
Step 2. Stir well and consume the drink
- Drink it up to get immediate relief from garlic breath.
- Repeat the remedy again after a couple of hours, if you still have a lingering hint of garlic on your breath.
Method 2: Use Apple
An apple a day can surely keep that funky garlic breath away. Apples are a garlic-lover’s best friend when it comes to dealing with that inevitable odor lingering on for hours.
The polyphenols present in apples neutralize the garlic volatiles responsible for the noxious odor. (2)
Raw apples produce the best results. Cooked apples also work, although not as well. That’s because raw apples also contain oxidating enzymes that set off a chain reaction that neutralizes the odorous sulfides, but cooking destroys these enzymes.
Apples when heated reduce diallyl disulfide and ally mercaptan, which is accountable for the bad breath that comes from garlic.
Single-Step Treatment: Eat an apple after your garlic-flavored entrée
- Munching down a juicy Granny Smith alongside or after your favorite garlic-flavored entrée can help deter garlicky breath.
- If you don’t have fresh apples on hand, chasing down that garlic-topped pizza with a piece of apple pie should also help to get rid of garlic breath instantly.
Method 3: Use Parsley
Parsley is an aromatic herb that can be used to stave off garlic breath, as it possesses detoxifying properties.
The compounds in parsley attack the garlic volatiles responsible for the bad odor that is released during digestion. It also contains high levels of chlorophyll, which acts as a natural deodorizer. (1)
Single-Step Treatment: Munch on some parsley to stave off garlic breath
- Simply munch on a bunch of parsley leaves after eating a garlic-flavored meal.
- You can also eat a salad with lots of parsley alongside your meal.
Method 4: Use Lettuce
Include more lettuce in your diet, as this leafy green can also help you reduce garlic breath. Lettuce contains polyphenols that can neutralize the odor-causing garlic volatiles. Its efficacy lies somewhere between apples and mint.
While cooked lettuce also works, it’s best to go for raw greens. When heated, lettuce works the same way as apples reducing diallyl disulfide and ally mercaptan.
Single-Step Treatment: Enjoy a lettuce salad with your garlicky meal
- Just make a habit of eating a lettuce salad with your garlicky meal or piling lettuce in your sandwiches.
- You can also chase down garlic-flavored meals with a lettuce smoothie.
Method 5: Use Mint
Mint also contains phenols that help get rid of garlic breath instantly by neutralizing garlic volatiles. Chewing on fresh mint leaves is perhaps the best way to use it, but you can also enjoy a cup of delicious mint tea along with your garlic-flavored meal. (1)
Step 1. Add fresh mint leaves to boiling water
- Pour 1½ cups of water into a pan set over medium heat.
- Add a few fresh mint leaves when the water starts bubbling.
Step 2. Let the leaves simmer for 2 minutes
- Cover the pan with a lid and let the leaves simmer in the boiling water for about 2 minutes.
- Feel free to regulate the simmering time according to your preference. Let the mint leaves simmer longer for a stronger flavor or decrease the simmer time for a milder flavor.
Step 3. Strain and drink the mint tea to banish garlic breath
- Pour the tea through a fine mesh strainer to remove the mint leaves.
- Sip on this mint tea to eradicate persistent garlic breath.
Method 6: Use Milk
Unless you’re lactose intolerant, a glass of milk can come to your rescue when dealing with the horrors of garlic breath. The water content in the milk rinses the mouth, and its fat content neutralizes allyl methyl sulfide, the compound responsible for the pungent garlic odor. (1)
Both fat-free and whole milk reduce the head, mouth, and nose space of garlic breath. The water in milk is responsible for the deodorization of the volatiles.
The more fat in milk, the better it works because it deodorizes the diallyl disulfide and allyl methyl disulfide. Ingesting milk before eating garlic has a higher deodorizing effect on the volatiles that causes malodorous odor from the garlic.
Single-Step Treatment: Drink a glass of milk with your meal
- Drink a glass of milk along with a meal heavily seasoned with garlic to nip the garlic odor in the bud.
- Since fat is a major component in reducing garlic odor, be sure it’s full-fat milk instead of skim or non-fat milk.
Method 7: Use Sugar-free Gum
Breath mints and chewing gum have gained popularity on the hefty promise of dispelling bad breath. But there is only one way you can use them to get rid of garlic breath – go for the sugar-free variety.
That’s because chewing gums that contain sugar actually feed the bad bacteria in the mouth, which worsens your oral health and exacerbates the foul odor on your breath.
Chewing sugarless gum poses no such threat. In fact, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating stimulates the salivary glands, producing copious amounts of saliva that helps rinse the mouth thoroughly and remove any leftover pieces of odorous food particles.
Pick a chewing gum that states it will neutralize volatile sulfur compounds (VCS) in addition to being sugar-free. You can also go for cinnamon-flavored gum, as cinnamon can also help mask the garlic odor.
Method 8: Use Peanut Butter
Good ol’ peanut butter is another remedy that works well for covering up garlic odor. The oils present in peanut butter will coat your mouth and suppress the garlic odor.
Single-Step Treatment: Enjoy peanut butter to keep garlic breath at bay
- Just spread some peanut butter on a piece of toast, eat a peanut butter cookie or simply eat a spoonful of plain peanut butter to mask the garlic odor.
Method 9: Use Green Tea
Single-Step Treatment: Drink a cup of green tea
- Put 1 green tea bag into 1 cup of boiling water and let it steep for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and sip on the green tea before or during a garlicky meal to put a lid on unbearable garlic breath.
Method 10: Use Coffee
If you’re a coffee monster, then this method will suit your sensibilities. The strong scent of coffee comes from its volatile oils, which can effectively mask the odor caused by garlic volatiles.
Single-Step Treatment: Chew coffee beans or drink a cup of java
- The best way to use coffee to get rid of garlic breath instantly is to chew a couple of coffee beans for a few minutes. You can also munch on freeze-dried instant coffee.
- If chewing on coffee doesn’t suit you, go for the classic brew. A café latté will be effective too, as it will also contain milk fats that are known to mask garlic breath.
Some important tips for relief
- Chewing lemon peels can also help eradicate offensive garlic breath.
- You can eat baby spinach salads and other raw leafy greens to tamp down garlic breath after a meal.
- Like milk, a swig of coffee creamer can help reduce garlic breath.
- Apple cider vinegar is a natural way to get rid of garlic breath as well.
- Mirondo R, Barringer S. Deodorization of Garlic Breath by Foods, and the Role of Polyphenol Oxidase and Phenolic Compounds. Journal of Food Science. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1750-3841.13439. Published September 20, 2016.
- Munch R, Barringer SA. Deodorization of Garlic Breath Volatiles by Food and Food ... Journal of Food Science. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12394/abstract. Published March 4, 2014.
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