How much garlic should I use in the mountain kitchen during backpacking camps?

I'm asking from the perspective of the person who wants to plan such a camp and the menu on it. Walking a lot with a heavy backpack, often in bad weather condition, and sleeping outside when the nights can be cold is a very high effort for the body. Garlic stimulates the immune system, which in such situation is very important.

On the other hand, large amounts of garlic may increase the risk of bleeding by thinning the blood: http://www.digitalnaturopath.com/treat/T22977.html. However, it is not stated how much that large amount is.

I'm considering a daily dose of garlic for the participants. For myself at home I'm adding one clove of garlic to dinner, so I think that should be a daily portion for the participant. But many people suggest it is too much.

So, my question is, what portion of garlic would be consider safe, and still have a positive impact on immune system? Is the one clove per person per day too much, too little, or just enough?

  • 5
    As much as possible. (from a culinary standpoint...)
    – Lost
    Jun 19, 2012 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


This has now been brought up on skeptics.stackexchange.com.

Presumably you were looking at the contraindication for before surgery:

Not recommended for:
Upcoming Surgical Procedure

Large amounts of garlic may increase the risk of bleeding by thinning your blood.

Thinning the blood like that is precisely the same effect that makes it recommended for protection against atherosclerosis and stroke (it doesn't say heart attacks, but it's the same mechanism so I'd imagine that too, but don't quote me on that). So as long as you're (and they're) not planning on major surgery, you don't need to worry about that. But do also make sure to avoid giving it to anyone already on blood thinners or high blood pressure medications.

And how much should you have?

Colds and Influenza

Drawing upon hundreds of years of using garlic to treat illnesses, many contemporary herbalists prescribe it to help prevent colds and flu, stimulate circulation, lower high blood pressure, aid digestion, and heal superficial wounds. Modern research has substantiated many of these therapeutic uses.
Dose: 4 grams of fresh garlic (about one medium-sized clove) or 8mg of volatile oil daily is recommended; if you prefer capsules, make sure that they are enteric-coated.

One clove looks like the perfect amount. Provided, of course, you don't mind smelling like garlic all day.

  • 2
    I've asked because I've had nose bleeding myself, and my friend suggested it can be caused by eating too much garlic... Jun 17, 2012 at 19:13
  • (I'm not a doctor, but) I don't think garlic alone would cause a nosebleed, it's more likely a combination of dry air and a predisposition to nosebleeds (maybe a vein near the surface).
    – Kevin
    Jun 17, 2012 at 19:50
  • 2
    The skeptic in me is unhappy with placing information from a naturopath on a site based on objective answers. I don't see there being anything wrong with eating lots of garlic, but I'd like to see some serious sources here if we are effectively claiming that garlic can "prevent colds and flu, stimulate circulation..." and so on.
    – Greg.Ley
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:05
  • @Greg.Ley you could see what the folks over at skeptics.SE say about it.
    – Kevin
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:07
  • 1
    @Greg.Ley skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/10977/…
    – berry120
    Sep 20, 2012 at 14:24

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