HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Getting rid of garlic breath

okay i LOVE garlic (because i'm half korean) and well last weekend I went to a huge korean birthday party for my mom's friend's husband. Of course there were lots of great things to eat, but i couldn't stop eating the sashimi. Now if you ahve had korean sashimi, you know that you eat thick slices of the fish with slivers of RAW garlic and raw chiles. I had a lot of the sashimi and subsequently a lot of the garlic. I even dipped raw slices of garlic into the chojang (gochujang mixed with vinegar & sugar).

For the next 3 days I REEKED of garlic. I brushed my teeth 50 million times, gargled, and yes cleaned my tongue. No matter what i couldn't get the odor out of me. My boyfriend even made fun of me (thankfully it didn't bother him that much).

I dont want to stop eating raw garlic, so whats a good way to get rid of the smell? Do i have to stop eating it? and believe me cooked garlic has NOTHING on eating raw garlic....holy moly I am not kidding when I say that the smell didnt leave me for over 3 days

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. the wikipedia entry for garlic says to take a sauna:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garlic

    1. Brushing your teeth/tongue and gargling does absolutely nothing for garlic breath, because the smell isn't emanating from your mouth, it comes from deep within your digestive system. So no solution focused on your mouth will work. I don't know about this sauna theory, I've never heard of that.

      1. Eating parsley is the usual method but I prefer eating an apple. It somehow negates the garlic in my system.

        1. With that quantity you almost have to sweat it out- like someone posted above about the sauna.

          Exercising can have a similar effect and then a shower. So a bike or jog around the hood and then a hot shower.

          Best thing- hang out only w/ Koreans who also eat raw garlic stuff.....

          1. I feel your pain..
            I am a raw garlic lover and agree with the other posters on sauna, parsley and didn't think about an apple...sauna is great to flush your pores out..cold shower after to close the pores.

            1. You have to wait until the garlic leaves your body (yes, that means poop it out).

              1 Reply
              1. re: filth

                So lots of fiber and liquids should speed things up!

              2. Good point about it being in your system not your mouth- after an obscenely garlic laden Italian dinner my friend's mom told us to eat some parsley and empty the contents of a black tea bag in our mouth, chew for a while and then swallow. After doing so, even my family couldn't smell garlic and they always make faces if I've had any amount of garlic. Anyone else heard of the black tea method?

                2 Replies
                  1. re: alkapal

                    HA! I would certainly gag, trying to eat tea! Maybe drinking some black or oolong tea would help "rinse" the garlic out of a person; after all, teas are commonly used for detox and cathartic purposes.

                1. Like the flu, garlic leaves the body when it's darn good and ready to.

                  1. I like the idea of going in the sauna....but I'm afraid that if i went in while a bunch of other women are in there it would stink the room up? Unfortunately i dont have my own sauna

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bitsubeats

                      Having lived in Seoul for a few years, yes...it gets into your system. All your bodily fluids (ie sweat, saliva, urine, etc) take on a garlicy smell. Some foods seem to mitigate it, but I don't know of anything that actually eliminates it totally. And yeah, 3 days seems about right after an especially heavy "dose". When I first moved to Seoul, when I took the elevator up to the office every morning my eyes would tear-up just from the ambient garlic odor. After a few weeks I had become de-sensitized, and it was only when I was with someone who had eaten quite a bit of raw garlic that I really noticed it.

                    2. i thought there was some sort of medicine though that would neutralize the odor? I still like eating raw garlic...but my god after tasting nothing but garlic for 3 days kinda gets old and makes me sick...especially in the morning

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bitsubeats

                        KaimukiMan, I remember my first bus ride in Korea. One of the puddle jumpers that stopped every 100 yards or so and so crowded that here in the US, you would have to be on intimate terms with someone to get that close. The aromas of Kimchi, garlic, and the everpresent odor of fish from the harbor and processing plants made for quite an experience.

                        There is an herbal cure that reduces the odor, and in some people will neutralize it. The Chinese version is called Serotan (sp?) I believe. There are also Korean and Japanese versions.
                        It is a small bottle of round black or dark brown waxy pills that contain creosote.
                        This remedy also works on indigestion and several other "discomforts" of the digestive system (including Montezuma's Revenge)
                        Drinking a large amount of hot honey ginger tea will help speed things up (of course you may smell like ginger for awhile)

                        EDIT: The Chinese name of the pill is Seirogan, Korean is Cheong Ro Hwan.

                        1. re: hannaone

                          Seirogan is the name of a Japanese medicine. The Chinese version may be pronounced roughly similar.

                      2. i am so excited about this little discovery.

                        i just ate clove of raw garlic mixed with fresh pineapple for breakfast...looking for some flavor
                        two hours later the garlic flavor was still rising up from my belly into my mouth
                        i went downstairs craving avocado like i would die without it. of course it was rationed to my parents which left me teetering on the edge of food cravering abyss
                        i wondered why do i want avocado so much? why? why? why?
                        and then the thought occured it me..perhaps it will gt rid of this garlic breath
                        in the name of science and human advancment....i sliced off a thin piece of my parents rationed avocado. and ...
                        walla!!!!!!!
                        instantaneous garlic breath relief
                        one hour later i still do not taste the garlic in my mouth
                        i ate the rest of the rationed 1/2 avocado to secure the test
                        knowing that i can buy some later today

                        i have also heard the asafoetida (an indian spice) works well
                        its pretty stinky too. but ihave never experienced bath breath form it
                        not that i have noticed

                        good luck all

                        so far so good