London: A new study has suggested that garlic may be useful in addition to medication to treat high blood pressure.
As part of the research, Australian doctors enrolled 50 patients in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication.
Garlic supplements have previously been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure in those with untreated hypertension.
In the latest study, researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, looked at the effects of four capsules a day of a supplement known as aged garlic for 12 weeks.
They found systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo.
"Garlic supplements have been associated with a blood pressure lowering effect of clinical significance in patients with untreated hypertension," the BBC quoted researcher Karin Ried as saying.
"Our trial, however, is the first to assess the effect, tolerability and acceptability of aged garlic extract as an additional treatment to existing antihypertensive medication in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension."
Experts say garlic supplements should only be used after seeking medical advice, as garlic can thin the blood or interact with some medicines.
The study has been reported in the journal Maturitas.