Is Garlic A Vegetable, Herb, Or Root? See The Answer

Yes, garlic is a vegetable. It belongs to the Allium family, which also includes onions, chives, leeks, and shallots. Garlic is used in cooking and has a strong, distinct flavor. It also has medicinal properties that help the body recover faster.

Read on to see why it’s classified as a vegetable.

Is garlic a vegetable or root?

Both. Garlic (Allium sativum) is botanically a vegetable that belongs to the onion (Allium) family, but it is also classified as a root vegetable because it grows underground.

It is used in many cuisines around the world and is considered a versatile ingredient. Also, it is a low-calorie food, and it’s cholesterol-free.

You can eat it raw, cooked, and roasted, or use it to flavor oils and vinegar. When cooking, you can add garlic to your soups, stews, salads, and other dishes.

It can also be used as a marinade for meats, fish, and poultry. Garlic is easy to grow and a popular ingredient in many recipes.

garlic cloves

SEE: How Many Tablespoons Equals 8 Cloves Of Garlic?

Is garlic a spice or a vegetable?

Raw garlic is not a spice. It is a root vegetable; however, it’s often used as a spice in many dishes because of its strong flavor that people enjoy. 

Is garlic considered a spicy food?

Yes, it is spicy food. It has a strong, pungent flavor (allicin) that can add a bit of spice to any dish. Garlic is in its spiciest form when eaten raw.

If you’re looking to add a bit of spice to your food, try using garlic in small amounts, as too much garlic can overpower other flavors in your dish. Just be sure not to go overboard.

SEE: All You Need To Know About Purple Garlic Cloves

Is garlic a herb?

No, it’s not an herb. An herb is any plant that doesn’t have a woody stem, and that’s not what garlic is. But, you can use it as a spice or herb when cooking.

Is garlic a nightshade vegetable?

Yes, it is. Nightshade vegetables contain solanine, a natural chemical compound that is toxic to humans and can aggravate health problems like arthritis.

Other nightshade vegetables include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. They are highly nutritious, but it’s better to consume them in small amounts.

Hardneck vs softneck garlic vegetable

Hardneck garlic is a type of garlic that has a hard, woody stalk. The cloves are also larger and more pungent than those of softneck garlic.

The best time to plant it is during the colder seasons, as it is more tolerant of frost than softneck garlic. On average, it produces anywhere between 10-12 cloves per bulb.

Conversely, softneck garlic has a softer, flexible stalk and smaller, milder cloves. It is more heat-tolerant than hardneck garlic and produces higher yields, between 12-20 cloves per bulb on average.

However, it is less cold-tolerant and more susceptible to disease.

Types of hardneck garlic

  • Purple stripe garlic
  • Porcelain garlic
  • Glazed garlic
  • Creole garlic
  • Rocambole garlic
  • Asiatic garlic

Types of softneck garlic

  • Silverskin garlic
  • Artichoke garlic
  • Middle Eastern

Both hardneck and softneck garlic can be used in cooking. However, softneck garlic is easier to peel and chop.

SEE: What Neutralizes Garlic In The Stomach?

Is garlic good for you?

Yes, it is. As a vegetable, garlic also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can improve your immune system and lower cholesterol levels.

Other benefits of eating garlic include:

Boosts the immune system

Raw garlic has long been used as a natural remedy to fight colds and flu. Besides this, it has a high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which can help to boost your immune system.

Fights cancer

The sulfur compounds in garlic play a role in its ability to fight cancer. It protects cells from damage and kills cancerous cells.

Improves circulation

Garlic is thought to improve circulation by helping to prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque can narrow the arteries and cause them to harden, which can lead to heart disease.

Prevents Alzheimer’s disease

Garlic may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by protecting the brain from damage. That is because it can reduce the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques, which aid the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fights infections

For a long time, people have used garlic to fight infections. The sulfur compounds in garlic can kill bacteria and other microbes.

Relieves pain

Garlic has been used as a natural remedy for pain relief for centuries. The sulfur compounds in garlic have pain-relieving effects.

Detoxifies the body

Garlic detoxifies the body by removing heavy metals and other toxins.

Improves digestion

Garlic stimulates the production of stomach acid. That way, your body can break down food and absorb nutrients easily.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, consider adding garlic to your diet. You can find garlic supplements at most health food stores.

SEE: How to Get a Gift Card at ALDI Food Store


Is garlic powder a spice or herb?

It’s purely a spice. Most people use it to add flavor to food, and garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic.

What is the best type of garlic?

Porcelain. It has a strong flavor, with beautiful bulbs that have satiny white coverings. It’s also the tougher form of hardneck garlic.

What is the sweetest garlic?

Standard purple stripes. This garlic is sweet, especially in its roasted form.

Can you refrigerate garlic?

Yes, you can. Seal the garlic and place it in an airtight container. The temperature should be between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

How many garlic vegetable varieties are there?

11 garlic varieties. Three of these varieties are classified under softneck garlic. They are Artichoke, Middle Eastern, and Silverskin.

SEE: Never Substitute Garlic Powder For Garlic Salt


Conclusively, garlic is a true vegetable. Its properties and growth process classify it as one. It improves the flavor of many foods, and its medicinal properties are potent.

It is an essential ingredient in many cuisines and can be used in its raw, crushed, or powdered form. Feel free to add garlic to your meal when next you’re cooking.

Thank you for reading.

Visit Cheffist to read more related articles on garlic.