The efficacy of allicin compared with fluconazole in alleviating systemic Candida albicans infections was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo through a systemic candidiasis mouse model. Determination of in vitro minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for different C. albicans isolates revealed that both allicin and fluconazole showed different MICs that ranged from 0.05 to 12.5 μg mL−1 and 0.25 to 16 μg mL−1, respectively. A time–kill study showed a significant effect of allicin (P<0.01) against C. albicans, comparable to that of fluconazole. Scanning electron microscopy observation revealed that, similar to fluconazole, allicin produced structural destruction of C. albicans cell surface at low MIC and lysis or puncture at high MIC concentrations. Treatment of BALB/c mice systemically infected with C. albicans showed that although the allicin treatment (at 5 mg kg−1 day−1) was slightly less efficacious than fluconazole treatment in terms of the fungal load reduction and host survival time, it was still effective against C. albicans in terms of mean survival time, which increased from 8.4 to 15.8 days. These results demonstrate the efficacy of anticandidal effects of allicin both in vitro and in an animal model of candidiasis and affirm the potential of allicin as an adjuvant therapy to fluconazole.