Amanda’s note: Here is another wonderful contribution from Ramya Venkateshwaran who writes from her home in India. Ramya describes her homemade herbal mouthwash to fight bad breath. Find her on her website WildTurmeric.net for more ideas on healthy living.
With all of the neem trees in our village, it is a custom to pick a tender neem stick usually after raising in the early morning. We chew on it for some time and then brush with it. However because neem is very bitter, many find it very hard to use. Some in my family are not keen on using neem sticks or rinses due its bitterness. I have tried many other natural recipes for them over the years and this cinnamon based antiseptic mouthwash is one such recipe. It is very effective, easy to put together, and it smells great.
The ingredients used in this recipe are are cinnamon, myrrh, thyme, and mint. Cinnamon acts as a mouth freshener, myrrh reduces inflammation in the mouth, thyme is a natural antiseptic, and mint acts as a natural healer. The herbs are infused in alcohol and then added to distilled water.
If you have the mint and sage plants at home, I would suggest plucking and drying them just before making the mouth wash for maximum flavor.
This is an age old recipe which requires you to steep the herbs in alcohol for a week or more for the herbs to release their essence. It is fun actually — the whole process of collecting and drying the herbs involves my entire family. The hardest part is resisting the temptation to open the bottle often during the soaking process.
This homemade mouth rinse can be used as a remedy for bad breath, bleeding gums, mouth sores, and gum inflammation. I made the recipe like given in an old book of mine and have not altered it much but if you don’t want to use alcohol in the recipe, steep the ingredients in boiling water instead of alcohol for a day and strain.
To use this homemade mouthwash, use it daily with your dental routine, swishing it in your mouth for about a minute and then spit it out.
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