Proper dental hygiene plays an important role in our overall health and wellness. Poor oral health is linked to a variety of health issues. For example, studies have shown that people who have gum disease are three times as likely to have a stroke and twice as likely to die from a heart attack (Soong, 2011).
While many of the conventional mouthwashes available contain problematic ingredients — like fragrances and preservatives — that can have negative health effects, there are a number of herbs that can be used to promote healthy teeth and gums. This natural mouthwash combines tulsi, plantain, and chamomile, three herbs with well-documented health benefits for the mouth.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is quite beneficial for oral health care. It has antimicrobial properties and is an excellent oral disinfectant. It is rich in constituents that help to prevent cavities and plaque build up. Its astringent effects are beneficial for gum health. It effectively freshens bad breath. It also helps to heal to canker sores (Pandita et al., 2014).
Plantain (Plantago major, P. lanceolata) is soothing and gently astringent, helping to ease irritation and inflammation. It also has antibacterial properties (de la Forêt, 2022). It is well-suited for oral health and is helpful for toothaches, bad breath, canker sores, epistaxis, loose teeth, gingivitis and tonsillitis (Najafian et al., 2018).
German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) mouthwash is non-toxic oral disinfectant that helps to reduce inflammation of the gums and the formation of plaque (Pandita et al., 2014).
- 80ml of chamomile & plantain infusion
- 40ml tulsi tincture (made with 100 proof alcohol)
- 120ml glass bottle
Make a strong infusion with 1 part plantain leaf and 1 part chamomile. If you’re new to herbalism, check out my post Making Medicinal Teas for tips on making an herbal infusion.
Let the infusion cool, then strain out the plant matter. Combine the herbal tea and tulsi tincture in a glass measuring cup. Then pour into a bottle.
To Use: take a small swig of mouthwash and swish vigorously for about 30 seconds or so, then spit out the liquid. Using after meals is a great way to freshen breath and help remove food that may be stuck in the teeth.
de la Forêt, R. (2022). Benefits of Plantain with jim mcdonald. Herbs with Rosalee Podcast, Season 3, Episode 6. https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/podcast31.html
Najafian, Y., Hamedi, S.S., Farshchi, M.K., and Feyzabadi, Z. (2018). Plantago major in Traditional Persian Medicine and modern phytotherapy: a narrative review. Electronic Physician, 10(2): 6390–6399. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5878035/#!po=53.0928
Pandita V., Patthi B., Singla A., Singh S., Malhi R., Vashishtha V. (2014). Dentistry meets nature-role of herbs in periodontal care: A systematic review. Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry, 12:148–56.10.4103/2319-5932.144784
Soong, J. (2011). How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Wellness. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oral-health-affects-wellness