Natural Mouth Care

Propolis is a sticky, resinous substance gathered by bees, and it has remarkable antibiotic qualities – it is by far and away the best treatment I know for mouth ulcers – and has been used as a healing agent for thousands of years. It is generally effective for any infections of the mouth or throat. You can find it in most good health-food stores.

Certain herbs are more prevalent than others in natural toothpastes: horsetail, which contains silica (a mineral that is vital for healthy teeth); echinacea, which fights infections; myrrh, which is very useful for gum infections; and sage, which stimulates the mucous membranes and the gums. In the Middle Ages, women used to rub fresh sage leaves on their teeth tomake them whiter and improve their gums. Follow their example and put a sage plant in your window box.

To counter bad breath, chew mint leaves, parsley, tarragon, or fennel – all of which can be grown organically in your own garden or in pots on your windowsill. Or chew cardamon pods or cumin seeds to clear your palate.

Mouth Treatments
* For an effective mouth disinfectant, add 3 to 4 drops of tincture of myrrh (which you can find in health-food stores) to a glass of water. Be prepared: It is very bitter.

* To make a tea tree mouthwash, add 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil to 6 ounces of water and swish gently around your mouth before spitting out.

* Make your own sage or horsetail toothpowder by crushing 2 teaspoons of fresh leaves in a pestle and mortar and putting them in a small ovenproof dish with a tablespoon of sea salt. Put the dish in a warm oven untiil the leaves are crisp and dry, and then grind them to a powder. Make a batch and keep it in an airtight container.

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