Herbs for Added Dental Health
Spring is on its way! This is the perfect time to start your indoor herb
garden. Before the convenience of modern medicine, herbs were used for centuries to improve oral health and for treatment of dental problems. Why not add some simple additions to your herb garden, and to your oral health!
Like many other common cooking herbs, sage lends its antibacterial properties to your mouth. It battles plaque to prevent and cure damage from tooth decay, and can help clean out oral sores. Brewing a cup of sage tea and rinsing your mouth with it is a cheap and easy way to keep your mouth healthy.
Thyme contains an antiseptic and anti-fungal micro-compound that can help with gum troubles and tooth decay. In fact, the same antiseptic is found in commercial mouthwashes such as Listerine® as well as in a many natural household cleaners. So you know it has the research backing up its effectiveness.
This brightly colored spice used in Middle-East and Indian dishes boasts more than a strong, unique flavor. Its anti-bacterial and anti-
inflammatory properties are more pronounced than other herbs mentioned above. For centuries, it was used as a holistic tooth and gum care rub. The paste combined 1 teaspoon of turmeric with half a teaspoon of salt and just enough mustard oil to get a wet consistency. They encouraged applying it twice daily, or packing it against an infected or inflamed area to reduce pain and bacterial growth.
Licorice root has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, and is supported by the American Dental Association as an herb that inhibits plaque build-up and gum disease. You can simply chew on a root or drink steeped dried root 3 times a day. Its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties can also treat canker sores and oral ulcers.
Goldenseal herb was medicinally used by Native Americans for stomach and liver problems. Not only is it anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, but goldenseal is also believed to fire up the immune system, fight gingivitis, and is an astringent so it tightens up loose gum tissue. goldenseal tea is a great mouth rinse or throat gargle for oral sores, a sore throat, or cough.