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Natural Ways to Freshen Your Breath

natural ways to freshen your breath

I think that just about everyone worries about having bad breath at some time or another. I often wonder about it just because I work with the public, especially when I’ve forgotten and brought particularly spicy leftovers for lunch.

Brushing your teeth isn’t always enough to get rid of that garlicky odor and I’ve never been a fan of commercial mouthwashes. I can’t stand their artificial minty, medicinal taste and smell. I’ve never been a gum chewer either. Too much work for very little reward, not to mention that it’s really not good for you anyway. So what’s a girl (or boy) to do to get rid of bad breath?  As long as your bad breath isn’t a sign of something more serious like gum disease or digestive problems then there are some very effective homemade solutions to help keep your breath smelling fresh.  There’s nothing complicated about these natural breath fresheners, in fact most of them are herbs and spices that you probably already have in your kitchen.

1. Cardamom
This is a spice that contains cineole, which acts as an antiseptic. Chew a few seeds to make your breath smell spicy and clean your mouth.

2. Eucalyptus
A derivative of this familiar plant, eucalyptol, is actually used in commercial mouthwashes. It also contains cineole. Crush 1-2 ounce of the leaves and add them to a cup of vodka; steep for several days and strain out the leaves, or just leave the leaves in. Use as a mouthwash as needed to fight bad breath. If you can’t find eucalyptus leaves, the same method works using other herbs, such as any combination of spearmint, rosemary, ginger, lavender, peppermint, basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, or fennel.

3. Parsley
This popular herb contains a great deal of chlorophyll, which accounts for its breath-freshening capabilities. Next time you’re at a restaurant don’t ignore that sprig of parsley on your plate, it there’s for a reason, not just garnish.

4. Anise
If you like licorice, give anise a try. It is an ancient remedy for bad breath. You could also chew on the seeds, or make a decoction by simmering 3 teaspoons of anise seeds in a cup of water for 3-5 minutes. Cool, strain, and use as a mouthwash.natural ways to freshen your breath

5. Dill
Like parsley dill is another chlorophyll-rich herb, drinking dill tea or chewing on a few dill seeds after a meal freshens breath.

6. Fresh mint
Growing mints in pots is quite easy, and nipping off a few leaves and chewing them helps to make your breath fresh.

7. Cloves
Chewing a few cloves will give your breath a spicy scent. Clove is also antibacterial, and clove oil is a traditional remedy for toothache.

What do you use to freshen your breath?

 

Resources

One of my long time favourite resources for natural remedies is The Woman’s Book of Healing Herbs. Also available at Amazon.ca

Organic herbs and spices are available online at Mountain Rose Herbs

 

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