From the days of Hippocrates himself, mouthwash has been recommended for complete oral care - more specifically, for the prevention of plaque that causes tooth decay, gingivitis and bad breath - as well as those targeted at cavities. Unfortunately, as time wore on, what the Father of Modern Medicine recommended became industrialized, commercialized and supersized - or in other words, chemicalized.
Today, a common mouthwash may contain benzalkonium chloride, calcium, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine gluconate, domiphen bromide, enzymes, eucalyptol, fluoride, hexetidine, hydrogen peroxide, menthol, methylparaben, methyl salicylate and thymol. Sweeteners such as sorbitol, sodium saccharine, sucralose and xylitol are also often included, and some brands may have as much as 27% alcohol... yet you don't need an id to buy it!
So, while we would never knock proper oral hygiene, health experts have warned that mouthwashes containing alcohol can cause cancer, which makes it especially important not to swallow the stuff! And, in the battle of fresh breath versus cancer, we prefer to stay away from products that have been scientifically linked to this all-too-common deadly disease. Instead, we opt to throw together a few of nature's best offerings into a natural mouthwash that may not give that glorifying burning sensation, but sure does deliver a dose of fresh breath.
It's as easy as this: Boil 2 cups of water. Add in 1 teaspoon of fresh organic mint leaves, 1 teaspoon of organic cloves and 1 teaspoon of organic rosemary leaves. Let this boil for about 20 minutes. Once cooled, you're golden. Simply store in a sealed jar and swish to your mouth's content without adding additional chemicals to your life... Let's cut 'em where we can!
While you're at it, how about the Best Homemade All Natural Toothpaste, Ever?
image: John Loo