ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Life Sciences

How to do an Experiment to see whether we should put Mint or Garlic in Toothpaste.

Updated on December 15, 2012
Or just use both?
Or just use both?

An experiment to see whether we should put mint or garlic in toothpaste.

Plants, like humans and other animals, are very susceptible to diseases and so have developed their own defence mechanisms against them. Many protect themselves by producing substances that destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria. This property is known as antibacterial.

This experiment is an easy and practical way to learn about the antibacterial effects of different substances. The main aim of this experiment is to find out whether or not mint or garlic is better for killing bacteria on our teeth.

Of course, this experiment is not limited to just garlic or mint and can be expanded upon to acquire different findings.

Listed below is what you will need and how you will perform the experiment. The experiment is tailored to using any suspected antibacterial substances – not just mint and garlic.

You will need:

· Plant material (e.g. some garlic and mint leaves)

· Pestle and mortar

· Incubator set at 25oC

· Marker pen

· Sterile forceps

· Sterile petri dish

· Paper discs

· Pipette

· 10cm^3 methylated spirits

· An agar plate seeded with bacteria


Marble pestle and mortar
Marble pestle and mortar

How to do it

1. First of all, it is necessary to seed(add bacteria) the agar plates using an aseptic technique.

2. Obtain a plant extract by crushing 3g of plant material (e.g. mint leaves) with 10cm3 of industrial methylated spirit and shake it from time to time for 10 minutes. The advantage of using methylated spirits instead of water is that it kills any bacteria that might otherwise contaminate the extract.

3. Next, pipette 0.1 cm^3 of the newly acquired extract solution onto a paper disc.

4. Repeat 1-3 for any other plants that you may want to use. Make sure to make a new separate test disc for each different extract you use (don’t mix solutions).

5. Use a blank paper disc as a control.

6. Place all of the discs into seeded Petri dishes. Placing three discs and a control (and no more) in each Petri dish is advised. Use sterilised forceps to transfer the discs. Mark the sides of the petri dishes with a marker pen so that you can distinguish the different extracts.

7. Tape the lids onto the top of the Petri dishes, making sure not to tape all around it in order to prevent the growth of dangerous anaerobic bacteria.

8. Incubate the plates at 25oC for 24 hours.

9. Measure the diameters of the circles around the different discs using a ruler (without opening the Petri dishes).

10. Record this data in a table.

11. Repeat 1-10 and calculate a mean average of the diameters for each extract.

12. Create a suitable graph (for just 2 extracts like in the case of garlic and mint, a bar graph is sufficient) out of the mean averages attained.

13. Observe the difference in diameters found.

The plant material which resulted in the highest diameter ring around its respective disc was the most antibacterial plant material.

Mint and Garlic

If the disc using garlic extract’s ring of effect has a higher diameter than the disc using mint extract then garlic will be said to be more antibacterial. In this case garlic would be a better substance to put into toothpaste.

Consider however the other good qualities needed in a toothpaste ingredient such as taste, cost and lasting smells before making a judgement.

Safety

  • Methylated spirit used in the crushing of the plant material is toxic and highly flammable and as such should not be around when there is an open flame (which is used for the preparation and pouring of the agar plates).
  • Aseptic techniques must be used throughout the procedures.
  • Do not ever open Petri dishes containing growing organisms because these can cause illness.
  • Petri dishes must be autoclaved before being thrown away.
  • Wash your hands after the experiment just in case you came into contact with disease.

Please comment in the section below

Did you find this hub useful?

See results
In case you were wondering.
In case you were wondering.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 6 years ago from London

      Ahaha, that made me laugh :) thank you

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      That's tough call. While the garlic inhibits bacterial growth and vampires, it does also repel people. (I do like to chat with people.)

      The mint, while not as effective, at least won't make others avoid you.

      Perhaps I could alternate. (I don't need to chat to everybody 24/7.)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)