- Oral Health
Chew Fresh Leaves for Fresh Breath
Bad breath is a condition that can afflict even those who brush every day. This often results from odor-producing bacteria caused by a number of factors such as dry mouth, smoking, diet, and poor dental hygiene. As Dr. Richard H. Price of American Dental Association says, “Ninety percent of mouth odors come from the mouth itself, either from the food you eat or bacteria that’s already there.”
If you often eat spicy or foods with strong odors like garlic, onion, pepper, fish, and strong cheeses, you'll have to deal with the lingering after-taste and odor in the mouth. While you can brush, floss, and gargle, these can only cover up the odor temporarily. "You are actually breathing the odors out via your lungs three to four hours later." says Jeannie Moloo, of the American Dietetic Association.
The Chlorophyll Power
Chewing on fresh leaves after a meal is a time-tested home remedy of reducing bacteria in the mouth and cleansing the intestines of toxic substances. Chlorophyll-rich plants act as powerful neutralizers that absorb odors. These plants are very effective in eliminating foul smelling breath since it encloses high amounts of chlorophyll that inhibits the production of intestinal gases. Though again, effects are often temporary, chewing or drinking them as tonic helps provide continuous breath freshness as they enhance digestion.
Here's how chlorophyll works (image below), its importance to the body and to the planet.
So how long should you chew the leaves for and how long will it take to start feeling them? Should you swallow or spit out?
All you need to do is pop up a sprig of any herb in your mouth and start chewing. Chew the leaves until all the flavored juice trickles in your mouth. Let the juice linger in before spitting out. Your mouth and throat will feel refreshed and the stench vanished. Let's try a few most recommended.
Parsley is the most noted antidote for bad breath particularly for reducing garlic and onion odor. Parsley's high concentration of chlorophyll diffuses “bad toxins” responsible for the bad odor in the mouth. The high enzyme content helps improve overall digestion of food and elimination of waste from the body.
Chewing a small handful of parsley allows you to gain the breath-freshening benefits of chlorophyll, and if you swallow parsley leaves, they’ll continue to provide freshness throughout the digestion process. Read more, here.
Mint leaves instantly refreshes the mouth. Besides easing heartburn and indigestion, it also helps calm down an upset stomach that leads to bad breath. Chew fresh mint leaves for three to five minutes then spit it out in the trash. This is also an effective antiseptic dentrifice. The strong chlorophyll in mint scrapes the odor-causing bacteria from your teeth that keeps mouth fresh and improves the sense of taste in the tongue.
A mint tea in morning assists in digestion, and just like parsley, the best way to consume mint is to garnish anything you eat with lots of it.
Chew leaves in the morning and the evening without swallowing followed with a glass of water. This will speed the beneficial contents of the leaves through your system and bring faster results. You can also make tea with alfalfa and drink it regularly. Eat the alfalfa raw, which makes it a very good salad ingredient.
The chlorophyll in alfalfa works as neutralizer for the acids in the intestinal track. As infection fighter, body cleanser and deodorizer, alfalfa is capable of breaking down harmful carbon dioxide and reducing anaerobic bacteria action. More on alfalfa.
Chewing fresh leaves of sage is the traditional way to freshen breath. Pick a leaf, chop and use as you would a toothbrush. Because natural oil in sage contains potent antibacterial properties and astringent tannins, it can help prevent plaque and gingivitis. Not just that, because of sage's astringent properties, old folks rubbed fresh leaves over teeth and gums to make them brighter. Try it.
To make tea, mix one tablespoon of chopped sage in two cups of water and boil. Drink the tea slowly, or use it as rinse and gargle to fight infections of the mouth and throat.
Neem is another option with a variety of antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Essential oil from fresh leaves has a mild fungicidal action known very effective in relieving the mouth of foul odor by acting against the bacteria. If you can endure taste, chewing neem leaves can clean your system internally while improving the body's metabolism.
With a bittersweet, slightly peppery aroma and hint of anise, tarragon is one of the excellent breath fresheners, particularly after garlicky or oniony meals. Chewing leaves stimulates the production of bile by the liver, which aids in digestion. It helps to speed the process of flushing out toxins from the body that helps cure and remove bad breath.
Ancient Greeks chewed on the leaves of a tarragon plant to relieve toothaches and pain from sores of the mouth. Steep a handful of dried leaves in a jar with apple cider vinegar, let stand for at least 6 hours; strain and seal. Take 1 tablespoon before each meal. This tea is best for digestion.
Other leaves that you can chew are of spearmint, rosemary, ginger, lavender, peppermint, basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, or fennel. The properties these plants contain can also stimulate your salivary glands and encourage the flow of breath-freshening saliva.
So the next time you see a green sprig on the plate, chew on it after eating your meal. It may not be pleasant for some, but the green garnish can freshen breath.
Words of Caution
We see how nature does the most obvious things to help us out. However, not all herbs are suitable for anyone because they may be toxic. It's still best to talk to your doctor before taking any natural treatment, especially when you're pregnant, or taking other medications.
Things We Have Been Ignoring
- Brushing the Teeth Twice Is Saving the Heart
Are you among those who treat problems with your oral hygiene as something not as much of an importance? Think twice, it can hurt your heart.
- Life-Saving Benefits of Chlorophyll
My personal experience suggests that going green, going alkaline and getting a mass of liquid chlorophyll daily does absolute WONDERS for your health and energy.