Using listerine and other forms of chemical mouthwash has many benefits, but it is not entirely without downsides. Recent studies have shown that while mouthwash is the most effective way to kill bacteria, as the liquid gets everywhere and is very corrosive, it also dries the mouth out, harms the salivary glands, and is an irritant, which means that it is one of the many, many causes of oral cancer. Using mouthwash twice a day is no biggie, but some people need to use it more often, and in their case, the risk of developing oral cancer is higher. There are natural and non carcinogenic solutions though, that are just as effective.
Rosemary is a herb that is used in foods. Little known is the fact that it has very strong antibacterial properties, and rosemary was used not as an herb for food, but as medicine in the days of ancient Rome. Keeps the mouth fresh and tastes very distinctive and strong, will give your mouth a pleasant herbal scent for hours after using the mouthwash. Can be swallowed, and is not acidic.
A favorite in Central Europe, particularly Hungary, where mouthwash made from the leaves of this tree is particularly popular. A little bit harder to find in the rest of Europe, but really cheap to order online. You can use the extract or the fresh (not dried!) leaves of the smoketree in a mouthwash.Swish around for around 2-3 minutes, but beware!v The solutions is bitter and quite strong tasting.
Cloves are well known for its numbing and antibacterial properties. The best thing about using powdered clove, fresh cloves or clove oil extract is that your breath will remind everyone of christmas. Tastes great as well.
Perhaps the strongest flavour of all is the star anise. It tastes like the fishermans friend candy, is quite powerful and can even numb the gums and tongue completely after usage. Dilute well, and read up on it before you use it to freshen your breath. Anis is an antiseptic, and can be used especially if you have wounds in your mouth, or after oral surgery.
Baking soda is one of the best antibacterial and desiccant substance sin the world, and these properties make it especially good for a mouthwash. The problem? It doesn’t taste very good, and the consistency is quite chalky. Combine it with peppermint oil to get that true blue mouthwash feeling, but without any of the carcinogenic properties.
The Australian tea tree has the potential to completely radicalize the cosmetic industry. It smells and tastes great, produces oil quite easily (relatively speaking), and is antiseptic and antibacterial. You can use it for a mouthwash, and it will give you that authentic tea tree flavor for a long time after you use it.
Boil 2 deciliters of water. When it has come to a boil, add the powdered or solid ingredients (like cloves or baking soda or smoketree leaves), and then the oils or liquid ingredients (like anise extract or tea tree oil). Stir until the amount of stuff is completely dissolved. Afterwards, allow it to cool to room temperature and to gain in strength. Make sure that you use enough material that the stuff is strong, too strong to drink. Using more of these products than necessary will not result in any negative consequences, so be generous!
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