Bad breath, gingivitis, gum disease, halitosis… Smells like a potent mix of ‘Phew! What died in here…’? But for those who have to put up and live with it as part of their daily routine, it can be a demeaning (and avoidable) statement, to say the least.
Especially after you’ve tried the dozens upon dozens of mouthwashes, mint gums, tongue cleaners / scrapers, and an assortment of “bad breath kits” advertised on late night TV shows… the problem either ‘subsides’ for a few hours to be temporarily forgotten — until someone standing close to you, in the midst of an otherwise normal conversation, suddenly stops and gives you that peculiar ‘what’s that smell?’ kind of look.
And the next thing you know you’re frantically reaching out for that box of mint as if you just had an asthma attack. Let’s face it, bad breath can be worse than an asthma attack. Why? Because, it stinks!
Often, the person with bad breath doesn’t really know that he or she has got bad breath. It takes someone else pointing it out to them, which makes it all the more embarrassing.
So why don’t we put a stop to it once and for all? Wouldn’t we just LOVE to have a cure for bad breath that worked well — and lasted longer? Sort of like sex, you know. Something closer to a permanent cure so you can popping in a (sugar-free?) candy gum every time someone reminds you of it?
Well, the Chinese discovered a bad breath remedy much before dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and ‘my dog has bad breath too’ kinds of confessions. Their cure was almost 4,000 years ago, and they were simply herbs from the the neighboring forest! Sort of like jogging down to New York’s Central Park and picking up a bunch of herbs to cure a Wall Street broker’s bad breath on the trading floor. The Chinese found their herbs freely on the forest floor, in clear abundance, and with no dental treatments or surgeries to pay for.
The ancient Indian science of Ayurveda, too, prescribed its own recommendations for curing bad breath, in parallel to what the Chinese believed. Their inspiration too was the forest, so they called them forest remedies, herbal remedies or home remedies, which, in modern times, has even morphed into more accessible expression of ‘kitchen remedies’. Because you could cure bad breath using herbs commonly found in the Indian kitchen. No need to go hunting around amongst the forest bushes.
But the fact is, ‘kitchen remedies’ is a generic term, and these are herbs are easily available in any kitchen (or garden) of the world. Here are 4 of the simplest home remedies you can use right now to cure bad breath:
1. Instead of your regular toothpaste, use a herbal toothpaste that contains neem extracts in it. Scientifically known as Azadirachta Indica or Melia Azadirachta, the neem is a semi-evergreen tree whose trunk yields a tenacious gum and seeds yield an aromatic oil. It’s the leaves whose extract help keep your breath much longer.
2. Instead of your regular mouthwash, use a solution of neem dissolved in warm water as an alternative mouthwash. It’s more effective, not too harsh on your teeth and gums, and is a natural treatment for daily oral hygiene. Use this natural mouthwash solution 4 times a day.
3. There are two other kinds of mouthwash you can add to cure bad breath – (a) Boil corriander leaves in water and use the resulting liquid-extract as a mouthwash. (b) Aloe vera mixed with honey and cold water is a good mouthwash for chronic bad breath.
4. Think peppermint is the only mouth freshener? Here are two more to chew on — green cardamom and cloves.
5. If your bad breath problem is due to tonsillitis , sinusitis or a nasty cold, edible camphor is a very effective throat stimulant. It’s a sublime substance that simply melts away clogged mucus, giving a clarity and freshness that extends much beyond your throat. It’s like vacuuming your own mouth with one of Nature’s most effective nasal decongester… ENT therapy on the cheap!