6 Natural Mouth Fresheners (You Can Eat!)
Bad breath is something no one likes. There are many mouth fresheners available on the market to fight bad breath, however, there are also mouth fresheners in the plant world that can fight bad breath just as well (or even more effectively!) than the artificial ones. Here are six natural mouth fresheners you can use instead of purchasing an artificial one.
Mint is an aromatic herb that is used for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes in eastern cultures. One of its medicinal properties is that it can kill bad-breath-causing germs in the mouth, giving you cool breath. Most of the mouth fresheners you find in the market contain mint or menthol (an organic synthetic compound extracted from mint). Try just eating the plant (organic, of course) by itself!
2. Cardamom Pods
Cardamom is a form of spice native to India, Bhutan, and Nepal. It has an intensely aromatic fragrance. It also has a strong and unique taste. Cardamom occurs in the form of pods and is mostly used for culinary and medicinal purposes in eastern cultures. One of the properties cardamom has is that it can fight the toughest mouth odor. Chewing on a cardamom pod (you won't want to swallow it) for a few minutes can definitely get rid of your bad breath.
Not many people are aware that cinnamon is a good naturally available mouth freshener. It is obtained from the inner bark of certain trees of the family Cinnamomum. It is used as a spice in both sweet and spicy food. Its flavor is due to its aromatic essential oil. Apart from having other medicinal applications, it can be used as an effective mouth freshener if you lightly chew on a stick (don't hurt your teeth!) or mix cinnamon oil with water. Refer to the instructions on the oil bottle for the proper ratio of oil to water.
Basil is another herb that is used as a spice and a natural mouth freshener. The herb is native to India but can be found in cuisines all over the world especially in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisines. There are many varieties of basil in the basil family. Depending on the variety, the aroma and taste may differ a bit. Certain types of basil are also used for religious and medicinal purposes, especially in India. Apart from being an excellent herb, it is an antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial. The aroma and antimicrobial properties make it an excellent mouth freshener.
Most people know about the strong aroma and taste of clove. Clove oil is used in toothpaste for a reason. Clove oil, if applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, can relieve toothache. It also contributes to stronger teeth and fresh breath. It need not be necessarily used in the form of toothpaste or oil. Chewing one bud of clove can keep your breath fresh for a very long time. However, caution must be taken against chewing too many buds. Cloves have an extremely strong flavour. Hence, one bud is sufficient to keep your breath fresh.
6. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds can be easily confused with aniseed (or anise seed) as they look identical. Both are sometimes used interchangeably in culinary crafts as they smell and taste similar too. However, fennel tends to have a sweeter aroma and taste. Its sweet flavour comes from a compound called anethole, which is found in aniseed as well. Fennel is very commonly used as an after-meal breath freshener in countries like India and Pakistan.
Most of these natural mouth fresheners are easily available in a store (or garden!) near you. Now that you know you can use some of these natural fresheners, why go for an artificial one?
Gentle Dental. (2016). Five Bad Breathe Cures You'll Find In Your Kitchen.
Lillis, Charlotte. (2019) What Home Remedies Can Help With Bad Breathe? Medical News Today.
Milind, P., & Deepa, K. (2011). Clove: a champion spice. Int J Res Ayurveda Pharm, 2(1), 47-54.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.