Amanda’s note: Here is another wonderful contribution from Ramya Venkateshwaran who writes from her home in India. Ramya describes her homemade herbal mouthwash. Find her on her website WildTurmeric.net for more ideas on healthy living.
With all of the neem trees in our village, it is a custom to pick a tender neem stick usually after raising in the early morning. We chew on it for some time and then brush with it. However because neem is very bitter, many find it very hard to use. Some in my family are not keen on using neem sticks or rinses due its bitterness. I have tried many other natural recipes for them over the years and this cinnamon based antiseptic mouth wash is one such recipe. It is very effective, easy to put together, and it smells great.
The ingredients used in this recipe are are cinnamon, myrrh, thyme, and mint. Cinnamon acts as a mouth freshener, myrrh reduces inflammation in the mouth, thyme is a natural antiseptic, and mint acts as a natural healer. The herbs are infused in alcohol and then added to distilled water.
If you have the mint and sage plants at home, I would suggest plucking and drying them just before making the mouth wash for maximum flavor.
This is an age old recipe which requires you to steep the herbs in alcohol for a week or more for the herbs to release their essence. It is fun actually — the whole process of collecting and drying the herbs involves my entire family. The hardest part is resisting the temptation to open the bottle often during the soaking process.
Herbal Mouthwash Tips
- Make your mouthwash in a glass bottle, preferably a dark one.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight during the whole soaking process.
- Let it sit for at least a week until you begin to use it.
- I always prefer to make small batches as it keeps the flavor intact until I finish it but you can double or triple the recipe if you wish.
- I used high proof unflavored vodka in the recipe as I wanted a neutral flavor and high proof alcohol also acts as an antiseptic.
This homemade mouth rinse can be used as a remedy for bad breath, bleeding gums, mouth sores, and gum inflammation. I made the recipe like given in an old book of mine and have not altered it much but if you don’t want to use alcohol in the recipe, steep the ingredients in boiling water instead of alcohol for a day and strain.
Herbal Mouthwash Recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon of myrrh, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
- 3/4 cup of high proof, unflavored vodka (at least 40 proof but higher is better)
- 1 1/2 cup distilled water
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
Herbal Mouthwash Steps
- Collect fresh thyme and mint, shade dry them spread on a plate completely until there is no moisture left.
- After drying the herbs take them in your hands, gently crush them and add it to a glass bottle.
- Pound the myrrh and cinnamon once in a mortar and pestle and add it to the bottle.
- Top it up with unflavored vodka, cap it tightly and store in a dark, cool place for a week.
- Strain the mixture. Add the distilled water and peppermint essential oil, mix well and store.
To use the mouthwash, use it daily with your dental routine, swishing it in your mouth for about a minute and then spit it out.