After a (not so healthy) mojito night we had with my sisters and brother, we ended up with a whole bunch of mint left over. Since we were low on mouthwash I decided to make a new batch.
I use mouthwash because I hate flossing, and decided to find a life hack that will allow me not to floss. Well according to this study the effect of flossing and mouthwash are more or less equal:
– “The level of interproximal gingivitis control efficacy provided by the Listerine and Chlorhexidine was “at least as good as” that provided by the dental floss. Hence, they can be recommended for the patients with gingivitis as an adjunctive to the usual home care routine.”
But that is using listening and I wasn’t planning on using that… So I continued to search pubmed and find this study comparing herbal mouthwash and chlorhexidine mouthwash:
– “The efficacy of herbal mouthwash was equally effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis as compared to chlorhexidine mouthwash and may be considered as a good alternative. The chlorhexidine mouthwash was reported with many side effects which limit its acceptability and long-term use, whereas the presently tested herbal mouthwash had no side effects apart from mild burning sensation.” (source)
This recipe is a uses a technique called a tincture, which is a fancy word but it is really simple to do. It is an alcoholic extract. That is to say, you put the plant material in a jar and cover it with alcohol, usually vodka which is around 45% alcohol and let it sit in a dark place for about a month. This is a very useful technique for extracting active ingredients from plants to use in different formulas and medicines.
All the herbs used in this tincture have a beneficial effect on teeth and gums. Whether reducing the number of Streptococcus mutans in the dental plaque (sage), reducing plaque and gingivitis (dill) freshening breath (mint) or supporting gum health (cloves). I even found a site that claims that Hippocrates made a dill mouthwash!
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup dill
8 sage leaves
1 Tsp Cloves
1.5 cups of vodka
Mint essential oil
Place all the herbs in a glass jar. Press them down lightly. Cover with vodka. Allow infusing in a dark place for ten days. Strain and add five drops of food grade mint essential oil.