As we have been making the switch over to homemade, more healthy items in our home, I realize that that this doesn’t happen overnight. Little by little I am working on it and little by little things get replaced.
Mouthwash has been on my “list” and the store bought stuff is finally gone! I have come across several recipes over the past few years, but wouldn’t you know, when I go looking for them they are not all in one place (another thing I need to work on – and have been working on)
I started with the one that didn’t have vodka in it. Many of the recipes I have seen have use vodka. While I am not opposed to using vodka, I just needed to pick a receip and get on with it. After eeny, meeny, miny, moe I picked the other one.
Rosemary and Mint Mouthwash
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp fresh mint
- 1 tsp rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp anise seeds
Bring water to a boil. Add herbs and seeds. Turn off heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and allow liquid to cool. Bottle. Use it!
I definitely used more of each herb then the recipe called for. I used anise stars – didn’t remove the seeds. I plopped 4 of the whole stars into the mix. I also don’t have a lot of fresh mint right now, so I used fresh and dried. I know it was more then 1 tsp, but didn’t think that would hurt anything.
This mixture was very very fragrant when making it and I expected it to have tons of flavor. It did not. It certainly had a slight aftertaste of the herbs and spices used, but it was barely noticeable. That is a bit disappointing.
On the other hand, I know exactly what is in the newly made mouthwash (or mouth rinse). We will use it until it runs out and I will move onto the second recipe. I might have even found the other recipes that I have printed out somewhere by then too and have a few others to try out.
In terms of oval health there are a lot of things I could try:
- Rosemary: in a tea, rosemary is a strong antiseptic. Can be used to disinfect mouth wounds and be used for fresh breath.
- Mint: If you have ever just picked a fresh mint leaf and chewed on it, you know how cool and wonderful your mouth feels after that.
- Sea Salt:Dissolve a little bit of sea salt in a cup of warm water and swish it in your mouth like a mouthwash in the morning and at night after brushing your teeth. Sea salt rinse can help reduce gum swelling and draw the infection out of gum abscesses. Don’t drink anything afterwards, just let the sea salt do its good work.
- Aloe vera gel – Aloe vera gel is said to help quicken the healing of gum tissues and has a slight numbing effect, which is helpful for extra sensitive gums and teeth. Also, it is believed to increase moisture in the mouth and therefore lessen bad breath. To use aloe vera gel to treat gum disease, simply spread it on your toothbrush and gently massage the gums with it.
- Tea Tree Oil: As well as an antiseptic and an analgesic, tea tree oil is noted as a cicatrizant. This means it also heals wounds. Tea Tree is great for oral care. A few drops on your tooth brush, then massage into gums. Or add a bit of baking soda and a few drops and brush teeth and gums. A little tea tree oil goes a LONG way. Be careful, this is potent stuff. Also, Make sure you are using pure tea tree oil and start with ONE drop.
- Baking Soda: first of all, make sure you are buying aluminum free baking soda for anything that you are making that goes in or on your body. Save the cheaper stuff with aluminum for your cleaning.
You can also help your teeth and gums immensely by switching to an herbal toothpaste. The commercial pastes are filled with synthetic ingredients, artificial colorings and chemicals. Those things can be very irritating to you gums. Look for an herbal toothpaste with ingredients like rosemary (gum regeneration), tea tree (antiseptic), calendula (heal bleeding gums), myrrh (antiseptic) and echinacea (gum regeneration).
The tooth powder I mix up is a combination of baking soda, sea salt and tea tree oil. I had brushed my teeth a few times with baking soda when I was young. That’s what Gram used to use so we wanted to try it. UGH! Now, Gram didn’t have another option, we did, so it was easy for us to go back to our tube of toothpaste. From everything I have learned in the past few years, I really wish we would have stuck with it. I am now using, basically, what Gram did.
- 3 parts Baking Soda
- 1 part Sea Salt or Real Salt
- Tea Tree Oil
Mix together the baking soda and sea salt. If you are mixing up a small portion to try it out, then just use a few drops of tea tree oil. If you are mixing up a larger quantity, then use several drops. I triple the recipe (using tablespoons) when I make it up and add about 10-15 drops of tea tree oil. At night, I add 1 drop of tea tree oil to my damp toothbrush and then use the baking soda mixture to brush my teeth.
Back to the mouth rinse. My rinse of choice is sea salt and water after I brush each night.
My husband is open to using the new mouth rinse, now if I could just get him to use the baking soda/salt tooth powder. It doesn’t look promising (since I have been using it for a few years now and he hasn’t), so I will make sure I get some herbal toothpaste in the house and see if I can get him switched over to that. Wish me luck!
Do you have any mouthwash or rinse recipes you want to share?
Note: I started this post on Feb 5th and I am finally getting around the post it. In that time, the mouthwash has sat on our bathroom counter and mold started to form in the the bottle. I could have done three things to prevent this. 1 – only kept a small amount on the counter and kept the rest in the refrigerator. Even then I am not sure it would have been safe to keep it much past 2 weeks. 2 – I could have added a few drops of tea tree oil to the bottle and that would have kept the mixture mold free. 3 – could have easily cut the recipe in half. Live and learn. Lucky for me, I did not spend but pennies to make up this recipe. The only thing I bought (already had in the cupboard) was the star anise. If I had made the recipe with vodka I wouldn’t have had this problem….ha. I guess I will make it now!