Imagine for a moment that you have bad breath, and that it’s hurting your marriage. Would you do something about it, and if so, what might you try? In the medieval period, married couples thought about this problem, too, and they did the best they could to overcome it.
An article published in a 1947 issue of Life Magazine discussed this very problem. In the Middle Ages, when Europe was feudal and noblemen wed noblewomen, what did halitosis mean for a connubial couple?
The piece noted that because “medieval women’s main business was marriage,” ladies often bore the brunt of the bad breath burden. Women typically took the most care to be well-mannered, to avoid being excessively emotional in public, to wipe their hands on napkins and to tend to their oral odor, the source stated.
For feudal lords and ladies, this meant chewing anise, a seed that tastes similar to liquorice. Today, most wights and wenches have more options when it comes to hiding – nay, treating! – halitosis.
If you’re worried that oral odor may be disrupting your marital bliss, you may consider rinsing with a specialty breath freshener that keeps your mouth moist.