Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

Reduce Salt and Increase Fresh Herbs

Friday, September 6th, 2013

1186668_71552385Many of us try to incorporate more vegetables and less processed foods into our diets, but it isn’t always easy. Whether you are running errands throughout the day, working or trying to make food for the entire family, it can be hard to make everything from scratch. On August 29, we hope you took a step toward a healthier life and celebrated More Herbs, Less Salt Day – if not, there’s always next year! Herbs not only add flavor and zest to otherwise bland dishes, they contain antioxidants and vitamins for a healthy body and mouth. Ever feel like your breath is less than fresh? Try to incorporate these bad breath-fighting herbs into your meals:

Known as an ancient herb with healing powers, sage is effective against halitosis because it helps to get rid of the bad breath-causing bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. Luckily, sage is super yummy as well, so you can add it to pastas, lean meats, salads or soups. Other spices with similar taste and power as sage include rosemary and thyme.

Fresh basil leaves have an incredibly pungent, delicious smell, so you can imagine the effect that a few of these leaves will have on your halitosis. Basil, like other leafy greens like parsley, contains chlorophyll that is a natural deodorizer for your bad breath. Have you ever wondered why some restaurants will garnish your plate with a parsley sprig? No, it’s not just for looks. This is to freshen your breath after a meal. Basil and parsley are also great spices for virtually any meal. Try a fresh caprese salad with your meal and chicken seasoned with parsley.

This one should be pretty obvious. Peppermint is a common choice for getting rid of bad breath because it leaves you with a minty fresh taste in your mouth without added sugar that you would find in peppermint gums and candies. How do you add peppermint into your daily diet? Sip on peppermint-infused tea, or even add a few drops of peppermint extract to your tea. If you’re in a pinch and need to freshen your breath quickly, you can simply chew on a few peppermint sprigs and you’ll knock that smelly breath out of the water.


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Ironically, Some Halitosis ‘Cures’ Cause Bad Breath

Monday, March 11th, 2013

1106110_60320901Bad breath isn’t an acute health problem – that is, it doesn’t happen suddenly or just once. (Unlike, say, a broken bone or chicken pox.) Instead, halitosis is a chronic condition, one that recurs and, for some people, lasts for years without going away at all. This regularity is what makes specialty breath freshening technology so important. Without alcohol-free mouthwashes, periotherapy rinses or oral care probiotics, it’d be vastly harder to keep oral odor at bay.

While non-specialty products either don’t work or have fleeting effects at best, a few products – many of which are ironically marketed as bad breath “cures” – go so far as to cause bad breath. Here are some of the worst offenders, listed in no particular order.

- Herbs. There’s a lot to be said for herbal remedies. After all, they’re where clinical and specialty treatments came from. Yet, there are two sides to that coin. As Irish stand-up comedian Dara O’Briain puts it, “we tested herbal medicines, and what worked became medicine.” His point, embedded in an extended bit on clinical quackery, is that things that sound too good to be true usually are, particularly if they’re marketed as an alternative treatment with a notably vague mechanism of action. Two good cases in point are cayenne pepper and garlic, both of which routinely get recommended as treatments for canker sores. While both are technically good for you, neither is proven to have any significant effect on oral sores or the odor they cause. And, by the way, cayenne pepper on a canker sore? Not a good idea, unless you want to spend 15 minutes shrieking in pain.

- Licorice root. As with the herbs listed above, licorice is sometimes touted as a treatment for odor-causing canker sores. However, after searching the medical literature on the subject, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) could only find one very small study demonstrating anything to that effect. Larger investigations of licorice root and canker sores just don’t exist, so stick to your specialty breath fresheners for now. (more…)

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Cures for Halitosis?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

As a dentist, and an oral care expert, I am constantly being asked about cures for bad breath. Some are more out-there than others. While there are many so-called cures for halitosis, are they really effective? Here are some that you might find interesting and are definitely worth noting.

I’m a big believer in using specialty breath-freshening products to bust bad breath. These include rinsing with an odor-neutralizing mouthwash, gently using a tongue scraper and having an oral probiotics regimen. But can chewing roots or herbs be a natural halitosis cure?  The notion that herbs can help cure bad breath has been around for a long time and it’s totally unfounded. Natural herbs and spices such as turmeric, coriander, mint and sage have been used for hundreds of years to freshen breath. While these flavorful fighters help to cover up bad breath, they really don’t address the bacteria that cause it. The journal Internal and Emergency Medicine states that an ancient Egyptian cure for halitosis can be found in the Eber Papyrus which dates back to 1550 BC. What was Greek physician Hippocrates’s suggestion to kill oral odor? This Father of Western Medicine suggested rinsing one’s mouth with anise, dill seeds and wine. Herbal remedies for bad breath aren’t just a thing of the past –  you can find many books at your local bookstore that recommend remedies such as eating items to freshen breath that include: celery, parsley, coriander, cabbage and carrots. The book Prescription for Herbal Healing, written by nutritional consultant Phyllis Balch, lists tea tree oil, alfalfa, cat’s claw, hawthorn and grape root to strike oral odor. Are these natural elements a cure for halitosis? While they can help take care of bad breath, long term they won’t affect the bacteria in the oral cavity, so halitosis will reoccur. The best bet to neutralize bad breath at its source it to use oral care products that address the volatile sulfur compounds that cause it. However, there’s nothing wrong with snacking on some crisp fruits and vegetables to help the process along – just be sure to brush afterwards so you don’t give oral microbes more to eat and thrive.


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Natural Herbs That Help Get Rid of Bad Breath

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Try an alternative to mouthwash.  What natural herbs help freshen breath?  Try out parsley, basil or coriander.  These herbs contain chlorophyll, the green plant pigment, which serves as a strong breath freshener

Here are some others:

Anise:  This is a licorice-flavored herb whose seeds have been used for a long time to freshen breath.

Cardamom:  This contains cineole, which is a potent antiseptic that kills the bad breath-causing bacteria.  You can chew the seeds and spit them out. 

Dill:  also rich in chlorophyll.  You can chew the seeds, or make dill tea by adding mashed seeds or the leaves to boiling water.

Peppermint tea:  This is an antiseptic that gets rid of bad breath as well.