Making Mouthwash

March 6th, 2012 by

     Once a year my family visits the dentist for a checkup and a cleaning.  We always pray that the visit does not include any fillings!  However, my husband has had his fair share of fillings and they are expensive!!  We’ve drastically reduced our dental bills, however, by reducing the amount of processed foods we consume, including pop, candy, sugar, and white flour, eating more vegetables, and switching to xylitol gum.  A few years ago, when I was on a “Master Cleanse” kick, I found a book that contained a recipe for a “tooth cleanse”.  We tried it, and found that when we used the product before bed time our teeth had less plaque in the morning, our breath was fresher, and our gums looked healthier.  I “tweaked” the recipe slightly to accommodate our taste preference and to reduce the alcohol content of the recipe.  

      Instead of just posting about how to make this mouthwash recipe, I decided to tackle my fear of technology and make a YouTube video.  It will walk you through all the steps of making mouthwash.

     For this recipe you will need:

                      1 quart Mason (canning) jar with a lid

                      3 Tbsp. spearmint leaves (dried, cut, and sifted)

                      1 rounded Tbsp. blood root (Sanguinaria) pieces, dried

                      1 tsp. Myhrr pieces

                      1 cup 100 proof (80 proof is also acceptable) high quality vodka

                      1/2 cup aloe juice

                      1/2 cup witch hazel

                      2 1/4 cup filtered water

                      flour sack dish towel

                      glass bottle with a tight fitting lid/cork

     Combine the dried spearmint, blood root, and myrrh in your Mason jar.  Add the vodka.  Mix thoroughly.  Label and set aside for 2 weeks mixing once or twice daily.  Strain liquid through dish towel.  Add aloe, witch hazel, and water.  Store in glass bottle.

     The “key” to this recipe is the blood root.  Blood root (technically Sanguinaria) is an extreme immune stimulating herb.  It is also one of the “secret” ingredients in many cancer formulas including the notorious “Black Salve”.  It has been used for centuries in North America by indigenous peoples because of its anti-infective properties.  Theoretically, this herb helps reduce bacteria in the mouth that can lead to plaque, which causes gingivitis, tooth decay, bad breath, etc.

     Myrrh originates in the Middle East.  Myrrh is also a valued item for its healing properties.  It was once of the gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus.

     Spearmint is a “cooling” herb.  It reduces inflammation, promotes proper digestion, and freshens breath.  I add spearmint essential oil (3-5 drops) to this recipe as well, because my husband likes the spearmint taste, and it takes quite a lot to cover up the bitter taste of the blood root.

     There is always controversy around the use of alcohol in mouthwash preparations, because alcohol actually dries out the mouth, which can increase the occurrence of bad breath.  However, water will not absorb the nutrition from the herbs, and especially if you use a “community” bottle, it will not prevent the product from spoiling.  You will need to use either alcohol or vegetable glycerin to extract the herbal properties.  I chose not to use vegetable glycerin because it also adds sugar, which we are trying to avoid putting in our mouth before bed!  Instead, I use only enough alcohol to extract the herbal properties, and add witch hazel, an astringent and preservative made from the bark of a tree, and aloe juice as an anti-inflammatory.

     The taste of this mouthwash is actually quite cooling and pleasant.  It is also quite inexpensive to make, and has saved us hundreds of dollars (in my best estimate) of expensive dentist bills! 

     For Health,

     Summer Joy

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