Killing bacteria is vital to dental health. But keep in mind, there is “good” bacteria in our mouth that helps to ward off other invaders. So we don’t want to blindly nuke our entire mouth. That is the danger in overusing many commercial mouth washes.
Many of those commercial products contain significant levels of alcohol. Bathing the mouth in this burning solution is not only wiping out the bad guys, they are destroying your good bacteria. In addition to that, the alcohol leeches out moisture from your gums. And we don’t want to do that either.
This “scorched Earth” method of dental care can leave the mouth in a state that is more vulnerable than before we incinerated the environment with caustic chemicals.
By using herbs we may still wipe out the good guys, but herbs do SO much more than just kill bacteria. They nourish tissue, they stimulate immune response, they tone the gums, they can even help to hydrate and build new tissue. These are all additional benefits of various anti-bacterial herbs. Let’s see the run of the mill alcohol based mouthwash do all that!
There are so many herbs that kill bacteria, so I will list my personal favorites here. In many of these descriptions you will see what else the herb can do for the health of your mouth, aside from just killing bacteria. To use any of these herbs, follow the tips listed at the end of this article.
Herbs To Kill Bad Mouth Bacteria
Powdered Myrrh gum is astringent, a natural antiseptic, & increases white blood cells in damaged or infected areas. This is important because white blood cells are one of our first lines of defense against infection.
Thyme (the same one you cook with) contains an essential oil that is one of the most powerful disinfectants known. It also freshens breath, a definite plus.
Neem is a super-bitter herb from India, but has such powerful antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-protozoal properties, one ought to consider tolerating the unpleasant flavor to get the benefits.
As a frame of reference for how nicely Neem co-exists with life supporting tissue, many botanists use Neem oil to kill and repel pests and the plants love it! Adding a drop of Peppermint essential oil or some powdered Cinnamon can mask the bitterness and contribute healing benefits as well.
Although I do not advocate the daily use of Goldenseal due to its endangered status, I will use it for serious bacterial infections, like one would use an antibiotic. It has a fabulous toning effect on gum tissue, and is a powerful antibacterial.
Use for up to 10 days for a serious gum or mouth infection. This is another extremely bitter herb, which, like Neem, can be masked with other flavors.
Echinacea not only kills bacteria; it is a powerful immune stimulant, mobilizing T-cell lymphocytes. When applied topically, it will bring immune cells to the area, so that the tissue can begin to repair itself. It is excellent for dealing with toxins and poisons, and will increase the functioning and cleansing of lymph glands.
We hope this description of herbal allies helps you see how they can help fill the void created by commercial mouthwashes.
How To Use Herbs That Kill Bacteria
Here are some ideas for how to administer your herbs. Different methods will be more or less preferable to different people. If you have any questions, stop by or call to speak to one of our herbalists.
- Make a strong tea of your favorite herb and swish around mouth and gums for at least one minute, 3 times daily.
- Squirt 2 droppers of your preferred herb in tincture form into an ounce of purified water and use as a mouthwash, pulling it through teeth and swishing it around for a minute or two.
- Sprinkle finely powdered herbs on your toothbrush, alone, or with natural toothpaste. Brush as usual, paying attention to the gum line.
- Treat a problem area by making a paste of your chosen herbal ally and a little water, and pack it on the affected area. You can also put the paste in a bit of cheese cloth, and roll into a small bullet-shape. It will last longer this way, and will stay where you put it.
Next…click here to learn about herbs for dental pain.