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Ask the Herbalist -Bad Breath

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ANSWERS FROM KAREN
QUESTION:
The reason I've mailed you is to tell you the problem I have been facing for the past six years.  My problem is mouth odor.  Please tell me what to eat or not eat or the herbs to eat in order to stop the bad breath. 

ANSWER:  
I'm not a doctor, but I'll give you some suggestions for your breath. Our breath is a result of what's in our stomachs usually. Also the condition of your teeth and gums. Proper dental hygiene can be the best and easiest thing to do for bad breath. Make sure you are flossing and brushing your teeth after every meal, at night before bed and in the morning when you wake up if you have a really serious problem. You can use something natural like baking soda. Avoid sweets at all costs. The smell of bad breath is actually the
waste products of the bacteria in your mouth, so get that stuff out of there! A salt water rinse several times a day can also be helpful.

If the problem is more related to your digestive tract, you need to look at what you're eating. Are you experiencing any other symptoms, like acid reflux or gas or heartburn? If so, then pay attention to what you ate that caused those symptoms and eliminate them from your diet. That should be a good start. Usually, the problem is related to poor dental health.


ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL

BAD BREATH
QUESTION:
Please send information that will help with the problem of bad breath. 
Possible allergy related.

ANSWER:
Bad Breath or Halitosis can be caused by many factors.

1. Not brushing and flossing teeth, gums and tongue regularly (after every meal would be my recommendation) allows food particles to remain in mouth and become food for bacteria which give off unpleasant odors as the food is decayed by them.

2. Eating certain aromatic foods (onions, garlic etc), this food odors are eliminated via the lungs or they just hang out in mouth after being eaten not brushed or wash away.

3. Acute or chronic infection of sinus, throat, gums or teeth (problems of the gum are called periodontal disease and bad breath is a warning sign).

4. Certain blood sugar levels are reflected as bad breath.

5. Tobacco use causes bad breath

6. Chronic dry mouth (Xerostomia) can cause bad breath.

So bad breath is a sign or symptom of another problem. Correct the problem and the bad breath will go away.

Herbally you can try:
--Parsley, Latin Named: Petroselinum sativum, P. crispum has been used to correct bad breath traditionally to minimize odors associated with Garlic and Onion ingestion. Eat fresh, dried parsley is not effective.
--We sell a mouth rinse which is great oral antiseptic, stopping infections of gums, throat and teeth which lead to bad breath. It was designed by a Dentist who is also an herbalist.

For chronic infection, use herbs appropriate for the tissue involved.
--Sage, Latin Named Salvia officinalis is used for sore throat and gingivitis, it dries excess secretion such as mucus from sinus infection. This herb might be contraindicated if the problem is dry mouth.
--Thyme, Latin Named: Thymus vulgarus, T. serphyllum used as a mouth rinse to kill fungus, bacteria and virus, strong antiseptic, good for colds and flu
--Clove, Latin Named: Eugenia aromaticum good for bad breath caused by rotting food in mouth, used in old time mouth wash and powders, herb can be drying
--Myrrh, Latin Name: Commiphora molmol, C. myrrha used for bad breath, infections of mouth, teeth, throat and sinus, long history of use for gum disease, toothache etc
--Echinacea, Purple Coneflower, Snake root, Latin Named: E. angustifolia, E. purpurea, E. pallida, E. tennessiensis, this herb beside helping to boost the immune system is a good Sialagogue, boosting salivation, and as a mouth rinse or gargle it has been used for strep and sore throat and gingivitis. 
--Wild Indigo, Latin Named: Baptisia tinctora good for sore and strep throat, mouth and gum abscess good gargle and mouthwash, stimulate immune system, best when combined with Echinacea. Does have potential for toxicity in overdose.
--Spilanthes, Toothache plant, Latin Named: Spilanthes oleracea this herb is anitfungal and antibacterial, it good for thrush, pyorrhea, gingivitis and toothache.
--Frankincense, Gummi Olibanum, Latin Named: Boswellia carterii This herb is antibacterial, used topically for sores, increases circulation, used for toothache. Used with Myrrh for pyorrhea, gingivitis.
--Goldenseal, Oregon Grape and Barberry are all good topically for mouth rinse, sore/strep throat gargle, infections.

In General:
--Quit using tobacco
--Please see a practitioner in your area to be tested for blood sugar problems.
--Brush and floss teeth several times a day, especially after each meal. Use herbal rinse as an antiseptic and breath freshener.
--For chronic dry mouth drink more and try to breath through nose. Dry mouth is also associated with diabetes.  Marshmallow, Latin Name: Althea officinalis has been used for dry mouth, throat conditions, it energetics are cold and damp
      A final thought, if your problem is gum disease, increase use of Ginkgo, Vitamin E and CoQ10 which increase circulation to gums.