Benefits of homemade mouthwash and recipes on how to make it
Are you sick and tired of the small selection of mouthwashes at your grocery store, or are you fed up with the harsh alcoholic mouthwashes that leave your mouth feeling irritated and dry? If so, this article is for you. In this article we will discuss the benefits of making your own homemade mouthwash, common ingredients in mouthwashes, basic mouthwash creation procedures, and recipes for homemade mouthwash.
- The benefits of homemade mouthwash
- Common homemade mouthwash ingredients
- Basic mouthwash creation procedures
- Homemade mouthwash recipes
The benefits of homemade mouthwash
There are multiple benefits for creating your own mouthwash. Here is a list of benefits:
Inexpensive - Homemade mouthwash will be a fraction of the cost of store bought mouthwashes with the same or better performance
No harmful chemicals - Manufacturers often include dyes, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals that are harmful to you or the environment. When you make your own mouthwash, you know exactly what is it and can tender it to your needs.
Alcohol-free - It is hard to find quality mouthwash that does not contain alcohol which dries out the mouth and causes bad breath. If you make your own you can choose not to include alcohol.
You control the quality of ingredients - When you make your own mouthwash you may choose to use ingredients of only the finest quality. In order to optimize profits some manufactures may choose to cut costs by using ingredients of questionable quality.
Common homemade mouthwash ingredients
Aloe Vera Gel - Aloe vera extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Anise - A flowering plant with a flavor, which resembles liquorice, fennel and tarragon. Anise contains anethole which has potent antimicrobial properties, against bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
Basil - A herb with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. Scientific studies have shown that basil oil has potent antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
Bergamot essential oil - Is a fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow color similar to a lemon, and a pleasant fragrance. Bergamot can help calm inflamed skin and also has antiseptic properties which help ward off infection and aid recovery.
Cardamom - Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. It is used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, and is a decongestant.
Cinnamon - Is a spice obtained from bark of cinnamon trees. It inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative. Cinnamon is high in antioxidants. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties.
Clove - Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache. It also helps to decrease infection in the teeth due to its antiseptic properties. The buds have anti-oxidant properties.
Coriander - The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. It is described as nutty, warm, spicy, and orange-flavored. A study found both the leaves and seed to contain antioxidants, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect.
Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus oil is used for cleaning, deodorising, and is found commonly in cough drops, toothpaste, and decongestants. Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria.
Fennel - It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses. It contains anethole which has potent antimicrobial properties, against bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
Ginger - Has antibacterial properties and has a sialagogue action which stimulates the production of saliva.
Goldenseal - It is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and may remove canker sores when gargled.
Lemon essential oil - The acidity of lemons enables the juice to be used to deodorize, remove grease, bleach stains, and disinfect.
Mandarin essential oil - In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel of the fruit is used in the regulation of ch'i, and also used to treat abdominal distension, to enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm.
Marjoram - Similar to oregano. Has a sweet pine and citrusy flavour.
Myrrh - Is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes for prevention and treatment of gum disease. The essential oil of myrrh has powerful preservative properties.
Oregano - Similar to margoram. The leaves and flowering stems are strongly antiseptic, expectorant. Oregano is high in antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties.
Peppermint - Peppermint has a high menthol content, and is often used as tea and for flavouring ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste.
Rosemary - Contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds, including antioxidants, such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid.
Sage - Has a slight peppery flavor, and is used as an antibiotic, antifungal, astringent.
Spearmint - Has a minty flavor. The essential oil of spearmint has some antifungal activity, although less than Oregano. Spearmint has also been described as having excellent antioxidant activity.
Tea tree oil - Tea tree oil has beneficial medical properties when applied topically, including antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral action, and is also believed to have beneficial cosmetic properties.
Thyme - The essential oil of common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is made up of 20-54% thymol. Thymol is an antiseptic and is the main active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash. It was used to medicate bandages before the advent of modern antibiotics. It is also the active ingredient in some all-natural, alcohol-free hand sanitizers.
Turmeric - Is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and an antiseptic agent.
Raw honey - Although honey contains sugar, some people want a more natural sweetener. Honey contains more complex carbohydrates than regular table sugar, so they break down more slowly and are less likely to cause problems in your mouth.
Stevia - It is about 30 times as sweet as sugar. Research has shown that stevia inhibits the growth and reproduction of harmful bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Xylitol - Is a sugar alcohol sweetener used as a naturally occurring sugar substitute. The bacteria are unable to feed on xylitol so it does not cause dental cavities or bad breath.
Apple cider vinegar - Gargling apple cider is a common remedy for sore throats due to it's antibacterial properties. It assists in dissolving calcified deposits in the mouth. It is sometimes added to mouthwash.
Baking soda - Is sodium bicarbonate which works as a mechanical cleanser on the teeth and gums, neutralizes the production of acid in the mouth and also as an antiseptic to help prevent infections occurring. A paste made from sodium bicarbonate and a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial toothpastes.
Calcium carbonate - This is used as an abrasive, it is also used instead of fluoride to help remineralize the enamel of teeth.
Glycerin (Glycerol) - Is sweet-tasting humectant (keeps foodstuff moist), thickening agent, solvent, sweetener, preservative, and 60% as sweet as sucrose. Although it has about the same food energy as table sugar, it does not raise blood sugar levels, nor does it feed the bacteria that form plaques and cause dental cavities.
Gum Arabic - Gum arabic reduces the surface tension of liquids and is also a emulsifier (encourage the suspension of one liquid in another, improves consistency therefore helping your mouthwash stayed mixed). The lowering of the surface tension allows the mouthwash to enter small places easier such as between your teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide - Is a disinfectant, antiseptic, oxidizer, and bleach (whitener). Mixed with baking soda and a small amount of hand soap, hydrogen peroxide is effective at removing skunk odor. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a toothpaste when mixed with correct quantities of baking soda and salt. It should be stored in an opaque container because it breaks down quickly when exposed to light. Food Grade doesn't have the heavy metals for stabilizers, hydrogen peroxide and water, no junk or stabilizers.
The FDA has approved using up to a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution as mouthwash. Using a higher concentration than that might irritate your mouth and may do more harm than good. Food grade hydrogen peroxide is usually sold highly concentrated around 35%. Therefore it is crucial you dilute it down to 3% before using it as mouthwash.
Salt - Is sodium chloride which acts as a preservative by absorbing water. It is used in soaps, detergents, and cooking. Salt works as a preservative because it absorbs water out of bacteria therefore killing them or at least inhibiting their growth.
Vodka - Is used in some recipes for its alcohol content. We do not recommend using it due to the alcohol but you may experiment with it.
Water - Water is an essential ingredient in mouthwashes. You may experiment using boiled, mineral, soda (carbonated), or distilled water.
Basic mouthwash creation procedures
When making homemade mouthwash, there are a couple of basic ways to create it. Using these procedures you can try alternate ingredients in order to create different mouthwashes. You may experiment and try some of the herbs and ingredients listed above to try and create the best mouthwash for you.
Boil it - Bring water to a boil, add herbs to water, infuse for 20 minutes, strain, cool and bottle.
Steep it - Place herbs in bottle then pour boiling water on them, steep overnight, strain. Some people have received good results by steeping the ingredients for an entire week, while shaking them well once a day, and then straining.
Mix it - Place ingredients into a bottle and shake well. Works well when using essential oil extracts of herbs.
Generally you need heat to bring out the properties of raw or dried herbs so it is best to boil and steep your solution if using them. If you are using essential oil extracts or non herbal ingredients that do not require heat (such as salt, glycerin, baking soda) then you only need to mix the ingredients.
NOTE: When using homemade mouthwash, it is important to shake your mouthwash well every time before using to mix the ingredients as the ingredients may have settled or the essential oils have collected at the top.
TIP: All these recipes use water. Do not use TAP WATER. Tap water contains chlorine, mercury, fluoride, nitrates, and may even contain some carcinogens such as chromium-6. Use filtered, bottled, distilled, or mineral water instead of tap water.
Homemade mouthwash recipes
Here are several mouthwash recipes you may use to make your own mouthwash. Post below if you like a particular one or if you have a recipe of your own to share.
Rosemary Mint Mouthwash
Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash
Baking Soda Mouthwash
Mint and Honey Mouthwash
If you like these homemade mouthwash recipes you should check out our article on How to Make Toothpaste.