Whether caused by an easily controlled problem or the result of a more serious condition, you don’t want to live with bad breath. The good news is – you don’t have to. The following seven herbs have been proven to go beyond trying to hide bad breath and help to actually get rid of it. When used, especially together, these herbs help cleanse your mouth and freshen your breath.
A large majority of toothpastes contain peppermint flavoring, and this isn’t by accident. Peppermint has the ability to give the mouth a fresh, clean feeling. Essential oils from peppermint (real peppermint, not flavoring) does much more than create a fresh feeling. One study showed that peppermint oils actually help reduce bad breath more effectively than a lab-produced chemical rinse. 
2. Tea Tree
Tea tree oil has been long known among natural health practitioners for its toxicity to harmful, bad breath causing organisms. With these powerful properties, researchers have examined the effectiveness of tea tree oil extract in mouth rinses. One such study found tea tree oil eliminated a wider range of microorganisms than the chemical chlorhexidine.  Another study found that Solobacterium moorei, a bacteria associated with halitosis, was highly susceptible to the effects of tea tree oil.  Included in a rinse, it offers a complete cleansing effect in the battle against bad breath. Tea tree oil has also been found successful in addressing Candida, which can cause bad breath. 
Sage has been known since ancient times as a healing herb. Modern research has only validated its effectiveness against harmful organisms and its powerful halitosis fighting abilities. Sage has been shown to be effective against bad breath causing organisms such as Candida albicans, Streptoccocus mutans, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. 
Myrrh has been used for thousands of years in a myriad of ways. For those looking to battle bad breath – whatever the cause – myrrh is a potent natural remedy because it helps cleanse the mouth of germs and also addresses conditions that may encourage future growth.  
In Chinese medicine, bad breath is considered a result of Qi stagnation. According to the Chinese, clove encourages Qi flow and clove has a long history in Chinese medicine for remedying bad breath. Modern studies have found clove to be an effective component of mouth rinses. In one study, participants preferred it to a chemical based mouth rinse in terms of taste, after-taste and ease of use.  The authors of this study also noted that mouth rinses using herbs like cloves also presented viable alternatives for individuals who could not use chemical rinses.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a natural product swirled around in the mouth would taste and feel better than something out of the lab.
6. Pine Needle
Pine resins and oils have been used historically for a range of medicinal therapies. Pine naturally contains terpene alcohols which are potent cleansing agents and toxic to harmful organisms. Researchers have also determined pine oils offer powerful antioxidant properties.  As a component of a mouth rinse, pine needle supports overall mouth health!
For reducing bad breath, eucalyptus has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness. In a 2010 study, eucalyptus was found to eliminate mouth malodor by significantly reducing volatile sulfur compounds (the ones that make your breath wretched).  The success of eucalyptus in this study demonstrated that its cleansing effects worked both in the lab, as well as in practice.
Relieving Bad Breath with Herbal Remedies
These herbal remedies have been used medicinally for centuries! Current research has only proven what natural healers have known for ages… these natural remedies work! Essential oils are available for all of them and can be made into a mouth rinse or added to your toothbrush. Peppermint and sage leaves can also be chewed. In either case, remember to look for organic herbs. If you’d like to avoid a few of the manual steps and enjoy an excellent combination of all these beneficial herbs, Global Healing Center offers a completely organic breath freshening spray, Fresh Mouth, which has helped many people overcome their bad breath.
Have you used any of these herbs for your bad breath? How did they work? Please leave a comment and share your experience.
- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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- Lawless, J. (2002) The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Harper Collins, p135.
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