If you're in need of a halitosis cure, you may need to look no farther than a specialty breath freshening kit, especially one that includes a tongue scraper, an odor-neutralizing rinse and a daily probiotics regimen. Such products can be a radical improvement over complementary breath freshening methods, like chewing herbs or roots.
The idea that herbs can eliminate bad breath is an old one, and in a sense it is true. Some plants - like mint, sage, coriander or turmeric - have been used for centuries to freshen mouths. The only problem is that these herbs do nothing to kill bacteria, the underlying cause of more than 90 percent of all oral odor.
Herbal halitosis cures - the word "cure" being loosely applied here - have existed for millennia. According to an article in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine, an ancient Egyptian remedy for bad breath appears on the Eber Papyrus, a scroll that dates from 1550 BC.
The Greek physician Hippocrates, the so-called Father of Western Medicine, recommended that those with halitosis try rinsing their mouths with wine, dill seeds and anise, the study noted.
Today, equally unusual herbal remedies for halitosis still abound. The manual Doc Herb's Plant Survivalist suggests eating cabbage, celery, carrots, coriander or parsley to freshen breath. Nutritional consultant Phyllis Balch's book Prescription for Herbal Healing points to alfalfa, grape root, cat's claw, hawthorn and tea tree oil as possible halitosis cures.
While these roots, extracts and herbs may temporarily mask the scent of oral odor, they'll do little in the long run to eliminate bacteria. In fact, many plant foods give oral microorganisms more to chew on. Specialty breath fresheners, on the other hand, target your mouth's microbes first and foremost.
By neutralizing the bacteria that contribute to halitosis, you may be able to sweeten your breath and skip the alfalfa.