Herbs don't eliminate halitosis any better than alcohol-free mouthwash
SUMMARY: While chewing basil or parsley might sound like a good idea, it's not an especially effective way to freshen breath.
Posted: July 30, 2012
Sure, there are plenty of simple, solid ways to eliminate bad breath. Most of them involve using an all-natural specialty breath freshener, like an oxygenating periotherapy rinse or an alcohol-free mouthwash. But just because they're all-natural and contain herbal extracts doesn't mean that chewing on actual herbs will do the job any better.
If anything, consuming herbs will simply give odor-causing bacteria more to feast on.
Recently, homeopathist and reiki practitioner Natalie Marx addressed this very topic in her column, Alternatively Speaking, for the Jerusalem Post. In response to a question about chronic bad breath, Marx explained that chewing herbs may reduce halitosis.
She recommended trying basil, parsley, mint, thyme, anise, fennel, cinnamon or cardamom. The columnist also pointed to toothpastes that use tea tree oil and cloves, and she added that gargling with lemon juice or eating apples may help.
We must add that eating anything, even astringent fruits or vegetables, does little except give microbes more food to munch on.
Of course, Marx is aware of this. She recommended brushing for two minutes and using an alcohol-free mouthwash after chewing herbs. But if these products don't eliminate the odor (and they wouldn't, or else why the need to chew on herbs in the first place?), then isn't it better to simply ditch the herbs and your toothpaste, and buy specialty breath fresheners that work?
That way, you can neutralize bad breath without grinding cardamom seeds between your teeth or chewing on dry-as-dust cinnamon.
And anyway, have you seen anyone do the Cinnamon Challenge? Check out a few YouTube videos - you'll see. It'll make you never, ever want to put raw cinnamon on your tongue.