Tag Archives: Baking soda

Dental Hygiene Recipes


source:  http://www.healthextremist.com/make-your-own-baking-soda-and-coconut-oil-toothpaste/
Did you know that you can make your own coconut oil toothpaste with just a few simple ingredients that you have in your kitchen?
Not only is coconut oil toothpaste effective, with it you can avoid all of the chemicals and toxic ingredients in commercial toothpaste and save money!
I started making my own toothpaste a little over a year ago after discovering a few  ingredients in a “natural” toothpaste that I wasn’t comfortable using.  This toothpaste is a great alternative and is very easy to make!

Ingredients to Watch Out for In Toothpaste baking-soda-toothpaste
All commercial toothpaste contain harmful and toxic ingredients, such as; titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue Dye # 1 & 2, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium fluoride. These ingredients can also be found in toothpaste that is labeled “all natural”, particularly sodium fluoride. These chemicals are not only harmful to your delicate tooth enamel, they also affect your overall health! Glycerin is another ingredient to be cautious of as it can inhibit remineralization of teeth. It is often an ingredient in fluoride-free toothpaste as well.
How Coconut Oil Toothpaste Works
Coconut oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal! Studies have shown that coconut oil destroys the bacteria that can cause tooth decay. The other primary ingredient in this toothpaste is baking soda. Baking soda is a very mild abrasive which aids in cleaning and whitening teeth, and restoring pH balance.

Homemade Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Toothpaste Ingredients:
•    2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
•    2 tablespoons Baking Soda
•    10 drops of Peppermint oil (optional)
*You can make a larger or smaller batch depending on how long you would like it to last and what size container you’re storing it in.
1. Mix baking soda and coconut oil in a small container, until it forms a paste like consistency
2. Add several drops of peppermint oil and mix (*peppermint is optional)

simply a wonderful page of dental hygiene during medieval era  ….

source:  http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/teeth.html#Sage_tooth_whitening_scrub

Dental Hygiene Recipes and Suggestions

Water Rinse

Hildegarde of Bingen, Physica, 1158 (German)
“One who wishes to have hard, healthy teeth should take pure, cold water into his mouth in the morning, when he gets out of bed. He should hold it for a little while in his mouth so that the mucus around his teeth become soft, and so this water might wash his teeth. If he does this often, the mucus around his teeth will not increase, and his teeth will remain healthy. Since the mucus adheres to the teeth during sleep,  when the person rises from sleep he should clean them with cold water, which cleans teeth better than warm water. Warm water makes them more fragile.” (Book 2, Section 2]
Provided is a goblet and pitcher of cold water.

What happened when I tried it?

I took a mouthfull of cold water immediately upon getting up, and swished it around the mouth until it warmed up a bit (1-2 minutes), then spat it out. My mouth certainly felt less gunky and some of the early-morning buildup appeared to be gone.

Would it work?
Bearing in mind that people in the middle ages and Renaissance seldom if ever drank plain cold water, a quick morning rinse might well remove some of the tartar and bacteria that attack the teeth. Holding cold water in the mouth for a few minutes, swishing it around and spitting it out, certainly leaves the mouth feeling cleaner, especially when done first thing upon awakening. It would certainly loosen stuck particles of food adhering to the teeth.

Wine Rinse and Herb chewing

Trotula, 11th Century, On Women’s Cosmetics (book 3)
“The woman should wash her mouth after dinner with very good wine. Then she ought to dry [her teeth] very well and wipe [them] with a new white cloth. Finally, let her chew each day fennel or lovage or parsley, which is better to chew because it gives off a good smell and cleans good gums and makes the teeth very white.”
Provided is a [empty] goblet of which would hold white wine, a white cloth for polishing the teeth, and green herbs to chew.

White wine was my choice because in the few instances where type is specified in other tooth care items I’ve looked at, it has been white. Fennel and Parsley are included because that is what is available fresh at this time of year. Lovage, a slightly soapy tasting relative of celery, is not commercially available. All of these have seeds, but I choose to go with the fresh plant material since parsley is generally the herb, and I generalized from there that lovage and fennel would also be the herbs rather than seed.

What happened when I tried it?
Rinsing out the mouth with wine loosened some particles of food, and certainly left the mouth feeling less gunky– but this might have been influenced by the use of a white wine. I suspect the percieved cleaning effect varies depending on how dry the wine is. Rubbing the teeth with the cloth removed more tartar and food particles. Chewing either fennel or parsely made the mouth smell of those herbs, not of the previously consumed food.

Would it work?
Essentially, you are washing the mouth out with an alcohol (though slightly sweet alcohol) and chewing green herbs that are high in chlorophyll. It has been established for years that chlorophyll is what allows parsley to kill bad breath and fishy or garlic breath. Fennel and lovage would also add a spicy scent to the breath. So the wine might kill some bacteria and loosen stuck food, and the chlorophyll would help with any bad breath.

Mint mouthwash

Bankes’ Herbal, 1525
“For the stinking of the mouth and filth of the gums and of the teeth, wash thy mouth and gums with vinegar that mints have been sodden in; after that, rub them with the powder of mints or with dry mints.”
1 pint jar filled with mint sprigs (Mentha Citrata, orange bergamot mint)
1 pint red wine vinegar
Vinegar was poured over the mint and left to steep all winter; for use, the vinegar is poured off and used to rinse the mouth.

Finely cut dried mint is provided to rub the teeth with.

I used Mentha citrata because that was what I happened to have a lot of. Mentha citrata is not the North American Bergamot, but a variety of plain European mint that is carries a whiff of the bergamot citrus fruit. While I can’t document that this particular variety existed in Europe before 1601, its existence as a cultivar is quite possible. Walafrid of Strabo (9th century) points out how vigorously mint hybridizes: “Mint. . . in all its varieties. How many there are I might as well try to count the sparks from Vulcan’s furnace beneath Etna.”

Mint’s action against halitosis and indigestion was well known to period herbalists and appears again and again. It’s also associated with eating, as in Ovid where someone rubs the table with the herb before setting the table for dinner .

What happened when I tried it?
Oh, my mouth felt clean all right! I had to rinse with water after ward to remove the tart taste. I don’t know that it reduced the tartar content, but I certainly felt that I had killed the germs that caused bad breath. I smelled strongly of mint vinegar for about 15 minutes at least afterward.

Would it work?
The acidic nature of the vinegar might discourage some bacteria as well as eating into tartar a bit, and the minty flavor would refresh; the gums might also help in cases of gum sores and gum disease. Rubbing the teeth with anything would also help remove accumulated sugars and gunk.

Wine washes and tooth rubbing

Gilbertus Anglicus, [England], 11th century
“. . . let the mouth be washed with wine that birch or mint has simmered in. And let the gums be well rubbed with a sharp linen cloth until they bleed. And let him eat marjoram, mint, and pellitory, til they are well chewed. And let him rub well his teeth with the chewed herbs and also his gums. . . .
And let him drink every evening wine that hyssop, or cinnamon, or spike, or quibibis (fruit of Piperaceae, Piper cubeba) has simmered in.. . And after every meal, let him wash well his mouth and rub well his gums and his teeth so that no corrupt matter abides among the teeth.”
Redaction #1: Mint wine [in deference to site policies, this wine is with the Brewing entries across the street]
6 sprigs of fresh spearmint/garden mint about 3-4″ long, with about 40 leaves between them.
2.5 cups white wine
Simmered until all the mint is light brown in color, then poured into a container and allowed to steep.

Redaction #2: Mint wine
[in deference to site policies, this wine is with the Brewing entries across the street]
2 tablespoons of dried peppermint
1 cup white wine
Simmered for half an hour and set aside to cool.

The dried mixture came out more flavored, but I think the fresh version might be more chemically active.

Herb Chew/Rub:
Fresh marjoram and mint, equal parts

Just to make the instructions complete, I include here a paste made of marjoram and mint. Unfortunately, you cannot obtain pellitory commercially, and my pellitory-of-the-wall plant has not come back this spring. Rather than leaving the judges to masticate their own, I’ve combined equal parts of the fresh leaves in a mortar and pestle.

Gerard says, “Sweet marjerome is a remedy against cold diseases of the braine and head, being taken any way to your best liking,.. the leaves are excellent good to be put into all odoriferous ointments, waters, pouders, broths and meates” and combined with the mint (whose digestive properties are covered above)

Redaction: After-dinner wine [in deference to site policies, this wine is with the Brewing entries across the street]
1 tablespoons of cinnamon (cassia) chips or one cinnamon stick
1.5 cups of red wine
Simmered for 20 minutes

I used red wine mostly as an alternative to the white, though it also seemed more of an after-dinner drink. Of the four possible additives (hyssop, cinnamon, spike, or cubebs) I chose cinnamon/cassia as the most like a hypocras (after-dinner mulled wine) spice by itself. All of those period herbs/spices were considered heating and astringent.
I used cassia (the type of ‘cinnamon’ sold in American stores) instead of true cinnamon because that was what I had available; I probably would have used a larger quantity of cinnamon had I used that instead of cassia.

This left a harsh tasting wine, but the quality of the wine seems to be more indicative of the product than the presence of cinnamon.

What happened when I tried it?

Rinsing with the mint wine and rubbing with a cloth made my teeth feel cleaner and less gummy. The faint odor of the mint lingered for a few minutes. Chewing the herbs made my breath sweeter. Rubbing them on my teeth caused some of the green to stain the teeth, though, but it eased some of the soreness of the rubbed gums. The After-dinner wine didn’t seem to do much, but rinsing the teeth and rubbing them felt significantly like modern toothbrushing.

Would this work?
Rinsing the mouth with alcohol, especially combined with an herb known to combat digestive illness and halitosis, would be a good first step in cleaning the teeth. Rubbing the teeth with a high chlorophyll, low sugar paste would also remove stuck food and buildup, and help with bad breath, and the recommendations to clean the teeth and to finish meals with wine with antiseptic spices might well cut down the buildup and disrupt the lives of bacteria in the mouth.

Rosemary Charcoal Rub

Bankes’ Herbal, 1525 [English]
“Also take the timber thereof [rosemary] and burn it to coals and make powder thereof and put it into a linen cloth and rub thy teeth therewith, and if there be any worms therein, it shall slay them and keep thy teeth from all evils.”
I burned about a small plant’s worth of dried rosemary stems, and wrapped the remains in a piece of linen. For convenience, I’ve drawn this package tight with a piece of string, though the original users probably simply made a twist in the fabric. It didn’t seem reasonable to sew this closed or make a permanent rubber in any way, since the damp ash/charcoal would probably be discarded.

Burning rosemary is a long and ardous process: I finished it by browning the remaining sticks in an iron pan on the stovetop! I suspect using the actual wood from the trunk of a more mature rosemary bush would be better.

Rosemary charcoal is also used in a mixture of rosemary charcoal and ‘burnt alum’ to be rubbed on the teeth that appears in Plat’s Delightes for Ladies, originally published 1602. The author of Banckes’ Herbal, as well as other herbalists, had great faith in rosemary’s “worth against all evils in the body.”

What happened when I tried it?
As when the teeth are rubbed with a regular cloth, some of the gunk came off on the teeth. The charcoal inside did add to the abrasiveness. The ashy taste was not exceedingly pleasant, but the wet bundle of ash did make a decent rubber and tasted better than regular wood ash.

Would it work?
The ashes would certainly help change the pH of the mouth temporarily; also, the rosemary is somewhat antiseptic, though burnt it would have lost most of its essential oil. As in the other cases, the best benefit of this recipe would come from rubbing the teeth with the cloth and the slightly abrasive charcoal.

Sage tooth whitening scrub

Gervase Markham, The English Housewife. 1615

“For teeth that are yellow:
Take sage and salt, of each alike, and stamp them well together, then bake till it be hard, and make a fine powder thereof, then therewith rub the teeth evening and morning and it will take away all yellowness.”
I wasn’t sure whether the sage should be fresh or dried, so I tried it both ways. I also wasn’t sure if ‘of each alike’ meant equal volumes or equal weights.

Redaction: Mixture #1
1 quarter cup of dried sage leaves, firmly packed.
1 quarter cup of seal salt
Ground together in a mortar until combined into a sort of green salt mixture, spread on a baking sheet and heated at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, and 350 for 30 minutes

The mixture never showed any sign of hardening. The mixture did make a strong, bitter/astringent tooth powder though, when I tried it.

Redaction: Mixture #2
60 fresh (small) sage leaves
2 tablespoons sea salt
I beat the sage leaves into the salt in groups of 10-20 leaves, adding sufficient leaves to form a rather dry paste. More sage and less salt would have formed a thicker paste; I may try that next time. When spread on a baking sheet baked for 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven, it did form a hard crust. I left it in the oven overnight to dry, crumbled it up, and stored it in a container.

From the results, I suspect that equal weights of salt and sage are meant, and that the fresh sage is indicated.

Belief in sage’s antiseptic and healing properties is cited in Banckes’ Herbal:  “It will make a man’s body clean; therefore who that useth to eat of this herb or drink it, it is marvel that any inconvenience should grieve them that use it.”

What happened when I tried it?
I rubbed some on my teeth with a finger, and also tried it with a toothbrush. The effect was similar to toothpaste, though a bit mouth-puckering. Certainly, gunk was removed from the teeth and the breath was fresher; the mouth (after rinsing) felt cleaner too!

Would this work?
Salt is one of the common alternative tooth brushing powders suggested in modern texts, and its granular nature would help polish the teeth. The chlorophyll in green herbs such as sage freshen the breath, and sage is a somewhat astringent/antiseptic, so it might promote gum health and discourage bacteria growth. It certainly worked fine as a tooth powder.

Breath freshening powder

Gilbertus Anglicus, about 1400, English
“And let him use this powder: Take of pepper, one ounce; and of mint, as much; and of rock salt, as much. And make him to chew this powder a good while in his mouth, and then swallow it down.”
1 oz pepper
1 oz dried peppermint leaves, ground
1 oz kosher salt
Mixed together.

I chose to use dried peppermint because a powder is indicated. This recipe created a lot more than could be concievably used at one sitting, so I suspect a spoonful or less, chewed and swallowed, is indicated.

What happened when I tried it?
This recipe produces a spicy, hot tasting, slightly abrasive chew, which certainly makes the mouth feel fresher. I didn’t think my teeth were markedly cleaned, though.

Would it work?
The salt, the essential oil in the peppermint and the almost caustic oil of the pepper would combine to make the mouth at least temporarily hostile to bacteria. It would also give the patient a temporarily positive breath smell, and chewing the salt might loosen some food particles.

Spice Balls

Gilbertus Anglicus, 15th century, English
“And let him use these pills that are good for all manner of stinking of the mouth: Take of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and mace, eight drams; of red sandlewood, ten drams; of quibibis, seven drams; of cardamom, five drams. Mix them with the juice of mint and make pills of the size of a fig. And let him to have two of them under either side of his tongue at once.”

One (modern) dram is a little over a teaspoon, so I cut the recipe down significantly:

1 tsp. Saunders (red Sandalwood)
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Mace
3/4 teaspoon Cloves
3/4 teaspoon  Nutmeg
scant 3/4 teaspoon  Cubebs
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
1-2 bunches mint
The other spices were ground and combined.
The Mint was macerated in a food processor and the juice strained through a muslin bag to wet the spices. The resulting paste was rolled into balls about the size of a dime, which were really too big to fit two under the tongue, but smaller than figs. I’m not sure how the original author would fit two fig sized balls under the tongue– perhaps he was thinking of raisins.

What happened when I tried it?
I tried putting one pea sized ball under one side of my tongue. There was a certain amount of burning sensation caused by the hot spices, but the breath was noticeably sweet!

Would it work?
The patient would certainly have breath that smelled of spices and the essential oils of the spices could well disrupt the life cycles of bacteria that cause bad breath either in the mouth, sinuses or stomach. Both Spices and mint were believed to promote digestion, and good digestion was believed by all authors to assist with bad breath. I’m unclear on the reason for including red sandalwood– it’s a food coloring and the modern stuff has no smell of its own, but would stain the inside of teeth a bit. It doesn’t produce the tartar-test red effect, because sandalwood isn’t soluble in water, just in alcohol.

Women’s Breath freshener

Trotula, 11th Century, On Women’s Cosmetics (book 3)

“I saw a  certain Saracen woman liberate many people with this medicine. Take  little bit of laurel leaves, and a little bit of musk, and let her hold it under the tongue before bad break is perceived in her. When I recommend that day and night and especially when she has to have sexual intercourse with anyone she hold these things under her tongue.”


Provided are 3 redactions:

  • fresh bay leaves (to try)
  • a bay leaf treated with musk fragrance (to smell)
  • some bay leaves soaked in orange-flower water (to smell or try)

A laurel leaf is in fact a leaf of the bay laurel, called ‘bay leaves’. A piece of bay leaf about 1 cm square seems to be the most manageable and comfortable size, especially if it is to be kept in place during vigorous exercise.

Natural musk is an animal product, in texture similar to an oleoresin. However, since we now consider it cruel to slaughter deer simply for the contents of the glands in their buttocks, the real thing is no longer available. In Australia, musk flavored Lifesavers are available, but I was unable to find musk food-flavoring here in the US. So I had to settle for a non-foodsafe synthetic musk fragrance
oil, Jakarta Musk, and mix it with the bay by anointing the leaf with it.

Kirel from the SCA-Cooks list suggested that the flavor of musk is in the same category as orangeflower water. So I’ve also soaked a bay leaf in some orange-flower water. My experience of medieval and renaissance recipes is that musk is generally used more for scent than for medicinal properties, so this substitution would not likely decrease any medical properties. Orange-flower water is mentioned in the Manual de Mugeres, a Spanish text, so while it might not have been available to the original readers of Trotula, it would be available in the Mediterranean later on, and used for perfuming purposes.

What happened when I tried it?

When I tried keeping the bay leaf alone under my tongue, it didn’t give off much smell. In an attempt to increase the odor, I chewed on it a bit. However, the essential oil of bay thus realized burns the mouth, so I don’t recommend it. I believe that the breaking of the fresh leaf should be enough damage to the leaf to release the oils. I wouldn’t recommend keeping the bay leaf under the tongue for any long period of time, though,  since oil of bay in large concentrations can be toxic.

Would this work?
Bay oil is a considered antiseptic by essential oil specialists, and also has a pronounced scent.  It might stop the bacteria causing the smell. The sweetish scent of musk would also overpower any nasty smells, and, as the author suggests, is also associated with sexual pheromones. [The use of musk in Australian LifeSavers candy suggests that they, at least, consider it a positive breath scent.]

Tooth-whitening wash

Markham. The English Housewife, 1615.

“To make teeth white.
Take a saucer of strong vinegar, and two spoonsful of the powder of roche alume, a spoonful of white salt, and a spoonful of honey: seethe all these till it be as thin as water, then put it into a close vial and keep it, and when occasion serves wash your teeth therewith, with a rough cloth, and rub them soundly, but not to bleed.”

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. pickling alum
1 tsp. white salt
1 tsp. honey

Heated together until incorporated, then simmered about 5 minutes longer.

Alum or burnt alum appears with regularity in recipes for mouth- and tooth- cleaning, as well as in some 19th century household aids recipes. For instance, burnt alum is in a recipe in Plat’s Delightes for Ladies.  Some forms of alum, when exposed to water, are supposed to form a weak sulfuric acid,  so this mixture is probably not very safe to use on mucous membranes, like the inside of  the mouth. Certainly, the pickling alum bottle warns that it tastes sour when dry but in pickling solution becomes neutral– so I tested a tiny bit on the tip of my tongue and was rewarded with a significant burning sensation. I used pickling alum since Mistress Anne Liese’s dyeing website suggests that it is most likely to be the period form of alum.

The teaspoon measure of the alum, salt, and honey may have been too small, and perhaps the 1/2 cup of vinegar too big, though 1/2 cup fit just right into one of the modern saucers I have; as soon as the mixture was incorporated, it was ‘as thin as water’.   I didn’t want to add too much alum to the solution, so I compromised on the teaspoon measure.

The vinegar I used was plain red wine vinegar, 5% acidity; period vinegar would have been rather stronger– 7% to 15% acidity. I was unable to find a stronger vinegar in my local stores and didn’t want to take a chance on adding vinegar concentrate to this particular chemical experiment. I used red wine vinegar because I was too cheap to use white wine  vinegar. Since this is a British recipe and no particular vinegar is specified, cider vinegar might be substituted. (I have no references to cider vinegar, but hard cider was a well known drink in Britain; cider vinegar would have been a by-product of home production of cider.)

What happened when I tried it?
I tried this on my teeth (it’s essentially a strong traditional pickling brine) and found they certainly felt very clean, even days later, compared to the untreated side of the mouth. I suspect this would be a bad thing to use on a regular basis, because of the alum solution.=

Would it work?
Well, this acidic mixture certainly pulled gunk off my teeth and made them feel fresher. It might also kill germs (or at least seriously inconvenience them) because of the acidic nature of the mixture. It might also cause decay of the enamel of the teeth, though.

Anise, Caraway, Fennel Comfits

Idea from Rumpolt, recipe from Plat’s Delightes for Ladies, 1602.
Rumpolt, Ein Neu Kochbuch, 1581.
“Of assorted sugar comfits (as) from the apothecary. . .
2. Anise coated.[with sugar] . . .
6. Caraway coated.
7. Fennel coated.”
1/2 cup each caraway seed, anise seed, fennel seed
Syrup: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water
Water and sugar are mixed together and heated. Once the mixture has combined, the heat is adjusted upwards until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, about 240 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be ready when a drop dropped into a glass of water forms a soft ball rather than a splat on the bottom.
Put half of one type of seeds (do one type at a time) into the bottom of a small, round metal bowl. Ladle on one tablespoonful of syrup. Stir quickly with a fork, using a scraping motion. Add the rest of the seeds to this mixture, which will first become a sticky ball and then separate out into smaller sections. Stir and squash until seeds have separated and cooled. Add another spoonful of syrup and repeat. Continue this process until comfits are covered with the appropriate amount of sugar. As the coating gets thicker, you may need to cool the comfits between coats in the freezer or out of doors. Be sure not to let the syrup crystallize– if it does, add water, stir it in, and bring back up to temperature.

These comfits would be served after dinner to clean the breath and combat indigestion and gas. Gerard’s Herbal says of anise seed: “Being chewed it makes the breath sweet.” Of caraway, Gerards’ says “The seed confected, or made with sugar into Comfits, are very good for the stomacke, they helpe digestion, provoke urine, asswage and and dissolve all windinesse; to conclude in a word, they are answerable to Anise seed in operation and virtues.”

Note: the directions used here are more similar to those in Plat’s Delightes for Ladies than to Rumpolt’s. To save space, those instructions have been omitted from this documentation.

What happened when I tried it?
These comfits give the feeling of freshening the breath for 15 minutes or so, up to half an hour. Eating a lot of them seems to alleviate gas as well.

Would it work?
Well, they certainly don’t prevent tooth decay, but all three seeds (anise, caraway, and fennel) have carminative effects, widely commented on by the Renaissance herbalists. Even today, Indian restaurants serve candied seeds of this type to combat indigestion and sweeten the breath. They certainly make my breath fresher when I use them.

Other mouth care information:

The Islamic sources make extensive references to the Prophet using a mouth-cleaning stick, either a toothpick or some sort of scraper. (http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/hadeeth/riyad/08/chap215.htm).

The Welsh apparently also had a tooth-care regimen, according to Giraldus Cambrensis’s “Journey through Wales”: “Both sexes take great care of their teeth, more than I have seen in any other country. They are constantly cleaning them with green hazel twigs, and then rubbing them with woollen cloths until they shine like ivory. To protect their teeth they never eat hot food, but only what is cold, tepid, or slightly warm.” (http://www.swanseamass.org/wales/travel/gerald1.html#hair)


  • An Herbal [1525] Also known as Banckes’ Herbal. Author unknown, published 1525. Facsimile/transcripted edition, ed. by Larkey & Pyles. (NY: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1941)
  • Genders, Roy. Perfume through the Ages. (New York, Putnam, 1972)
  • Gerard, John. The Herbal, or General History of Plants. (Dover, 1975)
  • Gilbertus Anglicus, Compendium of Medicine, Wellcome MS 537, about 1400 A.D. translated by Susan Wallace. Web: http://skell.org/SKELL/compintro.htm
  • Hildegarde of  Bingen. Hildegard von Bingen’s Physica: the complete English translation of her classic work on Health and Healing.  Trans. from the Latin by Patricia Throop. (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 1998).
  • Lawless, Julia. The illustrated encyclopedia of essential oils: the complete guide to the use of oils in aromatherapy and herbalism. (NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995)
  • Manual de mugeres en el qual se contienen muchas y diversas reçeutas muy buenas, 16th century, English translation by Karen Larsdatter, Web http://www.geocities.com/karen_larsdatter/manual.htm
  • Markham, Gervase. The English Housewife: containing the inward and outward virtues which ought to be in a complete woman…, first printed 1615. Published 1986 by McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal; edited by Michael R. Best
  • Munson, Jennifer, “Mordants and Metal Dyes,” Anne Liese’s Fibers and Stuff. Web: http://www.geocities.com/anne_liese_w/Dyeing/dyemordants.htm
  • Ody, Penelope. The Complete Medicinal Herbal. (NY: Dorling Kindersley, 1993)
    “p-dental-care-msg”. Stefan’s Florilegium [computer file]. http://www.florilegium.org/files/PERSONAL/p-dental-care-msg.html Accessed March 26, 2003.
  • Plat, Hugh. Delightes for Ladies, originally published 1602, edited by Violet and Hall Trovillion from the 1627 edition. (Herrin, IL: Trovillion Private Press, 1939)
  • Porta, John Baptist. Natural Magick, 1558 and onward, from the 1653 edition. Transcribed by Dr. Laura Balbiani. Web: http://members.tscnet.com/pages/omard1/jportat5.html
  • Rumpolt, Marx. ” Von allerley Zucker Confect,” Ein Neu Kochbuch. 1581. Translation by M. Grasse. Web: http://clem.mscd.edu/~grasse/GK_zucker1.htm
  • Sembera, Kyle. “Evolution and Analysis of the Toothbrush,” Mechanical Advantage, March 2001: 10(3). Online at: http://www.asme.org/mechanicaladvantage/March2001/toothbrush.html
  • Strabo, Walafrid. Hortulus. Translated by Raef Payne. Commentary by Wilfrid Blunt. (Pittsburgh: Hunt Botanical Library, 1966)
  • The Trotula : a medieval compendium of women’s medicine. Trans. and ed. by Monica Green. (Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001)

Powders and Paste


Home made recipe at Econest

Home made Tooth Paste

index Lots of factors contribute to stained, yellow teeth. Drinking beverages that contain tannins, like coffee, tea and red wine contribute to yellow stains. Chewing and smoking tobacco can also stain our teeth.

So, how can we whiten our smiles without paying large amounts for professional teeth bleaching or expensive over the counter teeth whiteners or damaging our dear mother earth?

The trick I use at home, is simple, quick and inexpensive. Does this sound too good too be true?

Try it.

The recipe? Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. That’s it.

Pour some hydrogen peroxide into its cap and add a big pinch of baking soda. Brush with this “paste” for a imagesfew minutes, a couple of times a week.

After achieving the whiteness desired, move to a once a week maintenance routine.

How does it work? Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a slightly alkaline powder that when dissolved in water, releases free radicals. The free radicals from the mixture interact with the stain molecules on the teeth enamel (outer layer of the teeth) and scrape off the yellow and brown stains. It also removes plaque from the teeth.

Baking soda is one of the cheapest commercial teeth whiteners present in the market today. One box of baking soda costs very little, and this one box can be used for over a hundred brushings. Baking soda has actually been recommended by some dentists to help fight gum disease.

Hydrogen peroxide has a whitening effect because it can pass easily into the outermost layer of the tooth, and acts as an oxidizing agent in breaking up stain deposits. Bleaching teeth with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is acknowledged as a safe practice by ecodentists.

Go easy. Use your common sense. Using baking soda in moderation. And do not deliberately swallow hydrogen peroxide.  A little will certainly not hurt you. The views expressed in this article are only meant as suggestions.


here is another version step by step:

  • Pour 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of hydrogen peroxide into 3 teaspoons (15 milliliters) of baking soda. Mix these together until a paste forms. Play with these measurements until you find a consistency that you like. The paste should be similar in thickness to toothpaste.
  • Add a tiny bit of mint toothpaste to your homemade paste to give it a fresh flavor. You can also add a drop of peppermint extract.
  • Mix in a dash of salt. The salt will exfoliate your teeth as you brush.
  • Dollop the paste mixture onto your toothbrush.
  • Brush the paste onto your teeth in small, circular motions. Once all teeth are covered, let the mixture sit on your teeth for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse the solution off of your teeth by swishing with water from the bathroom sink.
  • Brush your teeth with toothpaste to rid your mouth of any remnants of the hydrogen peroxide mixture.

Carbamide peroxide & Hydrogen Peroxide for teeth whitening.
Most people are familiar with carbamide peroxide since it is the agent most commonly used for bleaching (whitening) the teeth.  The dental profession has recently begun to recommend carbamide peroxide as a means of preventing periodontal disease and tooth decay in patients who are unable to carry out normal oral hygiene measures such as regular brushing and flossing.  For patients like these, rubber trays are fabricated to fit over both the teeth and the gingiva.  The tooth indents in the trays are filled with 10% carbamide peroxide and the patient wears the trays for two hours once a day, or overnight.  The carbamide peroxide breaks down into 3.5% hydrogen peroxide and 6.5% urea when it contacts plaque.  The urea further breaks down into ammonia and carbon dioxide under the action of bacteria.  The hydrogen peroxide kills the plaque bacteria, and the ammonia raises the PH of the plaque neutralizing the acid that causes tooth decay.

Hydrogen Peroxide does not harm teeth, in fact it keeps the mouth free of harmful bacteria.

Holistic Dental Tooth Powder


100% Natural Full Strength Ingredients: Wildcrafted White Oak bark, Organic Plantain herb, Organic Peppermint leaf, Aloe vera resin, Wildcrafted Horsetail herb, Myrrh gum, Organic Clove bud, Organic Lobelia herb & seed, Goldenseal root.

Our Natural Tooth Powder Ingredients and Their Purpose

  • Wildcrafted White Oak Bark – anti-inflamatory, astringent, rich in vitamins
  • Organic Plantain – tightens tissues and is soothing.
  • Organic Peppermint – antibacterial provides relief and relaxation
  • Aloe Vera Resin- known for its ability to heal and to soothe
  • Wildcrafted Horestail – Can be effective in strengthening nails, hair, and teeth
  • Wildcrafted Myrrh Gum – Soothing
  • Organic Clove Bud – Freshens breath and prevents tooth and gum disintegration
  • Organic Lobelia herb and seed – medicinal “cure all” plant
  • Wildcrafted Goldenseal root – natural antibiotic, and all purpose healer
  • Willow Charcoal – gently whitens teeth
  • Menthol derived from corn mint
  • Licorice Root

Conditions: Gingivitis, pyorrhea, and other tooth and gum problems. Might assist in tightening loose teeth. Excellent for normal brushing. This can replace toothpastes. *Please consult with your dentist or doctor if you have significant health problems or significant gum disease before using this product.

Directions: Apply generously to moistened tooth brush and brush teeth as usual.

The experience of using: You will feel a strong minty/ menthol taste as the herbs clean, heal, give nutrients to and disinfect your mouth. If you are highly sensitive to tastes and smells, this product may be too strong for you.

Note: If the toothpowder discolors your tooth brush, then you can clean your tooth brush with hot water or some natural soap and that usually makes it white again. (Holistic Dental Toothpowder Does Not Stain Teeth)

Jar Size: 2 ounces
Tooth Powder by Weight: 1 ounce

Gums (Bleeding, Loose Teeth, Inflammation)

This herbal combination will disinfect, reduce inflammation and tighten up the teeth and gum. Works well with Herbal Mouth wash two-three times per day.

Tooth Powder vs. Tooth Paste

Tooth powders contain herbs which apply nutrients and natural medicines to your teeth and gums. Our tooth powder is very mildly abrasive and is in general less abrasive than tooth pastes and less abrasive than baking soda or other tooth powders made with low cost filler ingredients. The herbs in this herbal tooth powder are potent.

Tooth paste is usually toxic with cheap fillers and ingredients. Many ingredients might be unlisted or mislabeled as cosmetic products do not require the same standards of food. Tooth pastes usually contain abrasive ingredients to make teeth look white and to polish off the plaque. Unfortunately it is difficult to perceive how abrasive the sand in them is because it is blended as a paste.

EcoDent ExtraBrite

Premium Oral Care Products
More Whitening Power
Dazzling Mint Tooth Whitener
Without Fluoride
Naturally Effervescent
Baking Soda Toothpowder
Net Wt 2 Oz/56 G
Up To 200 Brushings

ExtraBrite toothpowder. Many people are not familiar with using a toothpowder, but it really is very simple. The product comes in a 2 ounce bottle with an ‘easy-pour’ cap. Simply pour an amount approximately the size of a pea onto a moistened toothbrush and brush away! The product tastes great, has a consistent foaming-action, and actually makes your teeth feel “squeaky clean” due to the action of the baking soda base.*

ExtraBrite uses a mint flavor which leaves your breath fresh and literally makes you want to smile. It’s also sugar free, so it does not have the over-bearing sweetness of most modern toothpastes.*

Eco-DenT toothpowders have been consistently praised by dentists and researchers both in Europe and the USA for over 70 years. Dr. David C Kennedy, DDS, past president of the Preventive Dental Health Association and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, perhaps said it best when he wrote his opinion:

“I have used and recommended Eco-Dent for many years in my dental practice and can highly recommend Eco-DenT ExtraBrite – Tooth Whitener – Dazzling Mint for those who want an effective non-toxic cleaner. Clinically I’ve seen patients who were able to remineralize incipient decay with Eco-Dent .” *


Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Tartaric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Carbonate, Calcium Peroxide, Sea Salt, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (Coconut derived), Hydrated Silica, Natural Flavoring Oils, Guar Gum, Myrrh Extract

Suggested Use
Apply small amount to moistened toothbrush. Brush as usual. For a great smile, brush with Extra-Brite two (2) times daily for two to three (2-3) weeks. Then maintain your new smile with Eco-DenT DailyCare.
Not recommended for children under twelve (12). … Some individuals may be sensitive to ExtraBrite’s powerful oxidizing whitener. If gums become sensitive, decrease or discontinue use.
Allergen Info
100% Cruelty Free. No Dyes or Sweeteners. 100% Natural Ingredients

And the company cites an article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, which states that Nylon 4 — the material from which the bristles happen to be made — is also biodegradable in soil:

9.2. Nylon 4
It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil [88] and in the activated sludge [89]. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. Furthermore, the biodegradability of nylon 4 and nylon 6 blends was investigated in compost and activated sludge. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months while nylon 6 was not degraded [90]. Recently, Yamano et al. was able to isolate polyamide 4 degrading microorganisms (ND-10 and ND-11) from activated sludge. The strains were identified as Pseudomonas sp. The supernatant from the culture broth of strain ND-11 degraded completely the emulsified nylon 4 in 24 h and produced γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as degradation product [91].

– See more at: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2011/05/eco-friendly-toothbrush-review-and-giveaway/#sthash.DMFJFdAm.dpuf

And the company cites an article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, which states that Nylon 4 — the material from which the bristles happen to be made — is also biodegradable in soil:

9.2. Nylon 4
It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil [88] and in the activated sludge [89]. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. Furthermore, the biodegradability of nylon 4 and nylon 6 blends was investigated in compost and activated sludge. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months while nylon 6 was not degraded [90]. Recently, Yamano et al. was able to isolate polyamide 4 degrading microorganisms (ND-10 and ND-11) from activated sludge. The strains were identified as Pseudomonas sp. The supernatant from the culture broth of strain ND-11 degraded completely the emulsified nylon 4 in 24 h and produced γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as degradation product [91].

– See more at: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2011/05/eco-friendly-toothbrush-review-and-giveaway/#sthash.DMFJFdAm.dpuf

And the company cites an article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, which states that Nylon 4 — the material from which the bristles happen to be made — is also biodegradable in soil:

9.2. Nylon 4
It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil [88] and in the activated sludge [89]. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. Furthermore, the biodegradability of nylon 4 and nylon 6 blends was investigated in compost and activated sludge. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months while nylon 6 was not degraded [90]. Recently, Yamano et al. was able to isolate polyamide 4 degrading microorganisms (ND-10 and ND-11) from activated sludge. The strains were identified as Pseudomonas sp. The supernatant from the culture broth of strain ND-11 degraded completely the emulsified nylon 4 in 24 h and produced γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as degradation product [91].

– See more at: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2011/05/eco-friendly-toothbrush-review-and-giveaway/#sthash.DMFJFdAm.dpuf