I’m kind of on a roll here with natural mouth care, so why stop now? Personally, I prefer not to use alcohol-based mouth washes that permeate the market and either make my own, or use ‘more natural’ mouthwashes such as those made by Tom’s of Maine. Happily however, recipes abound for making your own mouthwashes. You can use witch hazel in mouth wash blends too, but try to obtain the natural witch hazel distillate rather than commercial witch hazel made with ethyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
In the recipe below, peppermint and anise seed freshen breath. Myrrh tincture/extract helps strengthen the gums, and is also antiseptic and also mildly preservative. The tincture/extract may be made with grain alcohol (but a very small amount in the recipe) or vinegar.
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp dried peppermint
1 tsp anise seed
1/2 tsp myrrh tincture
Pour the boiling water over the peppermint and anise seed. Cover and steep until cool. Strain and add the myrrh. Store the mouthwash in a bottle and shake before using. This will keep for a week or so if stored in the refrigerator.
This recipe avoids even an alcohol extract in favor of sage-infused vinegar. To infuse, simply fill a small jar with sage, fill with warmed apple cider vinegar, and allow to steep for 2-6 weeks. Alternatively, you could heat-infuse the herb in a non-metal (non-reactive pot) and allow to infuse (so that vapors are coming off of the vinegar), covered, for 30 min-1 hour. Again, try to btain the natural witch hazel distillate rather than commercial witch hazel made with ethyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
1 cup witch hazel distillate
1/2 tsp sage-infused vinegar
1 tsp peppermint
1 tsp spearmint
1 cup water
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
1 tsp aloe vera juice (ingestible!)
6 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix the ingredients together and store in a covered container, using within a few days. Peppermint essential oil helps fight odor-causing bacteria, and aloe soothes gums
REF: Laurel Vukovic