greenteapkglgExtracts and Mouthwash

An extract is simply a concentrated liquid. I like to make an extract, store it in the fridge, and then use it bit by bit.

It's a lot better than brewing up a dose every day!

A study was done in India comparing two types of herbal mouthwashes with the standard medicated mouthwash. Needless to say, green tea and neem mouthwashes "won" or I wouldn't be writing this here and now. Click here to download and read the study.

I have had a long string of problems with the health of my gums. I did some research and discovered neem, a powder made from the neem tree.

I read of a triple-blind study comparing neem, green tea and clorhexadine (the standard mouthwash the dentist might prescribe). It was a triple-blind study no one knows which product they are using…not the people running the study or the patients or the people analyzing the results. And this study was paid for by the Indian council of medical research — not some pharmaceutical company. I think the study looks reasonably reliable, but of course there could be a bias favoring Indian herbal treatments.

At the time I thought it said neem was the best, so I used that for quite a while. Then I read the study again and realized that the study showed green tea mouthwash had the best results. I guess it shows it pays to re-read these highly technical papers. In short, I started with neem daily, and later switched over to green tea (although I still use the neem mouthwash now and then).

I originally bought a bag of neem powder and packed it in my mouth where I had an infection. Over time the gum infection cleared up. I got to keep those teeth that were threatened! It made me not mind that the neem tasted pretty awful. My dental hygenist said to me, "I don't know what you're doing, but keep doing it."

I wish I had started using either the green tea or neem sooner, because it seems they are keeping my dental health from getting any worse. yes, all my infections have cleared up, but they don't magically grow gum tissue back. So I am passing along a simple way for you to improve your oral health. Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush (here's my favorite extra soft toothbrushhere's my favorite), use a toothpaste that has minerals to strengthen your teeth, use a mouthwash once or twice a day (just before bed is a great time) and get your teeth cleaned professionaly a couple times a year. Don't over-brush your teeth as that can wear away one's gums and even the dentin below the enamel. It's all a lot cheaper and less painful than having teeth fixed later!

Although I started by packing the dry powder in my mouth, I now make liquid extracts and separate out the powder and leaves. It's easier and tastes better, too.

Click here to buy a one pound bag of green tea.

Click here to buy a one pound bag of neem LEAF powder.

Click here to buy a one pound bag of neem BARK powder (this is what I use)

These are exactly the same products I have used. I have tried both the neem bark and leaf powders, and I personally prefer the root powder. The study used "neem sticks" which they ground up. The sticks are twigs or small branches with the bark still on them. I figured the bark is closer to the sticks than the leaves, but that's just my opinion.

Click here to see a YouTube video of how I make green tea extract and mouthwash. It's really easy…basically I soak the tea in water for an hour, separate out the leaves or powder and store in the refrigerator. Yeah, there are more details, but that's the basic steps. Look at the sidebar on the right for the recipe I follow.

Click here for my Youtube video on how to make the neem extract. The recipe and directions are in the sidebar to the right.

Recipe for Green Tea Extract

Ingredients:

1.5 liters or 1.5 quarts of water

7 tablespoons of green tea
(one tablespoon less than 1/2 cup)

Sieve (a strainer)

Bottle to put the extract in

Instructions:

Measure one quart or liter of water into a bowl

NOTE: you can boil all the water first to kill any bacteria. The extract will stay fresh longer if you do this. Obviously cleaning the storage bottle is a good idea, too.

Measure 7 tablespoons of green tea into the water.

Let it sit for at least an hour (longer is OK, too).

Pour the stepped liguid through a strainer into a second bowl.

Add 1/2 quart or 1/2 liter of water (you can just add enough water to make a total of one and a half quarts/liters).

Store the extract in the refrigerator.

Rinse your mouth with 1/2 or 1 ounce (15 to 30 ml) of the green tea extract for at least 30 seconds. Longer is fine, too. And you can swallow the extract if you want to. I do, but it's up to you.

In the study they instructed patients to rinse twice a day and not eat or drink for an hour. So after breakfast or lunch and before bed are good times to use the mouthwash.

Recipe for Neem Bark Extract

Ingredients:

1 liters or 1 quart of water

3.5 ounces or 7/8 cup or 200 ml of neem powder

Pot with a lid to boil water and steep neem in

Bottle to put the extract in

Instructions:

Measure one quart or liter of water into a bowl

Bring water to a boil, then turn off the heat

Add the neem powder

Stir, put on lid and allow to steep and hour or two

Pour into a bottle and place in fridge overnight

The next day pour off the liquid into another bottle.

Store this concentrated extract in the fridge.

IMPORTANT:
Dilute this extract before using as a mouthwash! Directions are below.

For daily use, mix one part neem extract with 2 or 3 parts water. For example, mix 4 ounces of extract with 8 ounces of water (1/2 cup neem extract + 1 cup water)

Pour this into a bottle and store in the fridge.

Each day pour about an ounce into a glass and microwave for about 10 seconds to warm it.

Swish this in your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit out. I do not swallow it.

In the study they instructed patients to rinse twice a day and not eat or drink for an hour. So after breakfast or lunch and before bed are good times to use the mouthwash.