Recently some interesting findings were released linking gingivitis to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Pretty scary, since about a third of us have gingivitis to some degree or another. The long-term effects of inflammation of the gums is also known to stress the cardiovascular system, so those are two strong reasons to take excellent care of your teeth and gums!
Gingivitis is caused by a build up of plaque. This film of bacteria feeds on sugars and other carbohydrates in the mouth. The resulting by-products, which include acids, damage the gum tissue and cause irritation and inflammation. Daily brushing and flossing are essential, of course, but sometimes just not enough to cure stubborn gum disease.
Fortunately, the ancient traditions of Ayurveda have an effective solution for oral care: Triphala mouthwash.
You’ve probably heard of Triphala as a digestive remedy, and it is that. One of the most safe and effective bowel tonics out there, Triphala promotes regular and healthy bowel movements without straining the system or causing cramping and diarrhea. Safe for children and the elderly, Triphala is so well-loved in India that a common saying is “You do not have a mother? Do not worry, as long as you have Triphala”.
But Triphala’s astringent action and anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties are good for more than the gut. This combination of three fruits (Amalaki, Bibitaki, Haritaki) is also used as an eye wash, a mouth wash, a nasal/sinus rinse, and to treat topical skin issues like acne.
Triphala powder, the most readily available form, is easily found in many health food stores. To make the mouthwash, all you need to do is boil the powder in water, cool and strain, and swish daily. You can also sprinkle the powder onto your toothbrush and gently brush your gums with it, but most practitioners recommend the mouthwash as being more effective.
Make Your Own Triphala Mouthwash
2-3 Tablespoons Triphala powder
1 quart (4 cups) water
- Add ingredients to a non-reactive saucepan
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to low, cover
- Simmer 20 minutes
- Allow to cool
- Strain and bottle
Gargle a small amount 2-3 times per day for best effect
It’s pretty exciting news that this simple, centuries old herbal remedy may have an essential role to play in the prevention of dementia.
To your health!