Use Korean red ginseng to fight bad breath: Study

Saturday, May 04, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Korean ginsing, bad breath, halitosis

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(NaturalNews) One of the most overlooked natural bad breath remedies is red ginseng (also known as Asian ginseng), according to a 2009 study conducted by researchers from the Gachon University of Medicine and Science, and the Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute in Korea, and published in the journal Digestion.

The study was performed on a total of 88 people with bad breath, 68 of whom suffered from infection with the bad breath-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori, and 20 who did not have H. pylori infection. After 10 weeks of supplementation with Korean red ginseng, 38 (56 percent) of the H. pylori-positive participants no longer had bad breath. Likewise, after 10 weeks of treatment, bad breath was cured in 13 (65 percent) of the H. pylori-negative patients.

A follow-up intervention was then performed upon the 30 H. pylori-positive patients who were still suffering from bad breath after 10 weeks of ginseng treatment. These participants were assigned to a course of antibiotics designed to eradicate H. pylori, either alone or combined with an additional ginseng treatment. The researchers found that participants who received both antibiotics and ginseng had significantly more improvement of bad breath symptoms than those who received antibiotics alone.

The power of ginseng

The term ginseng is commonly used to refer to two separate species of plant: red or Asian ginseng, Panax ginseng; and white or American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius. Another, unrelated plant is known as Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus).

Red ginseng has been used as an important component of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. It is used to reduce stress and fatigue; increase appetite and strength; and to enhance overall memory, physical performance and quality of life. It has also traditionally been used as a cancer treatment.

According to the organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure, scientific studies strongly support a number of medical uses for red ginseng. Among these benefits include the ability to lower blood sugar after meals without causing hypoglycemia; to stimulate the immune system and improve healing from bacterial infection; and to boost mental performance. Susan G. Komen categorizes another 50 potential medical benefits - including fighting bad breath - as supported by scientific evidence but in need of further confirmation.

Breath still bad? Try chlorophyll

If ginseng does not do the trick, another highly reliable natural bad breath remedy is chlorophyll, the chemical that makes leaves green and plays an essential role in photosynthesis. It's not just good for bad breath: chlorophyll purifies the body and helps fight all types of bodily odor.

Any green vegetable contains some chlorophyll, but leafy greens are particularly high in the chemical. Spinach contains among the highest chlorophyll concentrations of any food, such that a single daily serving of raw spinach should be enough to eliminate both body odor and bad breath in most people.

Raw leafy greens can be made more palatable and easier to digest by being blended into a smoothie. The odor-removing benefits of regular chlorophyll consumption may manifest immediately or may require a few weeks, depending on the individual.

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