Originally published February 7 2015
Naturally maintain dental health with the amazing toothbrush tree
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) Looking for an alternative to traditional toothpaste?
We don't blame you.
After all, many popular toothpaste brands contain ingredients that jeopardize good health, all at the expense of making those pearly whites even whiter. Take Eduardo Arias, a resident of Panama whose story was covered a few years ago by The New York Times. He walked into a discount store one day and noticed toothpaste packaging with the words "diethylene glycol," poisonous chemicals that are used in antifreeze. He reported his finding, which set off mass awareness about toothpaste made in China.(1)
As it turns out, such poisonous toothpaste had been in use on a worldwide basis. Over 30 countries reported using it, spanning from Kenya to Canada.(1)
Then there's the issue of fluoride, which has been the subject of controversy for ages. While the American Dental Association (ADA) says that it helps to prevent cavities and strengthen enamel, others beg to differ. Esteemed journals such as The Lancet Neurology, for example, have identified it as a developmental neurotoxicant.(2,3)
It's times like these that going as natural as possible is ideal. Forget store brands or even spending time making homemade concoctions.
How the toothbrush tree works and where to find itNaturally maintain dental health with the toothbrush tree, scientifically known as Salvadora persica. It's actually an evergreen shrub with medicinal properties that are capable of keeping oral health intact. Everything from killing the bacteria that cause gum disease to removing bad breath are possible with this "toothbrush," and it happens naturally, all without the need for questionable toothpastes.(4)
Quite simply, it works by chewing on the end of one of its sticks until the bark is removed and the underneath twig is exposed. Continual chewing will form bristle-like structures, allowing a person to brush their teeth. As the bristles begin to change color and look old (typically after a few days) people are advised to cut the bristles off and repeat the process once again.(4)
While Salvadora persica is native to hot, arid areas such as Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, it's entirely possible to obtain them if you live in other parts of the world. Going online is best; for example, AmericanPreppersNetwork.com recommends ordering them here. Others may be interested in learning more about ordering seeds and trying miswaks, also known as herbal chewing sticks, on Amazon.com.
Such herbal chewing sticks are beneficial, and even dental professionals advocate their use.
For example, an article published in The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine called "Miswak: A periodontist's perspective," homes in on its benefits. It notes that its goal was "to discuss various pharmacological and therapeutic aspects of miswak and also to compare the effectiveness of miswak with modern toothbrushes in terms of oral hygiene practice."
It referred to several studies that "compared the efficacy of miswak and use of tooth brush" ultimately saying that "they found that the use of miswak was associated with a significant reduction of dental plaque and gingivitis along with comparable or superior oral hygiene effect."(5)
Salvadora persica also has other health benefitsInterestingly, Salvadora persica also has benefits beyond keeping oral health intact.
Experts at Norwich BioScience Institutes found that the toothbrush tree contains a compound thought to be beneficial in fighting tuberculosis. The finding, which was published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, states:
We have found that these compounds are inhibitors of the supercoiling reaction catalyzed by M. tuberculosis gyrase and other gyrases. Our evidence strongly suggests that the compounds bind to the N-terminal domain of GyrB, which contains the ATPase active site, but are not competitive inhibitors of the ATPase reaction. We propose that naphthoquinones bind to GyrB at a novel site close to the ATPase site. This novel mode of action could be exploited to develop new antibacterial agents.(6)
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