(Nasty) Herbal Mouthwash Recipe

Four of my sisters/sisters-in-law are here for a visit! Hurray! We’re gonna have one full and happy house this week. And, I’m sure we’ll be eating enough sweets to make this recipe a necessity after the week is over. 😉 

“For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently”

                                                                               Leanoto, Much Ado About Nothing

Toothaches are miserable. So miserable, in fact, that I willingly use this mouthwash whenever I feel one starting because it’s very, very effective for me.

Its effectiveness is only rivaled by its nastiness.

How’s that for convincing? You really should try this. It’s nasty! 

Sometimes, despite regular brushing, flossing and dental visits, I get a toothache.

Despite its nastiness (or maybe because of it) this mouthwash works and that makes it worth it.

It contains sanguinaria root, which a study shows is effective against plaque, and myrrh, which is traditionally used for its anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. (And, um, the myrrh adds the bitter, nasty effect.)

photo credit

Recipe for (Nasty) Sanguinaria Mint Mouthwash


1 T. myrrh
1  heaping T. bloodroot (Sanguinaria root)
3 T. dried mint leaves
1 1/2 cups vodka

Glass quart-sized jar with lid


  1. Cut bloodroot up into small pieces
  2. Place herbs in glass jar and cover with vodka
  3. Cover tightly and shake well.
  4. Leave at room temperature and shake daily for two weeks.
  5. After two weeks, strain herbs and pour liquid back into jar.
  6. Fill jar the remaining way with filtered water.
Cautions: Do not swallow (not that you’d want to anyway!) If pregnant or nursing ask your health care professional. Not for small children.

To use, brush teeth then swish mouthwash for at least a minute. Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes.

If you have a really bad toothache or abscess, swish hourly for a couple minutes. This has helped heal abscesses, but since an abscess can lead to serious problems, make sure to contact your health care professional.

Linked up at Living Green, Works for MeHealthy 2DayNatural Living, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways & Simple Lives

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  1. says

    Anna…I made a similar (yes, nasty tasting too) mouthwash a few months ago when my husband was struggling with severe issues with his mouth/teeth. I made a tincture of myrrh and echinacea and added witchhazel, aloe juice, clove oil and tea tree oil. YUCK! But it was a life saver. I had him swish it around several times a day; it really alleviated the pain and his gums healed up nicely. I could hardly tolerate it and it certainly wasn’t child friendly. We had a friend try it…when he was done, he drew a skull and cross bones on the container and wrote “POISON”, LOL!

    Oh, thanks for linking up to Living Green Tuesdays! 🙂

  2. says

    Oh, I’m sure you are having a wonderful time together! 🙂 If you have a chance, would you e-mail me a picture you girls? 😀 Have fun and tell them all I said hi. 🙂

  3. says

    For a toothache I put organic tea tree eo on my toothbrush and brush with it, being careful to apply it to my gums and tongue. I’ve never had a toothache last longer than a few hours, with this treatment.

    I would suggest (most gently and kindly, Anna) that if you get toothaches after eating grains and sugar that your body (or the Lord) is telling you something that you should pay attention to. A piece of cheese or other protein food will build your teeth rather than hurting them.

    Many blessings and enjoy your family week. ♥

    • anna says

      Thanks so much, dear Chris! Thankfully, toothaches are very rare, though I’m beginning to notice other health symptoms after eating my very favorite “food:” chocolate. It’s my main indulgence and one that, unfortunately, seems to be giving me problems if I eat too much/often. Guess it’s another motivation to practice self-control. 🙂

  4. Kathy says

    Hey, Anna, where do you buy the bloodroot? Mama Jean’s stopped carrying it :(. I need to made more of that nasty-tasting stuff :). What were you starting to say? “This is not your”… we were left hanging ;).

    It’s strange not having the girls here, but I know you and they are enjoying the time tremendously!! Love to you all <3

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