You had a lovely sleep last night and wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated, but as soon as you open your mouth you feel a bad taste and an even worse smell. You don’t wish to turn to your partner because of that smelly morning breath. It can be really frustrating!
You may be eating healthy, working out regularly, and maybe in the best of shape, but stinky morning breath kills your confidence like nothing else. Although you brushed your teeth well, you’re caught with the thought of – what if your breath is still smelling bad – the entire day. If you find yourself covering up your bad breath occasionally, you need these Ayurvedic self-care techniques to help you get a refreshing breath and the confidence you need.
There are many commonly recognized causes of Halitosis or bad breath, such as poor oral hygiene, respiratory infections, certain foods like onions, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and more. According to Ayurveda, the breath is not only affected by oral hygiene, but also the health of the lungs, stomach, and large intestine. If you maintain good oral hygiene, the possible cause of the foul breath may be weak digestion or the accumulation of ama (toxins) in the body.
When your digestion is weak, you may notice a thick, white coating of ama on your tongue. This may be the cause of smelly morning breath. To get rid of it, scrape your tongue with a copper or stainless steel tongue-scraper, every morning while brushing.
Begin at the back of your tongue and gently swipe the scrapper down three to six times. Avoid it if you have any infection or sores .
In Ayurvedic literature, salt has been recognized as a purifying agent. Gargling with salt and warm water each morning can help you flush down the toxins and bacteria in your mouth and throat. This simple habit can help you prevent cough and cold as well .
Mix one tablespoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle for 30-60 seconds with each sip of water.
Substitute your morning coffee with this caffeine-free tea that is praised in Ayurveda for its anti-microbial properties. Apart from being extremely effective in reducing bad breath, Tulsi or holy basil tea has many other health benefits as well. It can help you improve your digestion, reduce fever or headaches, support lung health, and is also good for stress.
However, if you’re pregnant or are planning to conceive soon, it is recommended to avoid this remedy as tulsi leaves when consumed by women who are expecting can have an adverse effect on their babies.
Fennel seeds have antispasmodic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial properties. This everyday kitchen ingredient can curb indigestion, diarrhea, colic and respiratory ailments, and has a cooling impact on the body. Chewing fennel seeds is an extremely easy way of getting refreshing breath while supporting digestion. They can effectively reduce gas and bloating as well. To reap the best benefits of fennel seeds, dry roast these seeds over medium heat for three to five minutes or until their aroma is released. Cool and store it in a glass container. Chew on ½ teaspoon of these roasted seeds after every meal , but if you’re pregnant, it’s best you avoid it.
Drinking a sufficient amount of water throughout the day can help prevent most health ailments. Water helps flush down all the ama accumulated in your mouth and keep bad breath at bay. When food substances are stuck in the mouth, they decay and cause the build-up of filthy bacteria that not only result in a foul breath but can also pave the way for serious oral problems . Therefore, to avoid all these problems, keep sipping water.
If you are not into the mouth wash available in the market because of the chemicals in them, you can opt for a safer and natural alternative. Honey, when mixed with fresh ginger juice, can work wonders to help you cover the bad morning breath and give you a refreshing breath for the rest of the day . Honey has antioxidants and antibacterial, it is used to treat eye diseases, cough, thirst, phlegm, hiccups, blood in vomit, leprosy, worm infestation, diarrhea, and healing wounds. When taken in moderation, honey can reduce inflammation that often leads to various serious health diseases. Ginger too has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help in aiding digestion, reducing nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold.
Your digestion plays an important role in how your breath smells. Good digestion can help you prevent bad breath. Therefore, it is advised that you improve your digestion by eating healthy and a well-balanced diet, and exercising. If you think nothing seems to help you get rid of the foul breath, it may be an indication of something more serious. In such cases, it is recommended that you seek a doctor’s advice.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Neena Sharma