Herbs for Bad Breath
Answered by: Richters Staff

Frank Pelsoczi

One of my two 7 years old boys has bad breath, not anything to do with teeth because they are well cared for and I suspect some kind of stomach problem. Our family doctor knows nothing; the most he can advise is chewing gum. Any ideas?

It used to be dogma among dentists that bad breath was 90% a problem with the teeth and gums. That view started to change a few years ago; now the stomach and digestive tract is seen to a source of odours. The widely advertised product, Breath Assure, operates on the assumption that odours can come from the digestive tract. That product is claimed to be made from herbs. We would guess that parsley is one of the ingredients of that product. Parsley has a very potent odour masking property – it is even added to a garlic supplement to mask odour.

In India and Pakistan it is common to grab a handful of aromatic seeds to chew after meals. Fennel seeds are the main ones found in these blends. Fennel not only can help to mask bad odours, it has the more important function of helping to promote digestion and prevent gas buildup in the bowels. The carminative properties of fennel and other herbs are very potent, but we, in this modern age, have lost the habit of taking carminative herbs and teas after meals.

You may find that as you add more herbs and spices to your children’s diet that the bad breath problem will eventually go away. But if the problem persists we suggest that you take your children to see a qualified herbalist, naturopath, or homeopath.

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