Cleaning your mouth, the Ayurvedic way

Oral hygiene, the Ayurvedic way

Ayurveda prescribes that the tongue be cleaned every morning, with a scraper. A U-shaped silver or copper tongue cleaner is ideal. Some people use a neem twig to clean their teeth and split the twig into two, and bend one of the pieces in a U-shape to clean the tongue of the plaque as dentists call it. The Ayurveda term for it is ‘Aam’, a sticky whitish waste produce in the body.

Neem is also considered an embodiment of Devi, Shakti, Divine Mother.

When you brush your teeth in the morning, you might find a white deposit on your tongue. That is ‘Aam’, a film loaded with body waste and bacteria. If kapha is high, the deposit will be white, if pitta is high it will be yellowish, if vata is high it’ll have a tinge of brown.

Neem (Azadirachta indica) to the rescue

 leaves and twigs for oral hygiene, Ayurveda

Flossing was traditionally taken care of by the neem twig. Fresh neem twigs are not easy to get, even though neem trees are still common in India.

There is a saying in the villages that the home that has a neem tree in its courtyard is protected from illness. Truly, neem has long been used as a herbal antibiotic in Ayurveda. Neem leaves boiled in water make for a mouthwash as well. Neem has a cooling, pitta reducing effect on the body. Neem is also considered an embodiment of Goddess Kali, Shitala Mata and Lakshmi, the destroyer of disease.

Neem flowers in spring

Neem flowers for oral hygiene, Ayurveda

During the flowering season in March-April, Neem flowers and new leaves are eaten to preempt illness. This takes care of mouth ulcers as well. Even guava leaves are chewn to cure mouth ulcers.

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