Three Herbs That Sweeten Your Breath

Medically reviewed in December 2020

Can't stand the sting of mouthwash, but want sweeter breath? Set down the Scope, and pick up a pinch of one of these herbs instead: parsley, basil, or cilantro.

They all contain the green plant pigment chlorophyll, which is a powerful breath freshener, writes James Duke -- a PhD and botanist -- in his book, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook.

More Fresheners for Your Mouth
In addition to parsley, basil, and cilantro, Duke recommends these easy-to-find breath fresheners:

  • Dill: It's also rich in chlorophyll. Chew the seeds, or make dill tea by adding the leaves or mashed seeds to boiling water.
  • Cardamom: It contains cineole, a potent antiseptic that kills bad-breath bacteria. You can chew the seeds and then spit them out.
  • Anise: The seeds of this licorice-flavored herb have been used for thousands of years to freshen breath. Boil the seeds in a cup of water. Strain, and then drink or use as a mouthwash.
  • Peppermint tea, a strong antiseptic, fights halitosis.

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