Natural Remedies For Bad Breath

Recently I woke up in the morning and I had the worst taste in my mouth. Seriously horrible! Since I couldn't motivate myself to get up I lay there and wondered what in the world caused my mouth to be so gross today? I mean, if I could taste it then my breath must be horribly stinky! So what causes bad breath and is there any way to actually 'cure' it for good? Better yet...what kind of natural remedies for bad breath are out there? 

Natural remedies for bad breath

Obviously good oral hygiene goes a long way towards keeping bad breath at bay. Still, as many as 1 in 10 people currently suffer from bad breath. There are only a few things more socially awkward than having to keep a lid on your mouth (literally) all the time, for fear of being repulsive. Bad breath can interfere with your personal and professional relationships if you're constantly talking away from people or not getting close for fear they can smell it. 

That kinda stinks...no pun intended.

Luckily I have a love of natural healthcare, a stinky teenage son and some time on my hands. So we did a bunch of experiments and research to find the most effective home remedies for bad breath. Of course all this is assuming that you practice good oral hygiene and brush, floss daily. If you don't, then get on that because it's probably the cause of your problems. If you are taking your oral care seriously and still have the occasional case of funk mouth, these natural remedies should get you through it!

Natural Remedies For Bad Breath


On that particular morning I went for the charcoal first, as I happen to have some on hand. After a quick swish then a heavy duty flossing, brushing and tongue scraping session I was all cleaned up and ready to figure out what natural steps to take so this never happens again!


Activated charcoal
I turned to this first because it is well known to help neutralize toxins which can reduce odors. I mixed a little into some water and swished it around my mouth to help neutralize some of that funk! A full two minute swish or brush is what's needed to give the charcoal time to bind to toxins and even stains.

Note: this is not charcoal briquettes like from the grill, this is activated charcoal which is quite different! It's been heat treated which gives it a more porous texture and a negative electrical charge, which causes it to attract positively charged molecules, such as the toxins and gases that create funky morning breath. 

Pro tip: If you are going to buy activated charcoal, look for a bulk bag like the one linked above that is 8oz for $13. Don't be like my husband and order this one just because someone opened the canister wrong on FB and it shot all over the room! lol Yes, the video was funny, but at $7 for 2 oz the jar was not worth the cost. Beware the fancy packaging and marketing. 

Baking soda
There is a reason that so many toothpastes are made with baking soda. It can actually help kill the bacteria that causes bad breath! (great, I sound like a commercial now! lol) Seriously though, I remember my granny using baking soda to brush her teeth for years. Having grown up on sweet mint toothpaste I always hated the taste, but I see the positives now! 

Not only can brushing with baking soda clean your teeth effectively, it's more economical than most commercial toothpaste plus it has an abrasiveness that you can feel working. 

Apple cider vinegar
ACV can help to balance the PH levels in your mouth. Common advice is to mix 1 Tbsp in an 8 ounce glass of water and drink daily. This works over time but for faster results you can just swish with 1 Tbsp of ACV. However, I tried that and it is brutal! Like holding vinegared wine in your mouth...just yuck! I found that if you put 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a cup with 1 Tbsp of water and swish with that, it will still work pretty well and you won't gag! 

Of course you won't notice the results for a few minutes because you'll have vinegar breath, but that passes rather quickly. I get this one on Amazon, but you can find it in stores too.

Eucalyptus Oil
A mainstay of many oral health products, eucalyptus essential oil has the unique ability of reducing sulphur metabolizing bacteria in the mouth. A mouthwash made of a few drops eucalyptus oil in water is effective when used twice daily. Additional essential oils, such as peppermint can be added to the mix to make a potent matrix of breath enhancers.

You can also mix a single drop with some coconut oil when oil pulling, or add to baking soda or charcoal if brushing with either of those. This dentist has a great EO mouthwash recipe using eucalyptus.

Water!
Your mouth naturally dries out as you sleep. Bacteria thrives in the slightly drier conditions which accounts for normal morning breath, Simply rinsing your mouth with water can help to fight bad breath. Making sure you do not become dehydrated can also help keep bad breath at bay. According to PubMed, dry mouth is often the cause of stinky breath!

Coconut oil
Oil pulling has been a fad thing for years now and has a cult like following. I oil pulled for several months at one point with good results. Basically you stick a blob of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for like, 15 minutes. It is said to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth, thereby reducing the odor they produce. Spit it into the garbage can when done so you don't clog your sink pipes. Your cheeks will get sore at first, but that goes away. Your teeth will feel smoother even after the first time, though benefits of oil pulling increase with continued use. 

Here's a great in depth tutorial on coconut oil pulling.

coconut oil for bad breath

Probiotics
Most bad breath is caused by odor causing bacteria. Replace this bad bacteria with good bacteria and lessen the stench. Enter probiotics as a perfect way to help your good bacteria outnumber the bad. I honestly don't know if this works because how do you really tell, especially when you're trying every other method on this list in just a few weeks? It certainly can't hurt though since probiotics have so many other good benefits! I used this one by Florastor, but I picked it up in the grocery store.

Herbs for bad breath (and a few spices)

Cinnamon
Is it a coincidence that many products sold for treating bad breath include cinnamon? Not at all. In fact, cinnamon is effective in treating bad breath via two methods: it's strong scent easily masks foul odors and cinnamon's natural antiseptic properties inhibit bacterial multiplication in the mouth. This allows your breath to stay fresher, longer.

To use cinnamon as a remedy for bad breath, boil either 1 cinnamon stick or one tablespoon of the powdered spice in a cup of water for 2 minutes, allow to cool then store in refrigerator for use as a mouth rinse, twice daily. You can also add a tiny bit of ground cinnamon to baking soda and brush your teeth with the mixture.  

Clove
Cloves possess a very distinct aroma, and have been used successfully for centuries in the treatment of bad breath. Like cinnamon, clove has natural anti-bacterial properties that inhibit the growth of odor producing bacteria in the mouth. You may recognize this taste from visits to the dentist. It's often used in professional dental products since clove contains the active ingredient eugenol, which is a natural anesthetic.

There are actually three ways that clove may be employed in your quest for fresher breath: chewing a few pieces of clove is likely the faster method (though kind of like chewing tree bark) for improving breath. Within a few minutes, noticeable elimination of the foul odors should have occurred. Or find yourself a pack of clove gum. One of the oldest chewing gums invented in 1814 was clove flavored! 

Rinsing/ Drinking- by adding a teaspoon of whole or ground cloves to a cup of boiling water and steeping for 10 minutes, you can make an effective tea or mouthwash. For best results, drink or gargle with the liquid twice daily. Store in refrigerator to keep fresh.

Fennel seed
Chewing fennel seeds can stimulate the production of saliva and their antiseptic properties help to get rid of bacteria that can cause bad breath. Of course if you don't like licorice you won't like fennel seeds. Anise seeds seem to act and taste similar so if you have either one give it a whirl. We spit them out after chewing, but some people take fennel seed for digestive issues so it won't hurt to swallow them.

Parsley
There's a reason this herb is often placed on your dinner plate! The high chlorophyll content in parsley is believed to help freshen breath. Chew a spring of mint also provides chlorophyll and a minty taste. Wheat grass is also high in chlorophyll if that's your thing. Chew on some fresh wheatgrass or swish a little bit of wheatgrass juice through your mouth for a minute to freshen breath. Cilantro is also said to work but I'm one of the people who thinks it tastes like soap,so I did not try that one.

Hey, I said these ideas were all natural, I didn't say they were all yummy! lol

Green tea 
Green tea is high in antioxidants which can fight the growth of bacteria thus reducing the bad breath problem. It seemed to help us minimally at first, but with daily use the benefits should compound. For extra breath freshening power we used a blend of mint and green tea with faster results.

Ok, so I do know that green tea is from a shrub and not really an herb or spice...but it seemed to fit better down here!


While these home remedies all accomplish the goal of reducing bad breath, they primarily do so by masking the root cause. Other variables, such as your diet, presence of any health conditions or overall oral hygiene all play a role in determining your best route of action. If you suffer from severe and chronic bad breath, a visit to your dentist is a good idea as there may be dental problems like gum disease that contribute to you bad breath.

The good news, however, is that bad breath is not likely to represent a threatening medical condition, although it can in a few cases. So, get checked if this is a long term problem.

Want more posts on taking care of your health naturally? Click here for my other posts on natural healthcare!

~L

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I am not a dentist, doctor or other health care professional nor do I claim to be. I am not trained in any medical field. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. see a Dr if you are ill. Click for my full disclaimer.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase something through the link, I will get a small payment from Amazon. It will not affect your purchase price. Click for full disclosure.)

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