Herbal Toothpaste – A greener way to whiten your teeth

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Hello Herb Lovers,

With more and more people embracing a greener attitude to modern life, there is an abundance of commercial hair & beauty products that utilise the benefits of herbs. Some are just the same old synthetic products made up of goddess-knows-what with some token herbal essences added to give them the appearance of being natural.  But there are quite a few others that have actively changed their products to include a healthier, more natural and especially HERBAL list of active ingredients.

There are now a myriad of products, especially hair care products that advertise their herbal goodness.  But I thought I would have a look at a product that people might have a problem changing to from the one they and their family have been using for years and years. Toothpaste!

toothpaste

I picked two different brands of toothpaste from the supermarket shelf purely based on the word HERBAL in large letters on their packaging. Herbal Fresh by Red Seal and Colgate Herbal.  The packaging is very green as if to emphasise their naturalness and has images of herbs.  All very pretty but what’s inside?

On first glance the list on Colgate looks to be a lot longer – most ingredients are exactly the same, but you’ll find that where Red Seal simply states flavours and natural colour Colgate spells out what their flavours are and what colour they are using.  Again, very similar with the one obvious difference that Red Seal uses No Added Fluoride as their strong selling point.

Colgate Herbal is a white toothpaste with a green stripe. The green stripe is said to contain their exclusive blend of honeysuckle, tea tree oil, clove oil and eucalyptus. The box informed me that this particular toothpaste was manufactured in Vietnam.

Red Seal Herbal Fresh is plain white (which I guess is the colour they used?) and contains herbal extracts/oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, orange, spearmint, nutmeg, aniseed, basil, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, clove, pimento and menthol. This product hails from New Zealand.

Then I brushed my teeth.  Both toothpastes frothed the same way, had the same texture and the tubes had identical squeezability. But where they differed significantly was the taste. Colgate is quite in your face – a strong eucalypt taste and the clove oil leaves your mouth slightly numb.  Not bad if you like that feeling but I for one can’t even use the anaesthetic throat lozenges because I hate the numb mouth feel.  Anyway….

Colgate Herbal is probably not the best idea for the person who is new to herbal tastes.  If anything it could turn them off.  For the seasoned herb lover it could work well because it does leave your mouth with a very clean feel.

Red Seal Herbal Fresh still has a definite herbal taste, not necessarily milder but somehow gentler. The eucalyptus and clove oil are not nearly as strong and there is a slight hint of fruitiness which I assume is the lemon and orange. My mouth was left feeling very fresh and incredibly clean, much more so than my usual toothpaste.

Both toothpastes are an acquired taste but if you wanted to give it a shot, then I would recommend the Red Seal Herbal Fresh as a gentler introduction.

If neither appeal and you still want to go natural in your tooth cleaning regime then you could always try liquorice sticks. No, not the black sweet kind but actual sticks of the herb liquorice.I read somewhere that if your split one end a bit and make it into a mini brush it makes for a great dental cleanser.  I havent tried it, and I know that liquorice is many times sweeter than sugar…..so I am not entirely sure how that is great for your teeth….but people are doing it.

Stay herbal

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