Natural Nashers

analise-benevides-p2DfUSIyqWU-unsplashYou’ve only got one set of teeth is the catch cry for a well-known dental chain. Well, technically two, if you count our milk teeth, or deciduous teeth, which are formed in utero and erupt during infancy and then are pushed out of the way to make way for our permanent teeth.

Our prime minister went viral when she announced in a live media conference that, following the anguished question by a young Kiwi if she would still get money for her wiggly tooth, that, indeed, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were classified as essential workers.

Dental hygiene has a great impact on our physical health and keeping our teeth in tip top conditions is paramount.

A herb which can help combat toothache is myrrh which has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. It is mentioned several times in the Bible’s Old Testament in writings as old as Psalms and the Song of Solomon and it is well-known as one of the three gifts presented at the birth of Jesus.

Although better known as a religious accompaniment in ritual and incense-burning, myrrh can treat infections through its antiseptic action. Simply dilute and swirl the tincture around the mouth for two minutes and spit out to eliminate any bacteria which may be causing any dental pain.

At the moment, our weather is unusually spring-like and alpine, or wild, strawberries are still hidden away in unkempt lawns. Wild strawberries are the ancestors of our modern, lush, juicy, large dessert strawberries and there are many tales of how this type of berry got its name.

Many say that its original name, strayberry, which referred to its wandering habit of runner growth, was changed to strawberry in more modern times to reflect the practice of mulching the fruit with straw to prevent the berries from becoming dirty.

Wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca) were also valued for their medicinal properties with the leaves, as well as the fruit, historically used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, heart conditions and fevers. Today they can still be used as a dentifrice which acts as a substance to clean and whiten the teeth. Modern dentrifices are more commonly known as tooth pastes and powders.

The fresh fruit of wild strawberries can remove discolouration of the teeth. Simply rub the juice on the surface of the teeth and leave for five minutes. To wash off simply swirl with warm water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.

Wild strawberries bear a white fruit initially to camouflage them from birds and they have the ability to hide its fruit within the foliage before turning to a red colour.

Next time you are wandering through an unkempt lawn or verge, keep your eyes peeled for the tiny little red or white gems which are playing hide-and-seek with you and the birds.

If your toothache last longer than two days it is best if you visit your dentist for an assessment and treatment.