Aloe vera is excellent for gum health, and it even froths up like toothpaste. It contains substances that help to heal mouth ulcers and relieve receding gums, and it kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay. It’s an easy plant to grow, and one leaf will provide many nights of teeth brushing. It’s cheap, free of chemicals and doesn’t need plastic packaging!
I learnt how to do this from Isabell Shipard‘s comprehensive Australian book ‘How Can I Use Herbs In My Daily Life?’. She discusses many other uses for aloe vera, besides brushing teeth and applying to sunburn. See my other favourite herbals here.
My aloe vera plants are a bit burnt-looking from lack of water. They’re struggling along in pots that are too small, and often dry out. But they’re still alive, proving how tough this plant is!
Cut a leaf and stand it to drain the bitter yellow sap out. It lies just under the skin of the leaf. The sap is a laxative and can upset your tummy if you eat too much of it. We won’t be eating the toothpaste so it doesn’t matter too much, just drain most of it. You only have to do this once.
Press your toothbrush into the cut end of the leaf. (Find bamboo toothbrushes at your health food shop or online, to avoid another plastic thing in your house.)
This will break the gel inside the leaf, leaving your toothbrush coated in clear slime. Mmm!
Brush your teeth as normal. The natural saponins in the aloe vera will froth when you brush. Bubbles!
Spit and rinse. My son didn’t like the slight bitter taste of the aloe gel, and quickly spat it all out. Oh well.
Leave the leaf in the bathroom. The cut end will heal over. Next night, cut the end off again to expose fresh wet leaf. Repeat until you’ve used the whole leaf.
If you’re travelling, wrap the leaf in a paper bag to keep it clean and stop the gel from leaking onto stuff.
How easy is that! Aloe for your teeth. What interesting uses do you have for herbs in your garden?