If you’ve ever eaten garlic or onions—or stood next to someone who has—you know that certain foods reliably produce a sour or strong odor on the breath. These foods, usually ones that are pungent or spicy, contain foul-smelling sulfur compounds that are released not just into the mouth but into the bloodstream and the lungs as well. Even if you brush and gargle, you’ll continue to exhale the sulfur with every breath until the food is fully metabolized, a process that can take up to twenty-four hours. This kind of food-induced bad breath can sometimes be socially troubling (especially if your companions have not eaten the same sulfur-producing food that you have), but it is in no way a health threat. If you enjoy eating spicy, strong food, complementary medicine offers some effective ways to mask the temporarily offensive result.
Persistent bad breath, on the other hand, is medically known as halitosis and is a symptom of an underlying problem. Many cases are warning signs of insufﬁcient oral hygiene. If you do not clean your teeth after eating, bacteria will feed on the food par- ticles left in your mouth and emit sulfur as a digestive by-product. Eventually, these bacteria will cause tooth decay and gum disease, disorders that, in turn, lead to even worse-smelling breath.
If regular brushing and ﬂossing don’t improve chronic bad breath, it’s quite pos- sible that you are suffering from a toxic body system. An improper diet and a poorly functioning digestive system can lead to the accumulation of toxins, which is reﬂected in bad breath. If you are constipated (as are many people who follow poor diets) and cannot eliminate the poisons via your bowels, the body may try to expel some of them every time you breathe out. A cleansing program, followed by dietary changes, should help get rid of the toxins and, with them, the cause of bad breath.
Also, undetected infections of the throat such as tonsillitis, as well as sinusitis can be the underlying cause of foul breath. These conditions may be the result of food or environmental allergens causing mucus formation and postnasal drip. Along these lines are chronic root canal infections, as well as teeth and mercury ﬁllings that are decaying. The repeated use of antibiotics can wipe out the good ﬂora in your mouth, which leads to the overgrowth of bad bacteria that cause bad breath.
Smoking is another obvious method of poisoning your body, and the best way to clear up the breath it causes is to give up the habit.
In rare cases, halitosis is a symptom of a serious disease. If the suggestions listed here don’t improve your breath, consult a holistic dentist ﬁrst and then a doctor, if necessary. It is possible that you have a dental disorder or even a disease of the kid- neys or the liver. Take chronic bad breath seriously, but do exercise some common sense. Our society places an unnaturally high priority on eliminating body odors, and many dentists have noted that otherwise healthy patients can become convinced their breath is offensive, when in fact it is perfectly normal. If your close friends and health professionals assure you that your breath is ﬁne, it’s probably wisest to trust them.
• Unpleasant odor on the breath
• Pungent or spicy foods
• Inadequate dental hygiene
• Poor diet
• Tooth decay
• Gum disease
• Chronic infection in the mouth (especially root canals), throat, or sinuses
• Decaying mercury ﬁllings
• Flora imbalance in the mouth and the respiratory tract
• Liver failure
• Kidney disease
Base your meals on healthful sources of ﬁber. Whole grains, raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables, beans, and raw nuts and seeds will all improve your digestive system’s ability to process food and expel toxins.
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours. You’ll keep your digestive system regular and help eliminate poisons.
If you go to a diner or an old-fashioned restaurant, you may notice that a sprig of parsley accompanies your meal. The parsley is meant to be more than a garnish; it’s a traditional breath freshener that really works. Parsley is high in chlorophyll, an agent that neutralizes odor in the bloodstream and the lungs. Other good sources of chloro- phyll include green vegetables, watercress, and alfalfa. If you know you’re going to eat a type of food that causes bad breath, you may want to incorporate some of these greens into your meal.
Vitamins A and C are necessary for good dental health. For vitamin A, consume green or orange vegetables like carrots, kale, squash, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Eat citrus fruits for vitamin C.
Cultured products, especially live unsweetened yogurt, will encourage healthy bac- teria to grow in the intestines and will improve digestion.
Food to Avoid
• Avoid foods that take a long time to travel through the digestive system. Red meat, fried food, and processed food all linger in the system and cause both constipation and halitosis.
• Mucus slows waste matter in its passage through the intestines. Cut down on mucus-forming foods like dairy products, reﬁned ﬂours, chocolate, and bananas.
• Avoid foods that are high in reﬁned sugar, which leads to tooth decay. Be espe- cially wary of sticky treats like caramels or hard candies, which can lodge themselves between your teeth and attract oral bacteria.
• Foods that are most likely to cause temporary bad breath include garlic, onions, strong cheese, cured meats, and anchovies. If the resulting odor both- ers you, limit or stop your consumption of these items.
To get rid of undigested food, go on a three-day juice fast. Emphasize green drinks during your fast, and go easy on juices made with sweet fruits. If you’re constipated, add 1 tablespoon of ground ﬂaxseeds to your drinks for ﬁber.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Bad Breath
Super Prescription #1 Chlorophyll
Take a teaspoonful of liquid chlorophyll after meals. Chlorella, alfalfa, and spirulina are also rich sources. Take as directed on the container.
Super Prescription #2 Xylitol
Use 4 to 12 grams of xylitol in natural gums, mints, toothpastes, or as a mouth rinse. This natural sweetener prevents the bacteria that cause bad breath from sticking to the mucosa of your mouth and teeth.
Super Prescription #3 Parsley
Take 5 drops of a liquid parsley extract after each meal to freshen your breath.
Super Prescription #4 Probiotic
Take a product containing at least 4 billion organisms. Mix it into water, swish it in your mouth, and swallow. It contains friendly bacteria that prevent the build-up of bacteria that cause bad breath, and it improves digestive function and elimination.
Super Prescription #5 Enzymes
Take a full-range enzyme with each meal to enhance the breakdown and the absorp- tion of food.
Super Prescription #6 Bitter herbs
Take a digestion formula that contains bitter herbs, such as gentian, to improve overall digestive function. Take as directed on the container at beginning of each meal.
Super Prescription #7 Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
If you are frequently constipated, you probably need to detoxify your liver. Cleanse it with milk thistle (Silybum marianum) extract. Choose a product standardized to 70 to 80 percent silymarin, and take 200 to 250 mg twice a day.
Coenzyme Q10 is for people with active gum disease. Take 200 mg daily.
Cooled rosemary and peppermint tea makes a highly effective mouthwash.
Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms. Take a 6x, 12x, 6C, or 30C potency twice daily for two weeks to see if there are any positive results. After you notice improvement, stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms return.
Mercurius Solubilis is for offensive breath caused by tooth decay and accompa- nied by a yellow coating on the tongue and excessive salivation.
Nux Vomica (Strychnos nux vomica) is helpful if you have bad breath after drink- ing alcohol or have a history of constipation and/or heartburn.
Pulsatilla (Pulsatilla pratensis) is for sour breath caused by eating too much fatty food.
• You can reduce the frequency of constipation by strengthening your colon. Use
Large Intestine 11 to achieve this goal.
• Stomach 36 tones your digestive system.
Essential oils are much more effective than commercial mouthwashes are at elimi- nating oral bacteria and neutralizing bad breath. To make your own mouthwash, add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to clean water.
• Brush after every meal, and ﬂoss your teeth before you go to bed. Many peo- ple who are assiduous brushers neglect ﬂossing, but this step is vital to keep food particles out of the spaces between the teeth.
• Avoid toothpastes that are full of chemicals and artiﬁcial sweeteners. Natural toothpaste is now available at many drugstores, as well as at health food stores. You can also make your own with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Just before you brush, combine the two ingredients until they form a paste with a consistency that’s to your liking. You should make a fresh mixture each time you brush your teeth.
• Commercial mouthwashes are just as bad as most toothpastes. They irritate the soft tissues of the mouth and can actually encourage bacterial growth. Instead, use a homemade mouthwash of water and essential oils, as previously recommended.
• Even if you keep your teeth scrupulously clean, see your holistic dentist for regular check-ups. He or she can remove plaque and other buildup that you may not be able to reach and will also check for any early signs of decay.
When a bumblebee or a honeybee attacks, it leaves its stinger and attached venom sac in the skin. In most cases, the sting creates only slight pain, swelling, and irrita- tion. It is more of a nuisance than a concern. However, look for signs of an allergic
reaction, such as swollen eyelids or hands, difﬁculty breathing or wheezing, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, and the appearance of a hive-like rash. For these symp- toms, go immediately to the emergency room or your doctor’s ofﬁce. The bee sting can be fatal in people who are allergic to its venom.
Other insects, including ﬁre ants, paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets, are capa- ble of stinging, but they do not leave stingers in their victims.
Tips for Avoiding a Bee Sting
1. Wear light-colored, smooth-ﬁnished clothing.
2. Avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos, and deodorants. Don’t wear cologne or perfume. Avoid bananas and banana-scented toiletries.
3. Wear clean clothing and bathe daily. Sweat angers bees.
4. Cover the body as much as possible with clothing.
5. Avoid ﬂowering plants.
6. Check for new nests during the warmer hours of the day during July, August, and September. Bees are very active then.
7. Keep outside areas clean. Social wasps thrive in places where humans discard food, so clean up picnic tables, grills, and other outdoor eating areas.
8. If a single stinging insect is ﬂying around, remain still or lie face down on the ground. The face is the most likely place for a bee or a wasp to sting. Swinging or swatting at an insect may cause it to sting.
9. If you are attacked by several stinging insects at the same time, run to
get away from them. Bees release a chemical when they sting. This alerts other bees to the intruder. More bees often follow. Go indoors. Out- doors, a shaded area is better than an open area to get away from the insects.
10. If a bee comes inside your vehicle, stop the car slowly, and open all the windows.
What to Do If Someone Is Stung
1. Have someone stay with the victim to be sure that the person does not have an allergic reaction.
2. Wash the site with soap and water.
3. The stinger can be removed by wiping a four-inch gauze pad over the area or by scraping a ﬁngernail or a credit card over the area. Never squeeze the stinger or use tweezers. It will cause more venom to go into the skin and will injure the muscle.
4. Apply ice to reduce the swelling.
5. Do not scratch the sting. This will cause the site to swell and itch more and will increase the chance of infection.
6. If the victim is having a severe allergic reaction, seek emergency med- ical attention.
7. Epinephrine is given by injection to stop allergic reactions.
Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids that promote skin healing and reduce inﬂammation, such as ﬁsh (salmon, cod, mackerel). Ground ﬂaxseeds, avocados, and wheat germ are also recommended.
Eat green, orange, and yellow vegetables at every meal. These foods are packed with vitamins A and C, which will speed your skin’s recovery from the inﬂammation.
Food to Avoid
Sugar worsens the inﬂammatory response. Stay away from reﬁned sugar products, including cookies, cakes, sweet baked goods, and sodas, and eat naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruit, in moderation.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Bee Stings
Please note that these therapies do not replace conventional therapy for people who are having a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Super Prescription #1 Homeopathic Apis (Apis melliﬁca)
Take a 30C potency every thirty minutes to reduce swelling and pain. The sting- ing or burning pain, along with great swelling, is reduced with cold applications.
Super Prescription #2 Homeopathic Carbolic Acid (Carbolicum Acidum)
Take a 30C potency every ﬁve minutes to reduce severe reactions to a bee sting, while waiting to get conventional therapy with an epinephrine injection.
Super Prescription #3 Homeopathic Ledum (Ledum Palustre)
Take a 30C potency every thirty minutes to reduce swelling and pain. The person has a bruising pain that feels better with cold applications.
Super Prescription #4 Vitamin C with bioﬂavonoids
Take 1,000 mg three times daily to reduce swelling and inﬂammation. Note:
Reduce the dosage if loose stools occur.
Super Prescription #5 Super green food supplement
Take a super green food product, such as spirulina, chlorella, or a combination of greens, to reduce the inﬂammatory response. Take as directed on the container.
Super Prescription #6 Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
This decreases anxiety and emotional upset. Take 10 drops four times daily.
Super Prescription #7 Quercitin
Take 500 mg three times daily. This ﬂavonoid reduces inﬂammation of the skin.