Halitosis, or bad breath, is an extremely embarrassing symptom. In most cases, the odours come from the upper part of the digestive system – teeth, gums, mouth, gullet and stomach. In others, the problem originates in the respiratory tract, which comprises the sinuses throat, windpipe and lungs issue.
In addition to smelly substances that you take in orally, such as onions, garlic, alcohol and, ofcourse, nicotine, there are two types of chemical process that cause odours to be emitted.
First, what you might call home brewing: fermentation caused by the action of yeast or fungus on carbohydrates producing different alcohols in your body. If you think of the unattractive smell of beer being brewed, you can understand the basic process.
The second is putrefaction – in other words, rotting – caused by the action of bacteria on protein that results in the release of unpleasant-smelling gases. Bacteria thrive on mucus or phlegm so when there is mucus accumulation or chronic congestion in the sinuses and/or the bronchial tract it can lead to offensive vapours being borne out on the breath. If protein-rich tissues in the upper digestive system or respiratory tract start decaying, they can produce very strong odours. The most common are ammoniac compounds, which smell like public lavatories, and hydrogen sulphide, which resembles rotten egg.
Gums and teeth trap food particles, and bacteria have a great time feeding on these. Infected gums can be a major source of bad breath as they continually produce pus in an attempt to ward off the germs. The gullet and the stomach lining are the site of germs which can trigger offensives smells. In fact, testing for traces of these gases is a standard medical procedure for detecting the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (major cause of gastritis and stomach ulcers) in the stomach. Additionally, gut parasites such as yeast and Candida albicans produce alcohol and gases.
The basic principle is to create an environment in the regions I have described above in which the bacteria and fungi cannot thrive and take up permanent residence.
- The first step is to improve the immune system to deter bacteria and fungi. Eat a healthy diet organic if possible, of fruit, vegetables and simple proteins such as chicken and fish.
- Also take one tablespoonful of the Ayurvedic supplement Chavanprash with a little runny honey for two to three months to boost the immune system.
- Avoid food products containing yeast (bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, Marmite), fungal Products (cheese, mushrooms, vinegar), fermented drinks (beer, wine, whisky and other grain drinks).Take the Ayurvedic supplement Kadu for its and fungal (ie, anti-candida and yeast) properties.
- Soak two twigs of Kadu in a cup of hot water at night then strain and drink the bitter water in the morning.
- Massage gums with a mixture of half a teaspoon of table salt (a quarter of a teaspoon if you have high blood pressure) and half a teaspoonful of pure mustard oil. Rub your gums with your index finger or a very soft brush loaded with the mix last thing at night for two or three minutes. This is a natural way of destroying gum decaying germs. Initially, you will find that blood and pus are sucked out of the pockets of infection, then this will clear.
- Suck cloves three to four times a day. Clove oil has powerful antiseptic properties and also freshens the breath.
- Put one drop of colloidal silver in a tumbler of water and sip it slowly. Silver has natural antibacterial properties.li>
- Brush your teeth three times a day with a medium soft brush, using an Ayurvedic herbal toothpaste such as Neem, or a bicarbonate product such as Arm & Hammer’s (all available from good health stores). Concentrate on the front teeth as this is where the maximum trouble takes place.
Yoga exercises to clean the breath
- Standing, look ahead and then up. Now breathe out forcefully ten times, making a ‘whoosh’ sound, while contracting your diaphragm as if ‘snapping’ it. Look straight ahead and repeat ten times. Finally look down and repeat ten times.
- Alternate nostril breathing will help clear your nose. Make sure the nasal tract is dry. Place your right thumb over your right nostril, your right first finger over your left nostril. Lift the thumb slightly and breathe in through your right nostril to a slow count of three. Lower the thumb on to your right nostril and raise the finger on your left, then breathe out through your left nostril counting slowly to six. Breathe in through your left nostril for three, close and breathe out through the right for six. Do three more repetitions.