Gargles and mouthwashes usually contain astringent herbs that tighten the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. The astringency can be made more palatable by adding a little licorice or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the preparation. Since gargles and mouthwashes are made from infusions, decoctions, or diluted tinctures, they can safely be swallowed, unlike commercial preparations. However, do not exceed the maximum daily dosage of an herb.
Gargles and mouthwashes are used for sore throats, canker sores, gingivitis, and other oral inflammations.
Make an infusion but allow it to stand for 15-20 minutes in order to increase the astringency. Strain, then gargle or rinse the mouth with some of the preparation.
Alternatively, dilute about 5 ml of tincture with 100 ml of hot, filtered water and use in the same way.
Gargle or Mouthwash
- 1 oz (40 g) each sage leaves and thyme 2 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 cups cider vinegar
Combine ingredients in a covered jar and let stand to macerate for two weeks. Strain and store in airtight sterilized bottles and use one teaspoon in a little warm water two or three times a day as long asthe symptoms persist.