Mainstream doctors often blame high blood pressure on obesity, lack of exercise, too much salt, smoking, stress, or other lifestyle factors.
But many people with hypertension have none of these issues.
Now, a new study shows the culprit may be in your medicine cabinet.
The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. Scientists wanted to see what effect antiseptic mouthwashes have on blood pressure.
The scientists recruited 26 volunteers. The subjects were asked to use an antiseptic mouthwash twice daily for one week. The research team collected tongue scrapings and saliva samples from the subjects. They took blood pressure readings at the start and seven, 10, and 14 days afterward.
The researchers found that mouthwash use led to significantly higher systolic (the upper number) blood pressure.
Dr. Nathan Bryan was the study’s senior author. He notes that the blood gas nitric oxide (NO) is critical to healthy blood pressure. It is a vasodilator. That means it keeps blood vessels open wider, which lowers pressure.
But harsh mouthwashes not only “kill the germs that cause bad breath.” They also kill beneficial mouth bacteria that produce NO.
Dr. Bryan observes that a person cannot be healthy without adequate NO. “Yet the very first thing over 200 million Americans do each day is use an antiseptic mouthwash.”
4 Natural Mouthwash Alternatives
Don’t use mouthwashes labeled “antiseptic” or “antibacterial.” They often contain alcohol, methyl salicylate, cetylpyridinium chloride, or chlorhexidine.
Instead, use these natural breath fresheners. They won’t harm the “good” bacteria in your mouth that contribute to healthy blood pressure:
- Baking soda. Stir four teaspoons into a cup of filtered water. Add four drops of peppermint oil and four drops of tea tree oil. Mix thoroughly. You’ve got a homemade mouthwash that’s effective and safe. Be sure not to swallow.
- Ayurvedic mouthwash. Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional form of healing practiced in India. Auromere is a prominent brand of Ayurvedic mouthwash. It contains 23 herbal extracts and nine essential oils. It is available in health stores and from online retailers.
- Apple cider vinegar. Add two tablespoons to a cup of water and stir.
- Green tea. It reduces sulfur compounds that can cause bad breath.
Editor’s Note: If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, you need to read Independent Healing. It’s your best source for unbiased, evidence-based solutions to the most common health problems.
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