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If you have to choose a disease to live with for the rest of your life, let it be halitosis. No one has ever died from bad breath.

Bad breath as a disease

Although it’s an indication of something more serious going on in the body, halitosis at the most has only hurt one’s social status in life and nothing more. But that name, halitosis, it sounds so medicinal?

Sure, that’s just what was intended. Just as Hallmark cards invented Mother’s Day and have convinced us that we can’t truly love our mothers unless we send them greeting cards. So, has it been with the birth of this new disease—halitosis!

Rising from obscurity as a symptom hardly worth mentioning, Listerine, Scope, Cepacol and all the others who take your breath away, have convinced the gullible consumer that halitosis is on an equal par with hoof-and-mouth disease. And needs to be dealt with immediately, or else. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Causes for bad breath - Halitosis

Halitosis, or foul-smelling breath is a minor but common complaint that has been magnified by the media with multitudes of TV campaigns for mouthwashes, breath sprays and chewing gums. The affliction appears to be more noticeable and offensive to the recipients than to the one doing the breathing. Most oral odors arise from the bacterial decomposition of food particles, scaled off mucosal cells, and salivary protein in the mouth, and further down there are others:  tonsillitis, sinusitis, smoking, gastro-intestinal disorders, sluggish bowels and chronic constipation.

These conditions are compounded by the presence of several other factors. Common, minor and correctable conditions are poor dental hygiene, malpositioned teeth that collect food debris, food pockets, Xerostomia (dry mouth), mouth breathing, and chronic periodontitis (gum disease). Other more serious conditions involving diseased oral tissues, such as ulcers and necrotic tumors can produce an even more pungent odor.

Other causes

According to Current Therapy’s contributing editor, C.T. Yarington, M.D. of Seattle, Washington, approximately 10% of bad breath cases emanate from outside the mouth. A skilled physician can tell much about the body’s state of affairs just by a whiff of his patient’s breath during the examination. Certain foods and liquids ingested into the body and circulating in the system have certain aromatic properties.

They have the ability to combine with several components of the blood to produce their own characteristic odors. The allyl disulfides from garlic, the most notable-- one of nature’s healthiest foods that does so much, even though it smells so bad. Aromas of alcoholic drinks. Just ask any state trouper about their tell-tale smells. Many officers can tell you the type of drink involved, some can even identify the brand.

Ketones (emitted by diabetics) have their own sweet, fruity odor. Paraldehyde and aromatic products from undigested fats pass from the blood through the alveolar membranes in the lungs and are exhaled, with their own characteristic aromas. The remainder of the causes of halitosis exist, though rare, are due to inflammatory conditions of the nose, throat, lungs and stomach.

Halitosis treatment - with nutrients and herbs

Treatment for halitosis, depends pretty much on who you ask or who’s treating you. Ask a medical doctor and you may wind up with a prescription to treat the bowels. Ask a naturopath or homeopath and you may get back a tincture of essence of garlic diluted a hundred times. Or ask an integrated physician, who may prescribe everything: allopathic, alternative, acupuncture and maybe even several tried and unproven remedies that look promising. Whatever course you decide to take, refer to the steps below that have been suggested by a consensus of many different types of physicians:


  1. Oat bran, psyllium husks or rice bran (1 tbsp. twice daily on empty stomach) to remove toxins from the colon.
  2. Alfalfa liquid, wheatgrass and barley juice (1 tbsp. in juice twice daily) contain the absorbent chlorophyll
  3. Vitamin C (2,000-6,000 mg daily, as tolerated) helps heal mouth and gum disease; rids body of excess mucus and toxins.
  4. Acidophilus, as directed on label, adds good bacteria to intestinal flora.
  5. Brewer’s yeast  (2-5 tbsp. daily mixed with a sour fruit juice, water and apple cider vinegar) to help maintain the correct pH of the body.
  6. Betaine Hydrochloride (one tablet after each meal) to aid digestion.


  1. Alfalfa (500 – 1,000 mg in juice three times daily) cleanses bloodstream.
  2. Goldenseal extract (applied to infected gums two hours daily for three days) will help heal the gums or mouth sores.
  3. Myrrh, peppermint, rosemary and sage to brush teeth and mouthwash.
  4. Parsley chewed on after meals removes bad breath instantly.

Halitosis dietary changes and prevention

The diet should emphasize at least 50% raw vegetables and fruits. Chew all food extremely well, remembering digestion takes place first—in the mouth. Avoid constipating, refined carbohydrates, and anything white-- white sugar, white bread, white flour and bakery items. Even whole-grain bread should be eaten sparingly.

Avoid beer, coffee, whiskey, wine, spicy foods, meat and eggs until your breath is under control. Faulty digestion of animal protein is a common cause of bad breath and unpleasant body odors. Avoid any kind of over-eating. Eat six to eight soaked prunes or a few dried or soaked figs with breakfast, drinking the liquid as well. Drink plenty of liquids, vegetable and fruit juices and 4-6 glasses of water daily. Take one tsp. of powdered charcoal in a glass of water each morning.

Halitosis prevention

  • Consult a dentist for examination and correction of any dental problem.
  • Maintain good dental hygiene with frequent tooth and tongue brushing after meals, use of dental floss, water-pic and gum massagers.
  • Use stim-u-dent wooden toothpicks to remove stuck food particles.
  • Antiseptic mouthwashes are of some value, but the effect lasts only for a short time and continued use may damage the oral mucosa.
  • Reduce or eliminate ingestion of aromatic, odor-releasing compounds.
  • Evaluate the cause of any dry mouth condition and treat as indicated.
  • Correct any associated inflammatory or metabolic disease.

  • Current Therapy, H.F.Conn. M.D., Disorders of the Mouth. C.T.Yarington, M.D.
  • Nutritional Healing, Third Edition, J.F.Balch, M.D., Periodontal Disease
  • How to Get Well, Handbook of Natural Healing, P.Airola, PhD, N.D., Halitosis

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