Gum disease is an uncomfortable condition caused when bacteria invade your gums. The bacterial infection causes pain and inflammation, and if left untreated, gum disease can eventually cause tooth and bone loss. Herbal medicine offers many options to treat gum disease with herbs that reduce infection, cut down inflammation and strengthen your general immune health so you can heal on your own.
Ginger root is a common healing herb used in natural medicine. According to “The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook” by Tillotson et al., ginger works on gum disease by inhibiting inflammation caused by prostaglandin and thromboxane, as was indicated in a 1992 study by Kiuchi et al. To use ginger, take up to 1.5 grams up to three times per day. If you prefer to use ginger tea, you can drink it. Make sure to swish the tea on the affected gum area for best results.
Tulsi is a natural antibiotic and antiviral herb with anti-inflammatory properties that help heal gum disease. Tillotson notes a 1996 study by Pandey in which tulsi was found to be effective against “fungi, as well as the bacteria E. coli.” In the same study, tulsi was also found to be an effective treatment against staph bacteria. The anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious properties of tulsi make it a powerful treatment for gum disease.
Tillotson suggests a dose of 2 grams of dried powdered tulsi administered two to three times per day. You can also take tulsi in a tea, which you can swish around to make direct contact with the affected gum areas. Do not use tulsi if you are pregnant or nursing. Tillotson warns against using Tulsi for an extended period of time.
Honeysuckle flower is a useful antibiotic and anti-inflammatory used in treating mouth and throat inflammations. According to Holistic Online, you should consult an herbal practitioner before using honeysuckle flower if your gum disease has progressed to open sores. They recommend a dose of 6 to 15 grams of honeysuckle flower. Larger doses should be supervised by a qualified medical professional or trained herbal practitioner.
Echinacea is an herbal remedy that bolsters your immune system, increasing your body’s ability to fight off gum disease. According to Holistic Online, echinacea is commonly used to fight gingivitis and mouth ulcers. The anti-inflammatory properties of echinacea also contribute to its effectiveness against gum disease. Holistic Online suggests a dose 900 mg of powdered echinacea in a supplement capsule up to three times per day. Take echinacea should for a set period of time, and stop taking it for a rest period once you have taken a steady dose for three weeks.
Licorice root has powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and healing effects that make it a popular treatment for gum disease. According to “One Earth,” licorice root can interact with certain medications, so you must contact your doctor if you are taking medications, particularly those that treat blood pressure or fluid retention. You can use a type of licorice treated to reduce side effects, called deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), as a mouthwash to heal mouth and gum ulcers. Overdoses of licorice root can lead to negative symptoms, so “One Earth” recommends a dose of 1.2 to 1.8 grams of licorice root per day. If you want to use a higher dose, talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe.