How to Make an Herbal Mouthwash

Homemade Herbal Mouthwash Recipe to Keep Your Mouth Healthy Naturally

Is mouthwash part of your oral hygiene regimen? It should be. In addition to brushing and flossing, swishing with a rinse as simple as water helps to further remove debris and clean the mouth. A mouthwash does not need to be high tech, a homemade mouthwash can be just as effective as one that you buy at the store. It supports good oral hygiene and can be tailored to address your personal needs and preferences. An herbal mouthwash is a simple and fun DIY project that will benefit you daily. Try the recipe below to create your own mouthwash. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked on this healthy habit for good.

Natural remedies have been relied upon for ages to keep mouths healthy. Prior to the development of modern dentistry, dental problems were not only miserable, but they could quickly become deadly due to the risk of infection and the close proximity of the mouth to the delicate and essential structures within the skull. Many of these traditional tools have taken a back seat to today’s dental care choices, but they are still as effective as ever.

Even today, the health of our teeth plays a significant role in our daily social interactions, influencing our conversations, job prospects, and the way we are perceived in the world. Be proactive about taking great care of your mouth–after all, it is connected to the rest of your body. Good health is connected to good oral health.

Healthy teeth and gums

There are so many great herbs and natural ingredients that are beneficial for oral hygiene. Things as simple as coconut oil, baking soda, and sea salt are effective at cleaning the mouth and providing an extra measure of oral health maintenance. For specific issues, like preventing gum disease or treating mouth sores, herbs such as myrrh, cloves, and rosemary have traditionally been used. A well-rounded whole foods diet is also a key component of optimal oral health.

Unlike many homemade mouthwash recipes, this one relies on tincturing whole herbs rather than relying on essential oils. In order to get essential oils to mix properly in water, we need either an emulsifier, or use some alcohol. Mouthwashes that are just essential oils in water can burn your delicate oral tissues since they don’t stay mixed. In this recipe, myrrh is the only essential oil used, and we will mix it with alcohol (our tincture).

I have chosen a combination of ingredients that I like for this recipe. Many of these have overlapping benefits, so if you are missing any you can still make an effective herbal mouthwash. As always with DIY projects, experiment and find out what works well for you.

Useful for treating toothaches and reducing inflammation. Cloves contain a chemical called eugenol which is anesthetic and antibacterial (Source1)
Has been used medicinally for centuries. Myrrh is known for having a general calming effect and antioxidant properties. Myrrh kills off bacteria that contribute to bad breath, benefits the gums and stops bleeding.
Peppermint or spearmint
Antibacterial and antimicrobial. Both help to kill off disease-causing bacteria around the gums, freshen breath and leave the mouth feeling clean (Source2)
Antibacterial and freshens the breath. Also functions as a good antioxidant and pain reliever.
grapefruit seed extract
Antimicrobial. Effective at killing off unwanted germs on various surfaces, including oral tissues.
baking soda
A simple and cheap household ingredient that does a great job of cleaning the mouth naturally. You can always rely on this to create a simple mouthwash when nothing else is available. Baking soda helps to balance the acidity levels of the mouth, prevents and treats bad breath and naturally whitens teeth. (If you run out of baking soda, you can substitute sea salt.)
Herbal Mouthwash Recipe

Tools You Will Need:

  • Mason jar, pint-size works well, with a lid
  • Herbal strainer or cheese cloth
  • Smaller jar(s) or dropper bottle(s) for storage


  • 1 teaspoon cloves- whole or powdered
  • 2 tablespoons dried peppermint or spearmint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried or fresh rosemary leaves
  • 8 oz. alcohol to create the tincture- rum or vodka work well, (ideally around 80 proof)

Add After:

  • 20 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit seed extract


  • Place the herbs into your mason jar. Pouring hot water over the herbs, just enough to wet them, helps to release their aromatic properties.
  • Pour the alcohol over the herbs.
  • Cover and let sit for 2 or 3 weeks away from sunlight. Agitate the jar often (daily, if possible) to help the mixture saturate.
  • After the 2-3-week waiting period, strain the herbs and pour the liquid into your container(s) for long-term storage. Add the myrrh essential oil and grapefruit seed extract at this stage and mix thoroughly.

Add 20-30 drops of the tincture to the mixture below and use as a daily rinse. Swish for 30 seconds and spit.

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (or sea salt)


If you are pregnant or avoiding alcohol for any reason, add the tincture to hot water to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Let the liquid cool slightly before adding baking soda (if you choose to do so).

Eugenol, found in cloves, seems to slow blood clotting, so the cloves should be avoided by anyone with bleeding disorders or taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs as well as post-surgery  (Source3).

Grapefruit can interact with a wide variety of medications. It’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider or avoid using the grapefruit seed extract if you are taking any other medications, even herbal ones.

Even though these ingredients are all natural, be careful not to overdo. While the mouth is built to withstand a lot, we do want to take care of the enamel and tender tissue of the gums and inner mouth. Essential oils and GSE should be used in very dilute concentrations here, so please follow the recipe and start with smaller amounts if you tend to be sensitive.

When creating homemade recipes, always start by using small quantities at first to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients. If you experience any unusual reactions, consult your healthcare provider.

How to make an Herbal Mouthwash
Escentual Web