Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homemade Mint Extract {plus homemade toothpaste}


My in-laws have a huge {and I mean HUGE} patch of wild peppermint growing on their property. Each time it's in season, they'll occasionally harvest a bit and make a fresh mint infusion out of it, usually when they have people over for dinner. But that's it. The rest is just left there to go about its wild minty business.



This year, I decided to try my hand at making my own mint extract. I harvested some peppermint, washed the leaves and allowed them to dry slightly.

I stuck the leaves in a couple glass jars and poured some cheap vodka over the tops. The jars got stored away in a cabinet for four weeks and I gave them a good shake every day or so.


After the four weeks were up, I filtered the mint-infused vodka back into its bottle and admired the nasty brownish-green colored liquid.


It smelled like mint, but I needed a way to test it...

I decided on toothpaste.

I ran a couple Google searches for homemade toothpaste, read up on a few different ingredients, and gathered the ones I had on hand.

I mixed everything together, brushed my teeth, and was pleasantly surprised - I had made my very own mint toothpaste!


I used...

  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties, which is awesome for maintaining oral health. Many people benefit from oil pulling as well - you could even spend a few minutes "pulling" the toothpaste left in your mouth before spitting to really up the ante.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps kill germs and neutralize the acids found in your mouth - resulting in better breath! It's also known for whitening and desensitizing painful teeth. Finally, it's slightly abrasive and helps "scrub" away plaque found on teeth as well as gently "massage" your gum line.
  • Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal {not to be confused with burnt wood charcoal found in your BBQ!} has whitening properties as it literally absorbs everything in it's immediate surroundings - such as plaque, bacteria and food particles causing tooth discoloration. It also helps clean the mouth because of this. There are even some claims of it helping "remineralize" teeth.
  • Mint Extract: Mint is naturally germicidal and anti-bacterial. It also helps freshen breath.
  • Stevia: Stevia helps reduce the number of bacteria found in the mouth, as well as prevent cavities and gingivitus.


The only thing I will change next time is use a different stevia. The one I used this time around was the powdered kind {which I'm trying to use up} but I find the taste to be a bit too strong. I much prefer the taste of the liquid kind, so that will be going in the next batch.


Homemade Mint Toothpaste

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 capsules activated charcoal
  • 1/2 tsp mint extract {or to taste}
  • 1/8 tsp stevia {or to taste}
Method:
  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Store in a container and simply dip your toothbrush in each time you need some, then brush away!


I think this *may* mean I'm crunchy... I'm pretty sure I'm going to be "that mom" one day... :p


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