Anti-halitosis plants in Iranian Traditional Medicine

Document Type: Review


1 Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica Research Center and Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Iranian Traditional Medicine Clinical Trial Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.


Halitosis is an oral health condition characterized by unpleasant odors emanating constantly from oral cavity. Almost 22-50% of the population experiences such a condition during lifespan and about half of them suffer from personal discomfort and social embarrassment. Based on the literature survey, it seems that the oral cavity is the most important origin of halitosis; therefore, this area could be considered as the best target for the treatment. Halitosis is a well-known disorder in Iranian Traditional Medicine (ITM); Avicenna and some other famous Iranian traditional physicians have described this condition in their manuscripts precisely. Herbal therapy was the major treatment suggested by Iranian scholars in which mixtures of medicinal plants were used in the form of mouthwashes and other oral formulations. In the present study, six Iranian ancient medical texts were screened for the herbs with anti-halitosis effects. Subsequent to this study, the medicinal herbs were listed and scored based on the frequency of their repetition. Moreover, the effort has been taken to provide the best scientific name for each plant as well as searching modern studies about their biological effects. In our investigation fourteen plants were obtained as the most frequent herbs for treatment of halitosis in ITM. Previous studies revealed that some of these plants have shown biological activities relating to anti-halitosis effect. The present study introduces some more plants for future studies about anti-halitosis property.


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