Herbs for Bad Breath

If you want a natural remedy for your halitosis without resorting to over-the-counter commercial products here is a list of herbs for bad breath that you can find in your kitchen or your own herb garden. 

Herbs can be used to temporary stop bad breath.

Some of these herbs and seeds can be chewed (be sure to spit them out after chewing), some can be brewed into teas.

Here’s a List of Natural Herbal Cures

Useful Herbs

  • cardamom
  • cloves
  • coriander
  • dill
  • eucalyptus
  • fennel
  • fenugreek
  • parsley
  • mint
  • sage
  • tea tree oil


Cardamom contains cineol, which has strong antiseptic properties. 

This can aid in defeating bad breath by killing some of those ever-present mouth bacteria. 

Chew some of the seeds or use them to make tea.


This is a personal favorite of mine. 

I roll a couple of whole cloves around in my mouth and gently chew them for a few minutes.

During the Han Dynasty in the 4th century BC China, people were required to chew on cloves as an herbal remedy for bad breath before being allowed to speak with Chinese leaders. 

It has been said that clove oil is antiseptic and antibacterial. 

This may account for some of its effectiveness in taking care of bad breath, or maybe it is just that great, strong spicy aroma. 

A tea, made from either whole or ground cloves, can be used as a tea, a gargle or a mouthwash.


Coriander is also known as Cilantro. 

A tea can be made by adding coriander to boiling water for a few minutes.  The tea can be drunk or used as a mouthwash. 

It is said that coriander is a Cantonese bad breath remedy.


Dill has a terrific fresh aroma.  Either the seeds can be chewed or either the seeds or the leaves can be made into a tea.


The aroma of eucalyptus is a familiar one. 

You may have noticed the trademark smell in any of a variety of mouthwashes, cough remedies and expectorants, where the volatile oil is used. 

Eucalyptol, derived from eucalyptus oil, is used in mouthwashes.  It isn’t soluble in water, so alcohol is necessary to make use of it. 

The alcohol would cause drying of your mouth, so the benefit of the eucalyptus is defeated.  Cineol, with antiseptic properties, is the primary active ingredient of eucalyptus. which concerns bad breath.

Here is a warning — eucalyptus oil is toxic if ingested internally.  The simple expedient of chewing on a leaf can help with bad breath.

There are other herbs with a cineol content that can be used to help freshen breath. 

A few of these are: cardamom, several of the mints, rosemary, lavender, tarragon, lemon verbena, and fennel. 

None are as potent in cineol as eucalyptus.

There are plenty of home remedies and natural cures for bad breath.  Here are more great herbs for bad breath

This group contains one of my favorites – tea tree oil – though that certainly isn’t because of the great taste.  

Most of these herbs, seeds, and the tea tree oil can be found in your cupboard, your garden, or your local natural foods store. 

You can make a tea out of some of these, and some of them can be chewed (be sure to spit them out after chewing).


Fennel seeds have a refreshing aroma both for cooking and for the breath.  Chew on a few seeds to lessen halitosis.


Fenugreek tea helps reduce bad breath. 

It is said that once in the system, fenugreek is exhaled through the lungs, which will help make breath smell fresher. 

It is also used to treat sinus infections, lung congestion, and infections, conditions that aggravate bad breath.

even a small amount of fenugreek is eaten or drunk, your sweat or urine will smell like curry or maple syrup. 

This is caused by the compound sotolone.  

It isn’t harmful but might make you wonder what the problem was if you aren’t aware of it.


Parsley has been an herbal breath cleanser for centuries.

Here is a bad breath remedy that you can chew and swallow. 

The active ingredient in destroying bad breath is said to be its high chlorophyll content. 

Chewing the leaves will provide some immediate relief, ingesting them will aid in digestion.

Two other herbs that are rich in chlorophyll are basil and cilantro. 

They also have very strong and pleasant aromas of their own.  Both attributes should help lessen the smells of bad breath.

The Mints

The mint family (Labiatae) is a large one and contains many plants that have strongly aromatic leaves. 

Many of these are mentioned when it comes to herbal recipes for bad breath:  thymes, sages, basil, rosemary, lavender, and the whole genus of mints (Mentha): spearmint, peppermint, lemon mint, Corsican mint, and many others.

Either teas or chewing on leaves is effective against bad breath. 

Pure peppermint oil, as with all essential oils, it toxic even in small doses.


Sage is another breath freshener with cineol and whose essential oil is antibacterial. 

You can use this herb for bad breath either by chewing on a leaf or by making tea. 

It is also said that gargling several times a day with the warm tea will help with bad breath and mouth sores. 

It is also supposed to be good for gingivitis – another location for anaerobic bacteria and bad breath to lurk.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, from the shrubby tree Melaleuca alternifolia, is one of my favorites. 

This is one of those magical oils that can be used for almost everything except cooking.

Many grand stories about it and wonderful properties to the oil.  Years ago when we were members of Melaleuca, Inc., we used their toothpaste, which had a lot of melaleuca oil (tea tree oil) in it. 

It has a really strong aroma and taste that would make your eyes pop and your tongue curl when you first used it. 

Great for gums and it slays bad breath.  Either use the toothpaste or put some drops of tea tree oil/melaleuca oil on your toothbrush.

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