Miswak was the first toothbrush in history! It’s said that Miswak was used seven thousands of years ago by ancient empires from the Babylonians, the Greek to the Romans and the Egyptian civilization. Babylonian chew sticks from 3500 BC are probably the oldest oral hygiene artifacts on record.
Siwak or miswak are mentioned in India’s ancient Manu laws, the Koran, Buddhism, and the Talmud. These ‘traditional’ toothbrushes are pencil-sized branches cut from local trees, such as the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) and Arak tree (Salvadora persica), that contain compounds beneficial for reducing plaque and gum inflammation. The ‘chewing stick’ continues to be used by millions of people today in sub-Saharan Africa and in Islamic and Hindu cultures, as a means of maintaining oral hygiene.
The miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak, السواك) is a twig used for cleaning one’s mouth and teeth. This is made from a twig of the Salvadora persica tree (known as arak in Arabic). A traditional alternative to the modern toothbrush, it has a long, well-documented history and is reputed for its medicinal benefits.
What is Arak?
Arak is an evergreen small tree that has several therapeutic functions.One should clean the leaves, boil them and use the water when cooled as mouthwash.
Boiling the Arak roots can help with respiratory and digestive disorders. It’s extraction is used to treat ulcers, also soaking arak twigs in water can help healing uterus cirrhosis and reduce tumors.
Miswak is a perfect natural toothbrush that provides many health and beauty benefits.
- Miswak contains an extraction like toothpaste, which has natural anti-bacterial properties that help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. It prevents the gum from bleeding and reduces the risk of Oral Cancer.
- It contains fluoride that is important to oral health and it contains other ingredients that help protect the tooth enamel layer, removing/fighting plaque and teeth de-coloring.
- Miswak contains ‘silica,’ which is an ingredient that helps teeth bleach.
- Miswak purifies the mouth, inhibits dry mouth and increases salivation, helps healing oral tissue, kills build up bacteria in the mouth and clear the throat aside with protecting teeth from germs and strengthening the gum.
- Miswak creates a fragrance in the mouth.
- It sharpens the memory.
- It’s a cure for headache.
- Miswak creates lustre (noor) on the face of the one who continually uses it.
- Miswaak gives shine to the teeth.
- Strengthens the eyesight.
- Aids in digestion.
- Miswaak clears the voice.
Interesting Article: Different Strokes for Different Folks: A History of the Toothbrush
Important Indicators when you should use Miswak:
- When the mouth emits an odor.
- When experiencing pangs of hunger and thirst.
- Before meals.
- After meals
- Before sleeping.
- Upon awakening
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