Bad breath? Smelly, offensive breath or air from your mouth? Embarrassing - and makes you hesitate before kissing?
What can you do about it?
Lots! And for bad breath homeopathy has remedies that may help - of course!
But maybe you should check out what you can do to help yourself first! Because you may be able to improve matters a huge amount simply by altering a few things in your life.
Specifically, there are two areas you should consider.
In the West we aren't particularly aware of the energetic effect a food has on us. We know about its nutritional value, the vitamins and minerals in it, and increasingly we're aware of its effect on our bowels and immune system: lots of research is emerging for these.
But what about whether a food warms or cools you? And I don't mean whether a food is hot or cool when you eat it. Also, which part of your body does a food mainly help, or 'go to'? Does the food increase your likelihood of urinating? - of perspiring?
The homoeopathic materia medica lists remedies that have likes and dislikes regarding food, and also, if you know where to look, remedies that are made worse or better by certain foods.
(Of course, it's not the remedy that likes or dislikes a food! It's the individual who benefits from that remedy. But for shorthand, we say 'the remedy' when we mean the person needing that remedy.)
For example, some people have a Phosphorus type or constitution. They are generally warm-blooded and emotionally open and warm.
When their system is out of order, they tend to crave cold, even icy drinks. And they like salt, acidic and spicy foods. (Or at least, they think they do! Often when offered, they don't want them!)
Phosphorus constitutional types often get inflammation and even degeneration of their mucous membranes., and in their stomach and bowels. (As the disease penetrates further they may get inflammation of the spinal cord and of their nerves - much more serious.)
With an inflamed stomach, they naturally prefer cool foods and - at least to start with - feel better for them, at least until the foods heat up inside.
That heating up tendency is the problem. It's a metabolic condition and it's nearly always worse for, or made worse by, 'hot' or 'heating' foods. Why? Because it's like pouring petrol on a fire!
How do you get a digestion that naturally tends to over-heat, even if you're not the Phosphorus type?
Answer - By eating too many 'heating' type foods.
Which foods are hot foods, or heating foods?
Here, homeopathic literature is only partly helpful.
But there's another source which has given it a LOT of thought - Chinese medicine. Here's a page listing and explaining 'hot' foods.
If you eat too many foods listed there, over time you'll develop a hot-type digestion. That will begin to inflame your stomach and mucous membranes and eventually this will produce bad breath. When that happens, you may find it difficult to identify the particular food causing your offensive breath because your stomach may be so 'hot' that any food, even foods classified as 'cold', may aggravate it.
By that time, you may also be producing hot, smelly breath from your lungs - possibly accompanied by foul-looking and smelling phlegm. That's because there's a strong relationship between your stomach and lungs. (At least there is in Chinese medicine, from which we can learn lots!)
Another cause of offensive breath - bad breath - comes from our minds and emotions.
You know the expression - 'he got hot under the collar'?
For most of us it means we got angry. But if you watch people who are angry or upset, they often get hot and loosen or remove clothing. The emotion heats them up.
It's not just anger. It could be a shock, or frustration when pursuing an objective, or worrying too much, or just old-fashioned stress, or grief. From these emotions, some people get hot and some get cold. Here we're describing those who get hot. (However, some 'cold' people get bad breath too, because their digestion is so weak that food they swallow putrefies, which is what you smell.)
The occasional outrage is unlikely to cause bad breath. But if you are often upset, or tense, or stressed, or frustrated and put in an impossible position so your body is always 'hot', then you are a likely candidate for hot-type digestion, with consequent bad breath.
Remedies for hot-type constitutions include Sulphur, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Nat-Sulph, Lachesis, Iodum, Bryonia, Argentum Metallicum, Argentum Nitricum and many others.
Which suits you depends on many other factors. Taking the wrong one too often could confuse the issue - meaning you and your homoeopath!
But the right one should make a considerable improvement. Sometimes you need another remedy as well as the main one, such as a miasmic remedy.
Lastly, a story.
I once took my family on holiday, to Cyprus. My children were small, ages 2 to 5. I worked very hard, up to the last moment, so I wouldn't have a big backlog of work on my return. I rushed the packing.
Our trip out was full of delays and stress and because of late connections we had to hurry - not the relaxing trip we'd expected. We got there very late at night, far later than scheduled.
Though exhausted, I couldn't sleep. The bed felt most uncomfortable. My mind raced. My body ached, all over, from the all the lifting and carrying of children and luggage. Some of my muscles twitched, which also kept me awake.
In the morning, I was feeling tired, ill and gloomy. We hadn't had time the night before because of late arrival to collect the car. So my first job was to do that. I took my elder child with me. We had to hurry again because the local garage was only open for limited hours that Sunday morning.
My daughter was rather quiet for a while. Then she said I smelled. (And yes, I'd had a shower that morning, so should not have smelled.) Later, my wife agreed. We identified the smell as coming from my breath. It was a smell of bad eggs.
That night I slept badly again. My wife and children slept well. My wife disagreed about the bed. And my breath still smelled, of bad eggs.
At which point, my little brain began thinking.
There is a remedy which sometimes has bad breath smelling of bad eggs. It often finds the bed too hard for comfort. It is needed after sudden exertion, hurry, trauma - which is what the experience had felt like.
You've heard of it! Arnica Montana.
I had it with me. I took one dose of Arnica 30. I slept for 30 minutes. When I got up, my family agreed my breath was fine - no smell. And I felt fine again.
But that's not to say that Arnica will also be the remedy for you, unless your life is full of ...
If that's the case, maybe you should try Arnica!