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Natural Awakenings

For Kisses So Sweet: Better than Peppermint

Feb 01, 2008 03:00AM

Bad breath can spoil any kiss. But instead of reaching for the traditional peppermint breath mints, some Illinois scientists encourage us to consider the benefits of bark extract from the sweet magnolia tree. A new study published by the American Chemical Society found that mints infused with the bark extract killed 61 percent of the germs that cause bad breath within 30 minutes compared with only a 3.6 percent germ-kill for the same mints without the extract. More, magnolia bark extract showed a strong anti-bacterial activity against a group of bacteria known to cause cavities.

Sweet magnolia has more to offer than beautiful, fragrant blossoms, researchers say. Breath mints made with magnolia bark extract could be a boon for oral health as an additive to chewing gum and mints.

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