If you want extra healthy teeth.. Try using a licorice root instead of plastic toothbrush. Just look at indigenous peoples teeth.
Liquorice or licorice: is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a somewhat sweet flavor can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a legume that is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavoring compounds. The word ‘liquorice’/’licorice’ is derived (via the Old French licoresse).
The Licorice plant is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 1 m in height, with pinnate leaves about 7–15 centimeters (3–6 in) long, with 9–17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8–1.2 cm (½–⅓ in) long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2–3 centimeters (1 in) long, containing several seeds. The roots are stoloniferous.
Liquorice grows best in deep valleys, well-drained soils, with full sun, and is harvested in the autumn, two to three years after planting. Countries producing liquorice include Afghanistan, the People’s Republic of China, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.
Liquorice extract is produced by boiling liquorice root and subsequently evaporating most of the water, and is traded both in solid and syrup form. Its active principle is glycyrrhizin, a sweetener between 30 to 50 times as sweet as sucrose, and which also has pharmaceutical effects.
The world’s leading manufacturer of liquorice products is MacAndrews & Forbes, which manufactures more than 70% of the worldwide liquorice flavors sold to end-users.
Licorice Root Uses
Most liquorice is used as a flavoring agent for tobacco. For example, MacAndrews & Forbes reported in 2011 that approximately 63% of its liquorice product sales are to the worldwide tobacco industry for use as tobacco flavor enhancing and moistening agents in the manufacture of American blend cigarettes, moist snuff, chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco. Worldwide consumption of tobacco products, particularly products flavored with liquorice, is on the decline, and this percentage was higher in earlier years. A consultant to MacAndrews & Forbes stated in 1975 that it was believed that well over 90% of the total production of liquorice extract and its derivatives found its way into tobacco products.
Liquorice flavor is found in a wide variety of liquorice candies or sweets. In most of these candies the taste is reinforced by aniseed oil, and the actual content of liquorice is very low. Licorice confections are primarily purchased by consumers in the European Union.
In the Netherlands, where liquorice candy (“drop”) is one of the most popular forms of sweet, only a few of the many forms that are sold contain aniseed, although mixing it with mint, menthol or with laurel is quite popular. Mixing it with ammonium chloride (‘salmiak’) is also popular. The most popular liquorice, known in the Netherlands as zoute drop (salty liquorice) actually contains very little salt, i.e. sodium; the salty taste is probably due to ammonium chloride, and the blood pressure raising effect is due to glycyrrhizin, see below. Strong, salty candies are popular in Scandinavia.
The compound glycyrrhizic acid, found in liquorice, is now routinely used throughout Japan for the treatment and control of chronic viral hepatitis, and there is a possible transaminase-lowering effect. Hepatoprotective mechanisms have been demonstrated in mice. Recent studies indicate that glycyrrhizic acid disrupts latent Kaposi’s sarcoma (as also demonstrated with other herpesvirus infections in the active stage), exhibiting a strong anti-viral effect. The Chinese use liquorice to treat Tuberculosis.
In traditional Chinese medicine, liquorice is commonly used in herbal formula to “harmonize” the other ingredients in the formula and to carry the formula to the twelve “regular meridians” and to relieve a spasmodic cough.
Excessive consumption of liquorice or liquorice candy is known to be toxic to the liver and cardiovascular system, and may produce hypertension (acquired pseudohyperaldosteronism) and edema. In occasional cases, blood pressure has increased with excessive consumption of liquorice tea, but such occasions are rare and reversible when the herb is withdrawn. Most cases of hypertension from liquorice were caused by eating too much concentrated liquorice candy. Doses as low as 50 grams (2 oz) of liquorice daily for two weeks can cause a significant rise in blood pressure.
These are the properties of liquorice root and their benefits. Although the root is a common remedy found in almost all Chinese medicine, it should only be used in high quantities with the oversight of a qualified homeopathic specialist or Chinese doctor. Keep in mind liquorice can be fatal in high dosages.
Read the whole article here on Wikipedia.