Tag Archives: Backyard Medicine

What did we do before we had toothbrushes?

4 Oct

Sometimes we get an answer before we have the question.  That is what happened when I reviewed Backyard Medicine, Harvest and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal.  On page 123, they share that oak twigs are nature’s tooth-brush due to natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  They encourage picking a small twig, chewing the end to massage gums as well as clean your teeth.

This week I trimmed low branches of my oak trees and these fun facts came to mind.

Tooth brush anyone?

Tooth brush anyone?

Imagine…before we had our billion dollar toothbrush industry we had oak twigs.  I suppose that also explains the wooden picks that predate today’s flossing options.

Historical perspective:

How the rest of the world brushes their teeth | MNN – Mother Nature Network


1498 – “The bristle toothbrush was invented in China. Coarse hairs taken from the back of a hog’s neck were used for the bristles, attached at right angles to a bone or bamboo handle (similar to the modern type). The best bristles came from hogs raised in the colder climates of China and Siberia, where the animals grew stouter and firmer hair. Since 3000 BC, ancient civilizations had been cleaning teeth with a “chew-stick” by using a thin twig with a frayed end.”

Have you tried this?

The twigs are the solution to minimize environmental impact, but not likely for superior dental health.

Synchronicity and the love of bookstores

7 Apr

Yesterday I browsed through my local Barnes and Noble bookstore.  I was thrilled to find The Twelfth Insight by James Redfield, published in 2011.  The last of his four earlier books was published in 1999.  I missed the “Celestine Prophecy” movie produced in 2006, but have read all his books and been a fan.  I finished reading The Twelfth Insight this evening.  Redfield introduces wonderful concepts through an adventure story.  If you liked his earlier work, you will like The Twelfth Insight and Chapter One is  Sustaining Synchronicity.  The unplanned stop in the bookstore was my synchronicity in action.

During two earlier trips to the same bookstore I discovered How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Author Herman and Backyard Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal.  Each book said “take me home”.  Reading modern history from a Scottish point of view was fascinating, because Scotland in the 1600s was an incubator for economic and government theory which was very influential in the founding of the United States.  The second book Backyard Medicine is inspiring future blog posts.  Stay tuned.