Harnessing the Healing Power of Chinese Herbs to Freshen Breath

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Chinese medicine seems to be entering the mainstream with increasing frequency.  Now, the makers of Wrigley gum are adding Magnolia bark extract into their Eclipse brand of gum and mints.  Laboratory studies found that the extract kills microorganisms that cause bad breath.

Magnolia bark, or Hou Po, has been part of the Chinese pharmacopeia for millennia.  In March, I published a blog article which included information about Hou Po as a treatment for depression.

While it is gratifying to see Chinese medicine receiving recognition, there is a downside.  According to Botanical Gardens Conservation International, many medicinal plants are being threatened by over-collection and/or deforestation.  Magnolia is one of these vulnerable species, with more than 50% of the world’s supply at risk.  You can read a good summary of the report from the BBC.

Let’s hope that Wm Wrigley Jr. Co. is practicing sustainable agriculture!

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