According to a recipe by Hildegard of Bingen
Oral health is an important part of overall health. Our mouths are where gut health and thus good health begins. When oral health is ignored or compromised by other conditions, bacteria can build-up and cause infection and inflammation of the gum tissue. Luckily this inflammation is often accompanied by pressure and tooth pain to let us know something is wrong.
The gum tissue in our mouth and around our teeth is called gingiva. When gingival becomes red, inflamed and swollen due to infection, the condition is called gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontal disease.
When plaque is allowed to build-up on teeth, the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths thrive. These bacteria produce toxins, triggering the immune response. The toxins, as well as the “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections, can damage gum tissue. If unattended, inflamed pockets of infection known as abscesses can form and the damage can extend to the bone, resulting in tooth loss and other complications.
Proper dental hygiene and regular dental care prevents gingivitis for most people with normal immune systems. Those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory illnesses, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease, however, are more susceptible and should take extra care to ward off gingivitis.
When dental hygiene can’t resolve the issue alone, modern medicine prescribes antibiotics. In monastic medicine Hildegard would recommend wormwood wine to clear the infection.
Hildegard of Bingen describes the wormwood wine remedy in Physica using the following ingredients:
- 1.25 ounces (50g) wormwood herb
- 1.25 ounces (50g) verbena (vervain)
- ½ liter wine
In a kettle or saucepan, bring wine, wormwood, and verbena to a light boil. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Drink warm, 6-8 ounces throughout the day.