Chewing on Trees: the Miswak Method

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Miswaak or a sewak stick, is a little twig that is cut from an arak tree (Salvadora persica) and can be used for brushing the teeth. Used by nomadic Arabs and well as modern-day Arabs, they are antiseptic, teeth-whitening, reusable and taste delicious. The Miswak twig has been proven to be more effective compared to ordinary throw-away toothbrushes, are naturally biodegradable, easy to travel with and are not harmful to the environment.


Inside the pages of the inspiring book My Side of the Mountain, there is an introduction to the concept of natural brushing. The book speaks in the details; the strange, semi-disgusting ways in which people re-use plastic sticks over and over each day, putting tasteless, chemical toothpastes manufactured by large corporations in their mouths. The bacteria that infests the toothbrush overnight is enough to look for an alternative. 

After the first time using a Miswak twig most are instantly impressed on them. You can purchased ten and use them for over a week, alongside daily brushing. The mouth has never been happier: a fresh awaking each morning and night. They are mainly obtainable online, in bio stores, or at your local Muslim book shops. Don't fall for the overpriced sticks, and keep in mind you can find many versions of these in different trees. With a bit of research, you'll never be without a toothbrush. Just as the ancestors and elders. 

They are simple to use; by stripping off the bark from one end, and chewing on the stick for approximately 30-secounds to a minute for the fibers to separate and become a brush.

Twigs and rose water in your dress pockets. Miswak sticks are much cheaper than toothbrushes and the same stick can be used more than once by cutting of the used portion and whittling the stick down into the pencil shape again. If you stumble upon a dry or sour tasting stick, you can soak your stick in a bit of rose or lavender water overnight. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you do you will be sold. 



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