For most of us, bad breath is a temporary – although inconvenient – problem. Provided that your bad breath is not caused by digestive disorders, periodontal disease, or other serious medical problems, using herbs and natural means to freshen your breath are effective and safe.

Here are some ideas for herbal breath fresheners:

1 – Cardamom

This is an herb – or, more correctly, a spice – that contains cineole, which acts as an antiseptic. Chew a few seeds to make your breath smell spicy and clean your mouth.

2 – Eucalyptus

A derivative of this familiar plant, eucalyptol, is actually used in commercial mouthwashes. It also contains cineole. Crush 1-2 ounce of the leaves and add them to a cup of vodka; steep for several days and strain out the leaves, or just leave the leaves in. Use as a mouthwash as needed to fight bad breath.

If you can’t find eucalyptus leaves, the same method works using other herbs, such as any combination of spearmint, rosemary, ginger, lavender, peppermint, basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, or fennel.

3 – Parsley

There is a reason why parsley is served as a garnish on restaurant dinner plates. Chewed after a meal, parsley freshens breath. It contains a great deal of chlorophyll, which accounts for its breath-freshening capabilities.

4 – Anise

If you like licorice, give anise a try. It is an ancient remedy for bad breath. You could also chew on the seeds, or make a decoction by simmering 3 teaspoons of anise seeds in a cup of water for 3-5 minutes. Cool, strain, and use as a mouthwash.

5 – Dill

Another chlorophyll-rich herb, drinking dill tea or chewing on a few dill seeds after a meal freshens breath.

6 – Fresh Mint

Growing mints in pots is quite easy, and nipping off a few leaves and chewing them helps to make your breath fresh.

7 – Cloves

Chewing a few cloves will give your breath a spicy scent. Clove is also antibacterial, and clove oil is a traditional remedy for toothache.