Alternatively Speaking: Longing to love

Tu Be'av special: Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx discusses healing benefits of Roses, harmonious relationships.

couple kissing with flowers 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
couple kissing with flowers 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Q. Natalie, I have been on several blind dates and I have been very embarrassed and self conscious of my bad breath. Can you recommend anything natural that can get rid of bad breath? I brush my teeth three times a day but it doesn’t help.
A. There are many herbs which can have a positive impact on bad breath. Mint is one of my favorite alternatives to get rid of bad breath.
Chewing basil, or thyme also works to neutralize bad breath. Since parsley is very high in chlorophyll, it is very good at neutralizing garlic-induced breath.
Try gargling with freshly squeezed lemon and water before your date since this also eliminates breath odor.
Apples act as an oral purifier by eradicating bacteria, therefore it's always great to have an apple ‘pre date’ or after a meal.
Food and mucus serve as breeding grounds so make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes after you eat. You can also brush your tongue gently to clean away bacteria and dead cells.
Flossing your teeth a minimum of once per day also removes food debris from between your teeth. Both tea tree oil and cloves are natural antiseptics that remove chronic bad breath for a short time. Mix three whole cloves in two cups of hot water, steep for 20 minutes and pour through a strainer. You can gargle with the clove mouth rinse two times a day.
Try finding toothpaste that contains tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a strong disinfectant and fights germs.
Several spices you may well have at home can help cover odor if you chew them, including anise, cardamom and fennel seeds. I also recommend sucking on a small piece of cinnamon bark.
The Journal of Clinical Dentistry (2011) studied the impact of Chinese cinnamon on bad breath. Healthy adults received either cinnamon-sugared gum, flavored-sugared gum or unflavored-sugarless gum during a single testing session. The cinnamon gum reduced the amount of halitosis-causing bacteria in the subjects' saliva as well as the total amount of oral bacteria.
Q. Are there healing benefits of Roses?
A. Roses not only have a beautiful scent, they also have benefits for human health. Several natural medicine modalities incorporate roses as a treatment for a variety of ailments. Various species of rose are used in Aromatherapy, Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
As an essential oil Rose is a wonderful aid to the female menstrual cycle, it alleviates PMS symptoms and also post-natal depression. Rose essential oil encourages relaxation and can help heal insomnia and tension. It also regulates the appetite and eases nausea and constipation.
Rose oil also soothes irritated skin and promotes healing of wounds. In Ayurvedic medicine rose petal preserve is a remedy for sadness, anger, or insecurity. The tonic is used to encourage a positive outlook. The Chinese rose, also known as Mei Gui Hua, is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help correct the imbalance between the liver and spleen meridians, which in turn leads to better digestion, more energy, a better mood, and fewer menstrual symptoms.
You may want to make a refreshing and healthy drink for the summer including rose; add one heaping teaspoon of rose petal preserve to three parts water and one part fresh yogurt. This will cool the body, calm emotions and also enhance digestion.
Q. Dear Natalie, I think I have finally met the man of my dreams. My only problem is that my fear of losing this love is predominant and I project that into jealousy and insecurity, causing us to argue. Can you recommend any flower remedies to prevent this?

A. The flower remedy Holly holds a central position among the Bach Flower Remedies, because it embodies love. The desire for love is programmed into every cell of our being, and when we are going with the stream of love we live in a state of harmony. The flower remedy Holly is indicated most when an individual becomes suspicious, is super sensitive to real or imagined slights, feels rage and anger, experiences violent bouts of ill-humour, and, understandably, feels unloved and unworthy of love.
The soul quality of Holly is that which we all desire - the ideal human state. In its positive state, individuals are able to live in inner harmony, taking pleasure in the achievements and successes of others, freely accepting and feeling love that flows toward them, and having a sense for the Divine scheme of things. When describing this Bach Flower Essence, Edward Bach said: "Holly protects us from everything that is not Universal Love. Holly opens the heart and unites us with Divine Love."
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.

Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at
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Someone Once Said:  "A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love."
- Max Muller