Yoga provides a natural cure for bad breath

In a study analysing the reports of the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), it was found that a 15-kg child who ingests 212 mL (7.2 oz.) of a brand name, widely available mouthwash can have a potentially lethal reaction to the ethanol content (the mouthwash in question was 27% ethanol). What’s perhaps more alarming is another finding that: “Approximately one-tenth that amount of ethanol can produce a toxic reaction.”

The study offers this as part of the solution: “The American Dental Association (ADA) should re-evaluate its acceptance criteria for advertising cosmetic mouthrinses in its publication.” Evidently, chemical dependency is big business.

Yoga offers specific breathing techniques, most commonly known as ‘pranayama,’ in order to aid in the complete balance of the entire system. On the way to that goal, the ancient sages observed that it had a potent influence over the respiratory and digestive organs. One of the many benefits through mastery of breath control was a sweeter-smelling exhalation.

There are countless pranayama techniques. However, one of the most approachable is a technique called “kapalbhati.” Different schools teach the method in various ways, but the common thread of the practice is the emphasis on the exhalation. First, take a comfortable seat and allow the belly to relax and extend. Then begin to rhythmically contract the belly (the sensation is akin to someone punching the stomach at regular intervals and forcing the air out of the nose). Keep a steady rhythm, with the eyes closed, and complete up to 100 rounds (50 for beginners). Worry not about the inhales, as they happen automatically with the pumping action of the tummy.

Benefits to the respiratory system: Useful in alleviating the symptoms of common cold, cough, rhinitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, tuberculosis, deviated nasal septum and emphysema.

Additional influence over the digestive system includes an improvement in the function of digestion absorption and peristaltic movement. Kapalbhati is an excellent remedy for those suffering from indigestion, gastritis, hyperacidity and constipation, which can all cause bad breath.

Though the physical benefits are already numerous, a regular practice of kapalbhati, preferably under the attentive eyes of a good teacher, has endless benefits for the mind as well. Most of us will see drastic improvement to the way our breath smells almost immediately and naturally, without the use of synthetic chemicals.

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