I had been looking for at least an alternative to commercial mouthwashes for a while, I didn't like how harsh most of them are, and really don't like the taste of a lot of them, I could stand the soft mint versions, but I recently read about a study that indicated that most commercial mouthwashes with high alcohol content, that is to say more than 25%, may increase your chance to get oral cancer. So there was the impetus that lead me down the road to try to make my own mouthwash. Couple this with my recent interest in the mouth-friendly sugar xylitol, and I knew that I would make my own xylitol mouthwash. What flavour to make, would be the next question. This recipe originally called for fresh rosemary leaves, but I don't really care for the taste of rosemary (add 1 teaspoon). This made a somewhat interesting mouthwash, a very soft mint coupled with the anise flavour. I think I might add 2 teaspoons of xylitol next time, for a little more sweetness. Also, the mouthwash went cloudy about the time I had consumed half of it, though it didn't affect the flavour (I have read that tincture of myrrh, a natural preservative, will protect against this (add 1 teaspoon). I'm still looking for my ultimate flavour, next time I might try lemon oil, but this will do in the meantime.Homemade Mint Anise Xylitol Mouthwash
3 cups filtered water (distilled is best)
2 tsp fresh mint leaves
1 tsp anise seeds
1 tsp xylitol, to taste
Put the water along with the mint leaves and anise seeds into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain herb water through a paper coffee filter or cheesecloth into a glass jar or bottle. Add xylitol and stir to dissolve completely.