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Mukhwas is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘मुख’ (mouth) and ‘वास’ (smell). It is a healthy South Asian after-meal widely known as Mouth Freshener and is prepared by mixing various seeds and nuts. As per research and studies, mukhwas are consumed by people especially Indians for a long time. It is a precious legacy that is passing generation after generation. As per the novel ‘Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India’ by Collen Taylor Sen, mukhwas were born in the 13th - 14th century, in the courts of Delhi where officials used to have betel nuts (supari) as breath fresheners. From there, the tradition of consuming mukhwas after meals started. 


Generation after generation our traditional mouth fresheners transformed to be tastier and healthier. With it, many more harmful chemical-based alternatives (like mints, gums, sprays, and rinses) also came to the market with smart marketing strategies that made them very popular among this generation. What’s lesser-known by the people is that these alternatives have contents like menthol, xylitol, SLS, alcohol, etc. which removes healthy oral microbiome, causes teeth staining, increases cancer risk, and has a lot more side effect. Hence, we should avoid using this.


The healthier alternatives to these harmful mouth fresheners are Mukhwas which is the legacy of our ancestors. In mukhwas, there are several options like plain saunf, flavored saunf, mixed saunf, candied saunf, gulkand, meetha paan, etc. These have ingredients like fennel seeds (saunf), green cardamom (elaichi), cloves (laung), saffron (kesar), coconut (nariyal), and dates (khajur), rose petal jam (gulkand), etc. which have numerous health benefits.


Benefits of Eating Mouth Fresheners (Mukhwas)


Digestive Aid – Generally, mukhwas are consumed after meals. The major reason behind this is that it helps with better and faster digestion. A lot of studies claim that people who eat mukhwas after heavy meals have better gut health as compared to the people who don’t follow this ritual. Practically, it increases pancreatic and small intestine enzyme activity which results in breaking down food in a better way. Hence, even prominent experts suggest having mukhwas posted every meal.  


Breath Freshener – Let’s accept that everyone’s mouth stinks at least a bit after we eat something. The best resolution is to use each natural mouth freshener. There are so many natural mukhwas like fennel seeds, flavored saunf, mixed saunf, paan, etc. They don’t just act as breath fresheners, rather they have so many health benefits too unlike other chemical-based harmful mouth fresheners.  


Prevents Gas & Bloating – The major reason for gas and bloating is fibers, starches, sugar, etc. not getting digested. Again, the best resolution is having mukhwas after meals, especially heavy meals. It is a sovereign remedy for gas and bloating. It has been proven that intaking natural mouth fresheners for a month reduces gas and bloating like a miracle.  


Helps in Keeping the Ideal Weight – Neither less nor heavyweights are good for our body. Maintaining just the ideal weight is what everyone’s body needs! Climb the first step to this journey by consuming mukhwas on daily basis after every meal. Studies have proved that regular intake of mukhwas helps in keeping the optimal weight. It is super tasty too so will quench your taste bud as well. 


Increases Lactation – Babies from 0 to 2 years need their mother’s milk as it’s one of the essential things for their growth. But a lot of mothers face fewer lactation issues. Hence, health experts advise every mother to have mukhwas (natural mouth fresheners). It helps them in increasing the milk flow.  


Boon for Skin & Eyes – Mukhwas is rich in nutrients. It has supplements like zinc, calcium, vitamin A, etc., which are a boon to our skin and eyes. It prevents acne and improves eyesight at the same time. Hence, one should consume pan mukhwas regularly. 


Prevents Constipation – Natural mouth fresheners contain soluble dietary fibers which help in better digestion. This further helps in keeping our bowels clear which leads to no constipation at all. That’s why people having constipation issues are advised to have mukhwas on regular basis, especially after heavy meals. 


You see there are so many advantages of eating mouth freshener mukhwas. It’s mainly because of the use of Ayurvedic ingredients. Let’s know more about the main ingredients used in the making of natural mouth fresheners. 


Primary Ingredients Used in Mukhwas


Fennel Seeds (Saunf) – Fennel seeds are rich in fibers and have antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. As per reports, an apple has 3-4 grams of fiber while a tablespoon of saunf has 2 grams of fiber. So, you can imagine how beneficial this natural mouth freshener is for your body. The best part is that it is used in almost every mukhwas and is a mouth freshener itself. 


Green Cardamom – Green Cardamom (Elaichi) is one of the most widely used Indian spices. In mukhwas, teas, curries, and even as a pop-up mouth freshener, it is used. This hero spice is filled with lots of goodness. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties. Hence, it cures colds and coughs, aids digestion, lowers high blood pressure, regulates blood sugar levels, supports weight loss, fights bad breath, and has lots of other advantages too.  


Cloves – Cloves (laung) is another amazing Indian spice full of antioxidants. Hence, not only in mukhwas, it is used even in the daily preparation of meals. It promotes digestion, controls diabetes, is good for bones and joints, boosts the immune system, reduces body pain and inflammation, relieves toothache, eases breathing, stimulates blood circulation, etc. One should include cloves in their everyday diets to get all the nutrients it has!


Saffron – Saffron (Kesar) is a powerful antioxidant. In Hindu prayers to food and mukhwas, saffron is used everywhere. It reduces PMS symptoms, boosts libido, helps in weight loss, reduces blood pressure and blood sugar levels, improves eyesight, and is good for skin and hair. Saffron is seriously a boon for everyone’s body when taken in the right amount.  


Coconut – Coconut (Nariyal) is called the tree of life and is a superfood too. It has all the good nutrients and is very beneficial for our body. Coconut helps with weight loss, improves skin and hair health, fights stomach bacteria, ensures healthy teeth and bones, gives better immunity, and has a lot of other benefits too. That’s why nariyal is widely used in every household in India. 


Dry Dates – Dry dates are another ingredient that is widely used especially in India. It’s very good health. Regular consumption of khajoor (chhuhara/chuhara) lowers cholesterol, strengthens bones, promotes brain health, improves digestive health, helps to detoxify our body, controls diabetes, and has so many other benefits too. Dry dates are a major ingredient in mukhwas mouth freshener so you can imagine how good mukhwas are for you.  


Gulkand – Gulkand (Rose Petal Jam) is naturally sweet and delicious. The best part is, gulkand is low in calories and high in nutrients. It treats mouth ulcers, provides relaxation from menstrual problems, treats constipation, acidity, and heartburn, removes toxins from our body, helps in sleeping better, etc. That’s why people who consume gulkand or gulkand infused mukhwas regularly have better health compared to those who don’t!


How Much Mukhwas Should You Eat in a Day?

As per Ayurveda, it is advised to have one tablespoon of mukhwas mouth freshener after every heavy meal. Remember that excess of anything is bad including mukhwas, hence, never overeat mouth fresheners. However, regular intake of mukhwas in the right quantity will only do good to your body. It helps with better digestion, absorbs more nutrition from the food we eat, knocks off toxins from our body, and it has a lot more benefits as we already discussed above. Hence, make consuming mukhwas a habit and advise your close ones the same. Building this habit will benefit everyone.  


The tradition of eating mukhwas mouth freshener has been running for ages. It’s mainly because the people who consume it on daily basis are healthier. Mukhwas is made by mixing superfoods and some beneficial spices and herbs so obviously, it’s good for your body. However, in this era, a lot of people are going away from their roots and inclining themselves toward unhealthy mouth fresheners. It’s high time we use natural mouth fresheners again which are one of the most precious legacies of our ancestors. Imagine that just a tablespoon of mukhwas after every heavy meal can take your body on a healthier path. Hence, stop procrastinating, and take the first step to a healthy version of yourself right here.