An Ayurvedic herb works better than standard mouthwashes at removing dental plaque

A study conducted by researchers from India, Saudi Arabia, and Trinidad and Tobago showed that the porcupine flower (Barleria prionitis) is effective in treating oral microbial diseases. This finding, which was published in the Journal Pharmacognosy Research, was based on the antimicrobial activity that the porcupine flower exhibited in a clinical trial involving 30 participants.

  • Poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to build up and form plaques that can cause chronic conditions like gingivitis, which is the most common form of periodontal disease.
  • To prevent plaque formation, many people turn to mechanical cleaning practices like brushing and flossing. However, the efficiency at which these methods remove bacteria is significantly affected by the person’s motivation and physical abilities.
  • Chlorhexidine, a potent antiseptic agent, is commonly used to prevent plaque formation more effectively, but this is associated with side effects like temporary loss of taste, staining, bitter taste, tartar formation, and dry mouth.
  • Porcupine flower is a commonly used Ayurvedic herb found in Asia and Africa, which has many medicinal properties.
  • Previous studies have shown that this herb has in vitro antibacterial activity. However, there are no studies that observe this activity in an in vivo setup.
  • In this paper, the researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized control trial that compared the effects of porcupine flower extracts and chlorhexidine on plaque formation. The participants were instructed to gargle 10mL of their assigned mouthwash for a minute after breakfast and after lunch for three days.
  • The effects of the treatments were determined based on the formation of plaque as well as the condition of the gums.

From the study, the researchers concluded the porcupine flower mouthwash was just as effective as chlorhexidine in eliminating bacteria that cause oral health problems.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

For more articles about different medicinal herbs, visit

Journal Reference:

Gupta D, Gupta R, Jain A, Bindhumadhav S, Sangeeta, Garg P, Chaturvedi S, Chattu V. ASSESSMENT OF EFFECTIVENESS OF BARLERIA PRIONITIS ON ORAL HEALTH. Pharmacognosy Research. 24 May 2016;8(3). DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.181456

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