Quiz 27: Can you name this medicinal herb?

Let’s talk toothpaste. One of my favourite flavours for toothpaste comes from this amazing little boreal forest plant for its aromatic and flavourful essential oil. An acid soil fiend, this evergreen herb is native to North America and commonly found Muskoka and northwards, wherever pine trees grow (note the needles in the photo and the rich humus). It’s an Ericaceae which means it shares its home with blueberries, rhododendrons, azaleas, heath and heather (although the last four are introduced to Canada). Another nickname for this amazing wonder is the Eastern Teaberry. Hint! Hint!

In my ever attempt to eliminate unnecessary chemicals and crap from the environment and my very upset achy body, I decided to experiment with making my own toothpaste this week following this recipe:

On the flip side, come the cool evening the paste hardens quite nicely and you only need to brush the toothbrush across the surface a few times to get enough to clean your teeth.

As well, if you add a saponifier (coco-glucoside, glycerin) then you’ll get all the unnecessary bubbling in your mouth and in the sink, counter acting the coconut oil. I should note that coconut oil is a FANTASTIC anti-bacterial/fungal/everything-o-cide.

However, I may experiment with adding calcium carbonate powder as a bone builder and some tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) for added anti-everything punch. I do not feel the need for gums to hold the paste together but if you like the traditional paste, slowly add a gram at a time as it binds quickly and xanthum gum is expensive ($20/100g Bulk Barn)!!!

So the wonderful and magical flavouring to this toothpaste is … … … … … … … … Well, I will leave that up to you to solve.

Can you name this medicinal herb? Bonus points for Latin name!

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