Assalama alaykum dear Readers,
Today’s topic is the Miswak, Miswaak, also known as Swak or Sewak, & better known in the West as the ‘Chewing Stick’.
What is it?
The Miswak is a 100% organic, a natural & traditional toothbrush that is obtained from the twigs of the Arak Tree (also called Peelu Tree). Although a few other trees can be used as well, such as walnut and olive trees.
This teeth cleaning stick can be seen as very alien in our western or non Muslim society, I mean you can imagine so many people raising an eyebrow & questioning why anyone would think to put a wooden twig in their mouth to chew on or clean their teeth with? But the truth is, it’s used on a regular & even daily basis by Muslims from all over the world for centuries, and they do so because it is a Sunnah, (something that our beloved blessed prophet Muhammad saaws practiced & did.)
The following Hadith indicates that all the Prophets Peace be upon Them) used the Miswak too, to maintain their oral hygiene as well as gain the pleasure of Allah SWT.
“Abu Ayyub (R) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
‘Four things are amongst the practices of the Ambiyaa —circumcision, application of perfume, Miswaak and marriage’.”
(Reported by Ahmad & Tirmithi)
This hadith tells us the Miswak was something the ancient man has used for centuries in place of the toothbrush, not only providing a spiritual benefit, but also benefiting the everyday maintenance of their mouth, gums, and teeth.
So although the Miswak sounds outdated to use as a form of oral hygiene, studies conducted on it prove otherwise. Confirmed results have proven Miswak to be better than toothpaste for preventing gum disease. Due to these facts coming out, the West is now slowly recognizing the Miswak as the ‘chewing stick‘ and a form of alternative medicine.
There are 70 benefits of Miswak as suggested by Islamic Literature and many of these have been scientifically proven but many still haven’t been studied yet.
Benefits of Miswak
- Kills Gum disease causing bacteria.
- Fights plaque effectively. The bark contains an antibiotic which surpresses the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaque. Research shows that regular use of miswak significantly reduces plaque, gingivitis and growth of cariogenic bacteria.
- Possesses strong antibacterial properties.
- If used regularly on a daily basis, it whitens & brightens the teeth leaving them with a shiny glow
- Removes Bad breath and odor from mouth & creates a pleasant fragrance.
- The Minerals in this root or twig include potassium, sodium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium oxides.These ingredients all strengthen the tooth enamel.
- Does all the above naturally without the need of any additional products such as toothpaste
- Helps to effectively clean between teeth due to its parallel bristles. Acting as a floss as well as a toothbrush.
- Increases salivation & inhibits the dry mouth (Xerostomia)
- 100% organic & natural alternative to toothpaste for those avoiding fluoride products, believing them to be dangerous & harmful.
- Improves & preserves the taste buds.
- Reduces stains from tobacco products, coffee and tea.
- The form & convenient shape of the Miswak makes it easier to get into those hard to reach places, that a standard toothbrush is too big for. It also massages the gums for healthier teeth.
- Due to the advantage of cutting off the used tip, the Miswak can be reused again & again until it gets too short to hold appropriately. Saving you money on those extra brushes.
- Miswak is a cure for toothache and improves the sense of taste.
- Miswak sharpens the memory & is a cure for headaches.
- Assists in digestion & clears the voice.
- The greatest benefit of using Miswak is gaining the pleasure of Allah.The reward of Salaah (Prayers) is multiplied 70 times if Miswak was used before it.
Scientific Studies on Miswak
1) The famousWrigley Company (well known for their chewing gum & Mint products) made a study on Miswak which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The study found that mints laced with Miswak extract were 20 times more effective in killing bacteria than ordinary mints. A small testimony to this fact is that after half an hour, the mints laced with Miswak extract killed about 60% of the bacteria where as the ordinary mints managed only 3.6%
2) In August, the journal of Periodontology (2008) released a study conducted by Swedish researchers on Miswak. The study apparently found that suspended Miswak pieces in a petridish (medium for culturing bacteria) were able to kill bacteria that cause periodontal disease with out being in physical contact with the bacteria. The researchers suggested that Miswak might be giving antibiotics as gases trying to explain this phenomenon.
3) A study which compared tooth brushing with Miswaking can be seen on Pubmed (U.S National Library for Medicine Service). The study concluded that Miswak was more effective than tooth brushing in reducing plaque and gingivitis. Similar studies found on the same website and elsewhere vouch for the effectiveness of the Miswak stick over the toothbrush.
4) A study conducted by a group of dentists at King Saud University concluded that using Miswak was at least as good as tooth brushing, if not better. There have been plenty of published studies on Miswak and infact entire books published which study its oral and systemic benefits.
Ok I’m Convinced, How do I get a Miswak?
We have a wide range of Miswaks & Miswak products available on our website, the following link will take you straight to our dental products Theislamicestablishment.com
From only £1.00 a Miswak and Free delivery to your door any where within the UK, with no minimum order required. Tell me who can resist?
Alternatively you can pop into our store at : 68 Asfordby Street, Leicester, LE5 3QG
How to Use a Miswak
To use your Miswak stick: Remove the stick from it’s plastic packaging & trim, scrape, cut or chew about 1-2cm of the ‘bark‘ off one end of the stick. Then chew on the exposed end until the twig forms a good, sufficient amount of bristles. Brush your teeth with these bristles as you normally would without toothpaste making sure you cover all areas. A Miswaak should be held in such a manner that the small finger and thumb is below the Miswak and the remaining fingers on its upper side. It should not be longer than a “span” i.e. the maximum distance between the tips of the thumb and little finger, and it should not be thicker than a finger. Every so often when you notice the bristles looking a bit worn, cut off the exposed bristles, & once again peel off another 1-2cm of bark and start a fresh.
So there you have it, a small introduction to the Miswak & it’s benefits. We pray you found this article useful & sincereley hope you comment & share.