Homemade Herbal Toothpicks

Make your own deliciously flavored toothpicks to cleanse and stimulate your gums.

You can create a variety of flavored picks by choosing different essential oils. These toothpicks also make terrific breath fresheners.

This recipe comes from Kim, a childhood friend and the proprietor of Penny’s General Store, a wonderful and exotic herbal apothecary in New York City’s East Village. When we go to New York City we often visit Kim in his shop. My son Sam is always excited to receive one of Kim’s cinnamon toothpicks, which he carries around and enjoys tasting for the next few days.

You will need some good-quality wooden toothpicks and enough essential oil of your choice (cassia cinnamon, fennel, peppermint, orange, anise, nutmeg, and tea tree are favorites) to cover them.

Place the toothpicks inside a jar filled with essential oil and soak overnight. Remove the picks from the oil (you may want to use tweezers) and set them on a platter to air-dry. When completely dry, they are ready to use. Store the flavored picks in an airtight glass or tin jar. Use the herbal toothpicks to clean your teeth and stimulate your gums. You can also suck on them to freshen your breath. The leftover essential oil is still good, and can be used to make other formulas.

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