Sumac (Rhus Glabra, R. typhina) is a prolific nonpoisonous, red-berried weed shrub or small tree. Do not confuse this with the white-berried sumac, which is poisonous. Look for red berries and you will be safe. You can use a twig from the tree as an improvised toothbrush with superior astringent and cleansing properties. It is excellent for removing plaque and acts as a good gum stimulant. To make a sumac toothbrush break off a twig 4-6 inches long a*id 1/2 inch in diameter and peel back the outer skin or thin bark, then scrub the twig tip along the tooth surface and gently massage the gums. Other trees, such as pine and oak, can be used similarly. This is a good thing to know when you’ve forgotten your toothbrush while traveling.
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