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Licorice toothbrush.

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Make your own toothbrush.

I've made loads of toothbrushes from licorice sticks (Glycyrrhiza glabra). It's easy:
[image:15423 align=left hspace=1]Pic: Licorice toothbrushes soaking in vodka.

  • Boil a handful licorice sticks (medium thickness - 5 mm is about right, 3 mm too thin, 7 mm too thick) with 3-4 cinnamon sticks and about 10 cloves. If you like you can add ginger, as well.
  • Let simmer until the sticks are soft. This takes about 4-5 hours.
  • Strain out the licorice sticks and put them into a longish container.
  • Cover with vodka, close lid on that longish container.
  • Let sit overnight.
  • Put sticks into dehydrator, let dry on full heat (about 60 deg. C) until dry.

[image:15424 align=right hspace=1]Pic: Licorice toothbrushes on a dehydrator tray.

Using these toothbrushes: chew open 1-2 cm of one end, use that to brush with. You can't reach around corners. When the chewed-up bit is all untidy, remove the untidiness with scissors or a knife and chew up the next bit.

You're guaranteed to get interesting looks when you use this.

I got the recipe long ago from one or the other book by David Hoffman. I think (but I'm not sure) he recommends also trying birch twigs. If you want to boil birch twigs until soft you'll need to wait for a long time. Also, after boiling them for 4-5 hours you have birch twigs, not tooth brushes. They simply don't open up when chewed. I've tried it, it doesn't work.

Comments

Do they taste like licorice? Or vodka? Neither of those are really flavours I associate with dental hygiene...

It tastes of spicy licorice - extremely tasty. The vodka is all gone.
It'd make an excellent candy, except that chewed boiled licorice sticks leave you with a wad of hard fibers, all chewed up, which need to be spit out.



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