Chewstick (Gouania lupuloides) medicinal herb or chew stick is a plant or herb of the family Rhamnaceae that is found in the West Indies. It is popularly grown in the woodlands
of Jamaica and is preferably used by many people, including some Rastafarians, to naturally clean the teeth. It contains antibacterial
as well as anticariogenic properties. It is not popularly used today, but it still retains its importance in dental and oral hygiene.
It is a climbing woody vine and some of the common names are Bejuco de sopla, Mascapalo, Liane-savon, Gouania lupuloides as well as Lyenn-savon.
It can be termed a natural toothpaste as it is
primarily used to clean the teeth, which can reflect brilliant white
teeth after utilizing it. That is why the Jamaican chew stick is so
loved by the Rastafarians who believe in natural living. This practice
has been around for ages in the West Indies as well as Africa. I grew
up with the knowledge that Rastafarians did not use toothpaste. They
used this valuable plant instead to clean their teeth and it is very
To clean the teeth, part of the chew stick must be severed from the vine, then the bark must be peeled off and the end of it is chewed until it is frayed exuding a foam which is naturally bitter.
Chew stick is herbal remedy for gum ailments and preventing tooth decay. Therefore, utilizing it, is not only for whitening of the teeth but it may be used for health benefits as well. It can also help to keep away tartar and plaque build-up. This is due to the fact that the foam from this herb will circulate even between closely nit teeth and will work as a dental floss.
The Jamaicans used it as an ingredient in our homemade ginger beer.
I tried to use chew stick on more than one occasions and it really took a while for me to get accustom to the bitter taste, but the result was worth it. This is the reason many Islanders are turned away from it, but its worth a try if you really want to have some sparkling white teeth and healthy gum. This is a safe and natural way to do it.
Chew stick medicinal herb is also used to manufacture commercial toothpaste. Therefore, if you are not able to acquire it, then contact your local store to see which toothpaste contains chewstick.
Updated May 23, 2015