Featured image credit: Yoni via Facebook
The other day, a new age-looking Czech company called Yoni dropped an ad on their Facebook plugging their new product RAWTOOTHBRUSH (their ALL-CAPS, not ours OK THANKS).
In it, the various weird happenings that you’d expect from a new age-y advert by a company named Yoni, well, happen. There’s a girl going on a hike, attractive friends having brunch, a scruffy looking dude brushing his teeth in a town square for some reason. The usual. The one thing that connects them is the RAWTOOTHBRUSH, a revolutionary twig that cleans, whitens and strengthens teeth without the need for toothpaste.
It’s amazing. It’s groundbreaking. It’s also been in use for about 7,000 years. As you’ve probably gathered, the stick is a Miswak, or a twig plucked from the Salvadora Persica tree. Throughout the Middle East, much of Asia and north Africa, people have been fraying the ends of these sticks and using them to clean teeth for centuries – right up to this day. While Miswak has always been common throughout Muslim populations, the twigs were also adopted by the Romans and the Greeks.
Safe to say, Miswak pre-dates Yoni by some time, although most people don’t try to flog each stick for a whopping £3.90(!).
While random Czech companies may have only just discovered the product, Miswak has been ubiquitous in Muslim communities for quite some time. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it works. There have been a number of studies into the effects of Miswak in relation to regular toothbrushes and toothpaste, most of which have found the twig to be just as effective a method of oral hygiene (however, these studies have been small in scale, so the results are not absolute.) This is likely due to nutrients in the plant, which are thought to suppress the formation of plaque.
Secondly, there are Hadiths which describe how the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would recommend the use of Miswak…
‘Make a regular practice of Miswak for verily it is the purification for the mouth and a means of the pleasure of the Lord.’
…And speak of His own fondness for it:
‘Use the Miswak, for verily, it purifies the mouth, and it is a Pleasure for the Lord. Jib-ra-eel (A.S.) exhorted me so much to use the Miswak that I feared that its use would be decreed obligatory upon me and upon my Ummah. If I did not fear imposing hardship on my Ummah I would have made its use obligatory upon my people. Verily, I use the Miswak so much that I fear the front part of my mouth being peeled.’
While not exactly a medical miracle, Miswak is a small example of the Islamic world’s long-standing influence on healthcare, hygiene and medicine – which you can read more about on Ummahsonic.
It’s also easy to get hold of and cheap to buy. Though we suggest you look elsewhere before forking out £3.90 to Yoni.