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Euclea Natalensis is a plant of the Ebenaceae family , which may be found along subtropical Africa and is common in the east zone of Southern Africa. This species is characterised by shrubs or small trees of 0.5 to 18 meters height with very dark green foliage.
There are several names attributed to Euclea Natalensis, depending on the geographic region and the people and language in question. In Mozambique it is known as Mulala, Kitana, Mcriparipa Euchangula, and in English hairy guarri, among other names.
Dental hygiene using E. Natalensis root is customay among several African peoples, being the main plant used for this purpose. In Mozambique, it can be found in several places and is most abundant in the district of Matutuíne, Maputo province.
Studies of its anti-infective activity have confirmed its efficacy against various microorganisms in the oral flora. This action is correlated with the presence of naphthoquinones (secondary metabolites produced by algae, fungi, plants and animals, characterised by having multiple biological activities).
This may help to justify their therapeutic activity, as these compounds have fungicidal, anti-bacterial, insecticidal (insect-protecting product), phytotoxic (toxic effect on plants), cytostatic (anti-tumor), and anti-carcinogenic (delayed progression of cancer).
The bark of the root is removed and the inside chewed until it is mashed, and then wiped over the teeth and gums.
Upon being chewed, the fibres at the end of the mulala shoot are exposed, forming a rough brush. Continuous chewing causes detachment of food particles between the teeth and stimulates blood circulation in the gums. It also increases the production of saliva, which acts as a natural antiseptic, removing bacteria and creating an inhospitable environment for their multiplication.
This process leaves the mouth and teeth with a temporary orange color, disappearing after a few hours. At the end of the tooth cleaning process, the scrap piece is cut and the rest of the root is stored in a cool environment for later use. You can also use the bark.
More than just a tooth brush: Other functions of the root
Mulala is more than just a brush. Branches and roots of this species contain chemical compounds that retard the formation of plaque (the adherent and transparent film made up of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on the teeth).
It also inhibits the development of pathogens that cause caries, gum disease (gingivitis, periodontitis), inflammation of the throat and some respiratory diseases.
In addition to preventing decay, this natural dental instrument is capable of strengthening the root of the teeth and gums.
For the treatment of dental caries and gum bleeding, peel the roots, allow them to dry and then grind them in a mortar to a powder used to brush the teeth. The root bark on its own can also be used to treat gum bleeding.
For tooth pains, the root barks or the burned roots can be used.Source: Notícias /MISAU
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