Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sewak, Miswak

Miswak [miss-waq] is a little piece of a branch which is cut from the arak tree and used instead of toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Image taken from:

The branches are cut in to pieces 10-20cm long, or approximately a handspan in lenght, and are about 4-14mm wide - thin enough to get into all the mouth's nooks and crannies.

Image taken from:

Fresh miswak is a light brown colour (dark brown indicates old age), with a hot pleasant, or sour unpleasant, taste depending on your preferences and likes. If a stick is dry, the chewing end ca be soaked in fresh water or rose water {see wgaw blog archive: rose water} for 24 hours. However, don't soak it for long periods of time or it will become ineffective.

How to Use
People usually buy the miswak in the suq, then strip off some of the bark from one end and chew to separate the fibers so it then takes on the general appearance of a toothbrush. It can then be re-cut for further use and to ensure hygine and a lack of bacteria.

Miswak is never used with the leaves left on, but it's a cute little boy ... Image taken from:

Perceived Benefits
It is said Miswak can:
1. strengthen the gums, prevent toot decay
2. eliminate toothaches
3. stop decay that has already set in
4. remove bad odours and replace them with cleanliness
5. improve the sense of taste and
6. cause the teeth to glow and shine.

1 comment:

eegxo said...

i will follow you..
nice blog that show the culture. like it.