A natural option for teeth cleaning is now in Malaysia.
NEW Zealand is well-known for its pristine environment with its unpolluted air and crystal clear lakes and rivers. It also has a high standard for health and food safety, with emphasis on consumer protection and the use of sustainable resources.
Established in 1923, Red Seal is a New Zealand brand that specialises in natural products.
It prides itself as the second largest supplement provider in New Zealand, while other products include herbal teas and natural toothpaste.
These products take advantage of the country’s existing natural ingredients, such as propolis.
“It is a resin that bees produce,” says Anthony Robinson, the international director of Endeavour Consumer Health, the company that owns Red Seal.
He adds, “Propolis is used in the construction of beehives, and keeps the hive free of disease. Propolis is well-documented to inhibit bacterial growth and is a key ingredient in Red Seal’s Propolis toothpaste.”
Such benefits make the Propolis toothpaste ideal for sufferers of gingivitis and sensitive gums. Another natural ingredient used by Red Seal comes from the native totara tree.
“All of our toothpaste contains totara oil. It’s a naturally-occurring plant extract that comes from recycled totara trees. It has potent anti-bacterial property so it reduces the bad bacteria in our mouths,” says Robinson.
Totara can grow up to 30 metres high and its timber is highly prized. It can live for hundreds of years, and the oil protects the tree against rotting even a century after it was chopped down. Red Seal uses totara oil from already-felled trees, which makes the ingredient sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
SCIENCE AND NATURE
Apart from totara oil, Red Seal’s signature Natural toothpaste contains 11 other herbs and extracts. I like the mild minty flavour and scent although the texture is not as smooth as regular toothpaste. But it does the job well.
“It’s important to us that each ingredient we use is backed up by substantial scientific research,” adds Robinson.
“The naturopath comes in to recommend how to combine the ingredients to get the outcome that consumers are looking for.”
The position of naturopath is an important one for Red Seal considering that its founder, William T. Anderton, was a naturopath and herbalist.
“Naturopathy is a form of natural medicine and is based on the theory of the body’s innate ability to heal itself if it’s given the right tools,” says company naturopath Michelle Irving.
“A naturopath treats the patient holistically in the quest for optimum health and Red Seal has been making toothpaste for over 30 years.”
She gives the example of a person with periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums. Triggered by bacteria, it can lead to diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease if not treated.
To treat this condition, Irving recommends teeth cleaning twice a day using natural toothpaste, a timely change of toothbrush, to adjust the diet to include more raw vegetables, a reduction of sugar intake and to stop smoking immediately.
SAFE TO SWALLOW
Conventional toothpaste may contain irritants in the form of synthetic chemicals such as artificial colours and flavours, triclosan, parabens and microbeads.
But Red Seal uses herbal extracts and essential oils like eucalyptus, aniseed and peppermint to make a highly alkaline formula that discourages bacterial growth in the mouth.
The base of Red Seal’s toothpaste is calcium carbonate that removes plaque and naturally rebuilds, or remineralises, the teeth.
Zinc oxide is used to stop demineralisation of the teeth and heals wounds like inflamed gums.
Irving adds that the mucosal lining inside the mouth has about 90 per cent absorption efficiency. This exposes us to the toxic chemicals in the toothpaste even though we spit after brushing. But not everyone does that.
“Children under 7 do not have spitting reflex,” says Irving. “When they clean their teeth, they’re actually swallowing a lot of it. Our kids’ toothpaste has natural bubble-gum flavour, has no added fluoride, and is colour-free, paraben-free and SLS-free.”
SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate is often the foaming agent in personal care products, and some people are allergic to it.
Meanwhile, baking soda is an alkaline ingredient that’s good for removing stains. Irving recommends the baking soda toothpaste as a natural teeth whitener.
Red Seal’s range of toothpaste is priced between RM18.70 and RM28.20 and is available at Caring pharmacies nationwide.