SFDA cautions against buying miswak from unknown sources

April 06, 2022

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) advised people to check the source of miswak before buying and using it in order to avoid contaminated and moldy types.

Miswak, a natural toobrush with medicinal properties, is a twig used by majority of people in Muslim countries to brush their teeth.

The authority explained that miswak is the designated part from the roots, stems or branches of plants and trees that are used for the purpose of cleaning and perfuming mouth and teeth. The most famous plants from which they are taken are arak, neem and basham.

In Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries, most people use sticks or twigs from arak, the Salvadora persica tree. It is referred to as a chewing stick.

SFDA urged to ensure the safe use of miswak, saying that caution should be exercised when buying a miswak product by staying away from unknown sources, because it may be contaminated, or from unusable or rotting tree roots, or may be soaked with unknown substances to give a pungent taste.

SFDA stressed the importance of cleanliness and good washing of miswak before using it by cutting bristles frequently, and avoid placing it in pocket exposed to dirt. The authority noted the importance of buying vacuum-packed miswak, which is in a sterile and well-closed pouch, with the expiry date written on it to protect it from exposure to sources of pollution.

The authority warned against buying those products that have medical claims, such as using miswak as a treatment for tooth decay or gum disease, because it is only a means of cleaning and prevention of disease.

April 06, 2022
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