BY Alice Otchere Johnson, 8:30am July 04, 2018,

Ancient Africans and their fascinating art of hygiene and cleanliness

Ancient Africans and their fascinating art of hygiene and cleanliness

Purple nutsedge weed plant

Oral hygiene

In ancient Egypt, oral health was a big deal, especially to the royals who had all things luxurious at their disposal. The first ever mention of toothbrushes was around 3000BC when ancient Egyptians used frayed twigs to clean their teeth.

Oral hygiene rituals consisted of powdered ashes of ox hooves, myrrh, powdered and burnt eggshells and pumice. They later used powdered anise as a breath freshener.

Research has shown that in ancient Sudan, the purple nutsedge weed tuber was used for oral health. According to scientists, this plant had anti-bacterial tendencies. It cleaned their teeth and kept their gums fresh and healthy. Some parboiled this tuber before using it due to its bitter taste.

Ancient Africans and their fascinating art of hygiene and cleanliness

Chewing sticks

For men of the Dinka ethnic group, they keep their teeth clean with sticks. Many Africans till date use chewing sticks to maintain oral health.

Last Edited by:Nduta Waweru Updated: July 4, 2018

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