Saturday, April 2, 2016


blend-a-med is a wondrous blend of a white and a gel paste. But that's not what the blend refers to; I am assuming the paste creators were referring to a delicate blend of medicinal herbs.

Sadly, the box is in every language except English. (Well, I do know that the world has 6,000-ish languages, so I am kidding...) Interestingly, the tube itself is in English. And as you can see, the paste tackles 7 common oral problems: root cavities, tooth cavities, gums (or gum problems, I assume), stains, breath (presumably bad breath), plaque and tartar. And the tube has an illustration of a two-sided capsule with "PRO" on one side and "M" on the other ("mineral").

It is a rare herbal toothpaste in that it has flouride. So I can attest to the fact that it does indeed contribute to oral health, at least when used regularly!

For my test of blend-a-med, I brushed twice in a row. (My first photo of the paste itself was be out-of-focus... thus a necessary second squeeze and second shot happened.) Double-brushing allowed my mouth to feel truly fresh. Its flavor is the usual minty-blend. (Sorry - I had to write the word "blend" once more.)

blend-a-med comes from Germany and is produced by perhaps the largest toothpaste producer worldwide, Procter & Gamble. This particular tube came to me via Belgium, where my sister Amy, the very kind contributor, purchased the paste.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Star Wars Toothpaste

Yes, Star Wars toothpaste.

As you might guess, it's designed for kids. The label prominently displays the target demographic, "7+." I'd say 5+. Anyone five years or older could appreciate the action and excitement of any Star Wars film. (Undoubtedly, lawyers are concerned that anyone younger than seven might want to eat the tube's contents in one go.)

This flouride toothpaste made in Spain but made in Italy. My friend Jim Kok brought it back from a trip to the land of Da Vinci and espresso. (Thanks, Jim!) The package has ingredients in five languages: Italian, Protuguese, French, Dutch and Spanish. Interestingly, the only English words on the tube or the box are: "Star Wars" and the manufacturer's slogan, "Healthy gums, healthy life."

GUM is a brand of the international oral healthcare company, Sunstar GUM. Their aim is, "to improve overall systemic health by helping people of all ages have stronger, healthier teeth and gums." If packaging a toothpaste with Star Wars branding will help kids brush their teeth more, I'm all for that tactic. However, the medicinal bubble gum flavor might be difficult to get past.

The paste is a curious bright orange gel. My wife pointed out that the light sabers of the dark side use an orangey-red. Maybe blue would have been more appropriate.

GUM brand toothpaste is not available in the USA, except online from international sources. However, GUM does sell Crayola-branded neon marker toothbrushes (!). I dunno - a kid might decide to color his teeth with the wrong end, if he was half asleep.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ginseng Toothpaste from China

Not only is this toothpaste from China, it's from The People's Republic of China. (I kinda thought that ended when capitalism started marching in.)

It's great. I love the taste mix of ginseng, mint and a slight hint of bubblegum. After brushing, my mouth felt fresh and my teeth smooth.

As always, I cannot vouch for the claimed medicinal qualities ("strengthening of the gum and good for the health"). Panaxin, a ginseng extract, is mentioned on the box. A Google search yielded a wide variety of positive claims related to its effects.

The tube is aluminum with a very retro turned-stepped area that enters the cap. The paste has a nice off-white color that must be natural.

I could not find this toothpaste on Google (beyond the first page results). I'm sure that if I could read Mandarin, the company that made this paste would have popped out at me on the package. My very kind sister, Amy, sent it over from Belgium. (The European marketplace gets a lot of stuff we don't in the USA - and vice-versa.)

Go ginseng!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Active Fresh Toothpaste from Nepal

This healthy toothpaste came to me from the foot of the Himalaya Mountains - Kathmandu. The official population of that city in 2011 was just over a million people. Americans who have never been tend to think of it as the launching pad for expeditions up Mount Everest. That's true, but it's a very small part of what happens in Nepal's capital city.

My friend Jon Swanson journeyed to Nepal recently to serve people there by helping to set up an internet cafe - that will assist Nepalese people to do much more than just access the internet. (You'll have to read about his adventures on 300 Words a Day.) And Jon very kindly brought back a tube of a minty green toothpaste he purchased in the big city.

Himalaya Herbals is the manufacturer of Active Fresh. Interestingly, they do not list this toothpaste on their website. A similar paste on their site is "Mint Fresh." Also of interest is that Himalaya Herbals is located in the heart of Bangalore, India, which is 2,350 km (1,460 miles) from the Himalayas.

Active Fresh does indeed have a fresh taste. It's a light green gel - lighter than most American green gel pastes (with more yellow in the mix than blue). There's just a hint of citrus flavor in the mix. My favorite part of the label is the phrase, "Gum Expert." (In America, that would mean someone who is an expert in all things chewing gum.)

The ingredients include several things such as are common to most toothpastes - saccharin and sorbitol (sweeteners) and sodium lauryl sulphate (an organic cleaning chemical). It also does include some herbal ingredients, such as eugenia caryophyllus bud extract, otherwise known as clove.

The box touts its ability to provide 12-hour protection from germs. Brush everyday at 7 am and 7 pm, and you will never get sick! (The latter is my interpretation of what this toothpaste will provide.)

Unusual for most non-American internationally-oriented toothpastes, the only language on the box and tube is English.

Brush up today!

- -

Just as I was writing this, a huge earthquake took place in Nepal - killing hundreds. My hearts and my prayers go out for the families affected by this tragedy.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Corpore Sano from Spain

This lovely paste comes to me courtesy of the Camino de Santiago - in English, "the Way of St. James" - a pilgrimage walk across the north of Spain.

How did a walk provide me with toothpaste? Actually, a walker did - my friend Jim Kok. He made this lifetime journey last year and very kindly returned with a tube in hand.

Corpore Sano is a lightly minty green paste that Jim picked up at a Spanish pharmacy. (I have found many interesting toothpastes of the healthy/natural variety in European pharmacies.) Corpore Sano is Latin for "a sound body." On the tube, three main ingredients are featured: myrrh, propolsis and fennel. I'll quote from the box: Myrrh's essential oil "is astringent and stimulating." Propolsis "purifies and strengthens, improving mouth hygiene." Fennel "also acts as a stimulant and tonic."

Interestingly (see photo inset), the paste was also packaged for Japan! I have not seen Corpore Sano in any stores in the States. The tube has English on one side and Portuguese and Spanish on the other. Their website has a limited description of the paste and only lists an email address for US distribution.

I enjoy how the logo illustrates The Garden of Eden. Apparently, living a healthier life will take you closer to the experience of living there. (I must admit that when I brush with Corpore Sano, I don't feel much closer to what it might feel like to live in The Garden of Eden.) The slogan over the logo reads, "salud y belleza natural," or "natural health and beauty." I do vouch for the idea that brushing with fewer chemicals is probably better for your health.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bamboo Charcoal Mouthguard Toothpaste

Bamboo Charcoal Mouthguard toothpaste from China is a different breed.

Apparently, it's popular in Japan, at least the Japanese brands. This one is special - after purchsed in China by my friend Meg, she brought it back to Colorado for me. The only English on the entire tube is the product name, "Bamboo Charcoal Mouthguard toothpaste."

The taste is subtle - so subtle that I could not figure out the flavor mix. So I called in for outside help.

My wife said it tasted a bit like baking soda toothpaste.

My daughter (13) provided more in-depth commentary: "It starts with a medicinal taste and ends with a minty flavor. There's a bit of a dusty feel. My teeth do not feel smooth after brushing."

The paste itself is very dark brown. Interestingly, the foam after brushing (when spit in a white sink) is mostly white, unlike a very similar looking paste from Thailand that I reviewed (which leaves a slightly brown-tinged foam).

Since I can't read the Chinese script, I am a bit hampered in providing more information. Any help from my Chinese readers would be appreciated!

Needless to say, this one is not even available from Amazon. You need a friend like Meg.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Nihilist Toothpaste

Accoutrements is a company in California that loves to avoid boring products: "...we pride ourselves on being less disappointing than other companies."

For Christmas, my kind brother gave me three of their toothpastes. I was most amused by Nihilist toothpaste: "No Flavor • No Color • Nothing."

It turns out, the paste does possess flavor - a slightly sweet flavor, provided by sorbitol.

There is no color, if you follow the idea that white is the absence of color. Some say white is all colors combined. In any case, clear would have worked better for me to fulfill that characteristic.

In keeping with the philosophy of many boutique toothpastes, there is no flouride. So "no tooth decay" might not be part of the deal.

I love that Friedrich Nietzsche mildly endorses the paste with the quote, "I would approve of this ... if I actually cared." (And yes, I do know that he died in 1900.)

Stay tuned for more toothpastes by Accoutrements.