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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ICA Basic Tandkram

This lovely basic toothpaste is from ICA of Sweden. Think IKEA. (No, they don't sell toothpaste, at least in any store I've visited in the USA.) Think clean and simple design. Functional yet pleasing to the eye - or in this case, the mouth.

As white toothpastes go, this is one that will offend no one. The taste is a little less sweet than your average white minty paste from the States. And it has no hint of wanting to jump down your throat with ultra-bold flavor, like some toothpastes.

I like the fact that it has flouride. I can brush with no guilt - or at least with no feeling that my teeth will be less healthy in the long run.

ICA is the largest supermarket chain in Sweden. Since I have never been to that fair country, I am thankful to the brother of my friend Ted, who visited his relatives there this summer and brought back two toothpastes for the International Toothpaste Museum. He visited ICA on my behalf (though I suspect he got some groceries during that visit as well.)

Sadly, it was impossible to find any details on the paste from their website. (And Google's translate feature does work well on that site - there are no details in any language.) It's such a basic paste that it costs about $1.40. But nothing is wrong with basic!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Colgate Salt

This is the first guest post on The International Toothpaste Museum. Due to the hassles of international mail, my friend Josh did not send this one to me but rather shared it with me digitally.

Colgate of India produces a salt toothpaste for African consumption. (Josh lives in Nairobi, Kenya, where I met him and shared some fun experiences together.) Interestingly, the packaging is primarily in French, which is the trade language of many countries in West Africa.

Touted benefits include that it is "AntiGerm" - it "reduces germs and cleanses teeth and gums." And, "with regular brushing, [it] gives you healthy teeth and gums." In America, these benefits are assumed and will rarely be seen on toothpaste packaging.

Josh provided this description: "It isn't bad. Tastes like slightly salty toothpaste. I guess slightly minty and salty. I might even prefer it slightly more salty."

I was reminded of another salt toothpaste I reviewed, by primarily Indian company, Dabur. In fact, other than in America, salt appears to be a fairly popular approach to flavoring toothpastes. I've also reviewed salt toothpastes from Malaysia and Thailand.