The Healing Properties of Saliva
Many people are unaware that the legendary fountain of youth is actually contained within their own body. Yes, those everyday fluids of saliva, urine, breastmilk, semen and tears all have powerful healing properties that keep you healthy and young! Rather than reaching for expensive, invasive or toxic substances to preserve your youth and health, start to understand what your own body produces, and how it can act as your personal, free, and powerful fountain of youth.
The Healing Properties of Saliva
“Saliva is the spiritual fluid in the body.”- Huangdi neijing, ancient Chinese medical text
In Taoism, saliva is a health-giving fluid. The terms Divine Water, jade juice, and sweet dew, all refer to the saliva. The Eastern mystic has forever embraced it as both an aid and a medicine for health cultivation. In the Christian tradition, Jesus uses saliva as a healing aid for blindness, and in Latin America, it is know to use saliva to heal and sooth itching mosquito and flea bites, and headaches. There are many legends involving healing wounds by licking them or applying saliva: the Saint Magdalena de Pazzi is said to have cured a nun of sores and scabs in 1589 by licking her limbs; the Roman Emperor Vespasian is said to have performed a healing of a blind man using his saliva; and Pliny the Elder in his Natural History reported that a fasting woman’s saliva is an effective cure for bloodshot eyes.
Even though the mouth contains bacteria from undigested food, wounds heal much more quickly there than those in other locations, such as the skin and bones, and they tend to heal without scarring. Today, science has found that saliva has the components of a healing agent, and that the ancient wisdom is correct. As a result of these findings, scientists have been working to isolate the parts of saliva that contribute to the healing of wounds and burns, with the hope and intention of creating new drugs. An ever-expanding literature exists indicating that the salivary glands secrete a wide range of growth factors, and animal studies with epidermal growth factor have provided evidence for a role in both oral and systemic health, through the promotion of wound healing. Thus, saliva holds the potential to enhance tissue regeneration and homeostasis.
Saliva contains exactly what we need for healing: antimicrobial agents, enzymes, antibodies, growth factors and even an analgesic! A protein called lysozyme can actually break down bacteria, and neutralize it, and some salivary proteins have even been found to neutralize the HIV virus (which is why people are much less likely to get the virus through oral sex). Among the antimicrobial agents saliva contains are antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory agents. (enzymes lysozyme, peroxidase, lactoferrin, defensins, cystatins and an antibody, IgA, thrombospondin) A protease inhibitor, leukocyte, is both antibacterial and antiviral, and a promoter of wound healing. Nitrates that are naturally found in saliva break down into nitric oxide on contact with skin, which will inhibit bacterial growth. Saliva is also a natural acid neutralizer, providing protection to the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Saliva contains growth factors such as epidermal growth factor, leptin, lysophosphatidic acid, hyaluronan, histatin and NGF, which all promote the formation of blood vessles and healing. And if that wasn’t enough–it also is a very effective pain killer. Opiorphin, an analgesic is up to six times more effective than morphine!
Wound licking is an instinctive response in humans and many other animals to an injury. Dogs, cats, rodents and primates all lick wounds. And due to the immune boosting, healing promoting, and pain reducing factors- why aren’t we? Removal of the salivary glands of mice and rats slows wound healing, and communal licking of wounds among rodents accelerates wound healing. Communal licking is common in several primate species. In macaques, hair surrounding a wound and any dirt is removed, and the wound is licked, healing without infection. This is explains why we instinctively put our children’s wounded areas to our mouths.
Our glands are responsible for producing 2 to 3 pints of saliva per day. Lack of saliva can cause tooth decay and oral yeast infections. If scientists are able to isolate the medicinal properties of saliva, such as histatin, then the created compound could become as plentiful as other antibacterial and antibiotic rinses, sprays and ointments.
From the oriental medicine perspective, chewing, producing and swallowing saliva are all important in keeping a healthy body. The saliva itself has a high potassium content, which helps the body to heal. They believe that to have longevity, one must not spit their saliva, but keep it and swallow it. This is said to keep your mind clear and your skin hydrated. The taoists always recommend you swallow your own saliva at least 15-30 times a day, which will allow the body to heal itself.
So go ahead and start using your saliva for healing:
- Swallow your saliva 15-30 times per day (for a more advanced technique, see below)
- Keep your mouth clean with frequent brushing, flossing and a healthy diet, so the unhealthy bacteria doesn’t block your saliva’s healing potential.
- Apply saliva from the cheek or gum to sores, bites, cuts, or blemishes, or over areas that are sore.
- And if you’re feeling adventurous, care to give licking a try?
Remember: your body is beautiful, powerful and self-healing. Don’t look outside of you for what lies within.
Saliva Healing Technique:
The correct procedure is to begin by placing the tongue against the inside of the left cheek. Move the tongue from the left cheek in a rolling motion up and over to the right cheek, passing over the front of the upper gums and teeth, and then continue down in front of the lower gums and teeth back up to the left cheek again. Make eighteen complete clockwise revolutions, and then make the opposite rotation eighteen times. Then, press the saliva forward as if to spit it out and draw it back again. Do this thirty-six times. The goal is to use the tongue to stir up and produce saliva and to accumulate it into a single batch.
If during this procedure, you should become unsettled or disturbed, you should pause to compose yourself and get rid of any anxiety; otherwise the source of your good health may well become damaged.
The more proficient you become, the thicker the saliva becomes, both in consistency and quantity. After a time it will feel more solid, and take on a whiter color (watery and clear is indicative of bad health). The sexual secretions will also become more substantial and white. In Taoism, saliva and sexual secretions are very closely related as health-giving fluids and components of the elixir of immortality.