I came across this vendor selling what I thought were ordinary sticks in the lanes of Old Delhi last month. They are all very nice looking sticks. They are all the same size and all the same thickness, but they just sticks, right? Wrong. These sticks are extra special.
Yaha kya hai? (What is this?). Another opportunity for me to practice my hit and miss Hindi on an unsuspecting vendor. It was a chance I couldn’t miss out on.
Walking down Church Mission Marg, off Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, I came across a vendor selling lots of sticks. He was doing pretty good business, but why?
Well, this vendor isn’t selling any old stick, he’s selling a stick from the Neem Tree. As soon as I heard him mention Neem, I knew this was a special type of stick.
Why? Neem is a powerful. Last month, I was lucky enough to meet lady who promised to solve my problem of a receding hairline with some Neem seed oil. You can read about this here, but for now let’s get back to the stick salesman.
This time Neem was being offered to me as nature’s toothbrush.
The vendor didn’t want me to take his photograph or share his name, but he was very happy for me to takes some snaps of his sticks and spread the word about the magical powers of the Neem toothbrushes. His teeth looked pretty good. Shiny and white.
There’s no need for toothpaste with Neem. Each stick is specifically chosen for its special ayurvedic properties. Only sticks from flexible branches, about 15 to 20 cm long and 15 to 20 mm thick, should be used.
It now made sense why each stick was a uniform size and shape, and why his customers were inspecting the pile of sticks with great care. But there’s even more to this Neem stick toothbrush than meets the eye.
After pulling our tongues out at each other for a few minutes, I realised that the Neem stick is not only a weapon in the fight against plague and tooth decay, it’s also able to take on the bugs and bacteria that coat the tongue.
Wondering how it works? Returning home I started searching for more information about Neem toothbrushes. I couldn’t help myself.
Through the wonders of You Tube the whole process from tree, to teeth, to tongue cleaning is explained in a little under two minutes.
According to discoverneem.com, “Researchers believe that the use of neem toothbrushes is responsible for the bright smiles and healthy teeth of Indian villagers, people who never had access to any modern dental care facilities, products or fancy toothpaste.”
There’s money in Neem toothbrushes too. Search the net and you’ll find e-bay traders selling sticks for a few hundred rupees. International firms are in on the act too. Neem Tree Farms, a US company, sells Neem stick toothbrushes for US $25 dollars. It will exported them outside the US for US$60.
For the moment I’ll stick to my electronic toothbrush and toothpaste. But, with prices like this, I might become an international trader in Neem toothbrushes. Watch this space to see what happens.