We make around 2-3 pints a day and it holds a few surprises that many of us haven’t even thought about.
Saliva is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, it is a natural acid neutraliser so it protects the oesophagus and gastrointestinal tract and this precious liquid also contains a pain killer which is up to six times more effective than morphine.
Saliva heals, and animals are fully aware of this as their instinct is to lick their wounds. The mouth heals much quicker than the rest of the body too and scientists are now researching ways we can utilise these properties to greater benefit.
In Chinese medicine saliva is known as the ‘spiritual fluid of the body’ and that watery and clear saliva indicate poor health while the whiter coloured saliva is preferable. In Toaism, via Tai Chi and Chi Kung practice, a method is used to create saliva and they also say that we should never spit saliva out.
From a digestive point of view chewing our food is vitally important. The chewing action stimulates our saliva and then our digestive enzymes can begin the process of breaking down our food. If we don’t chew enough then we are impairing our digestion and we are not absorbing all the nutrients. A few more minutes chewing can make all the difference to our health.