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The miswak (miswaak, siwak) is a natural toothbrush made from the twigs of the Salvadora persica tree, also known as the arak tree or the peelu tree. Other tree types that are used are the olive, walnut, and other trees with bitter roots.
Additional recommended knowledge
The miswak is predominant in Muslim areas but its use predates the inception of Islam. It is also known as 'Kayu Sugi' ('chewing stick'). It is often mentioned that prophet Muhammad himself recommended its use.
In 2007, Researchers at the Wrigley Company carried out tests on nine volunteers. Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they found mints laced with Magnolia (Miswak is Salvadora persica, which belongs to the Magnoliophyta Division of the Plant Kingdom) killed 20 times more bacteria than mints without. After half an hour, the magnolia mint had killed more than 60% of the bacteria, compared to just 3.6% among those who had consumed a normal mint. "Magnolia bark extract demonstrated a significant anti-bacterial activity against organisms responsible for oral malodour and can be incorporated into mints and chewing gum for improved breath freshening benefits."
Advocates of magnolia have long praised its properties, claiming it can alleviate the symptoms of conditions ranging from rheumatism to asthma. 
A 2003 scientific study comparing the use of miswaak with ordinary toothbrushing concluded that the results clearly were in favor of the users who had been using the miswaak provided they had been given proper instruction in how to brush using the miswaak. The WHO recommended the use of the miswaak in 1986 and in 2000 an international consensus report on oral hygiene concluded that further research was needed to document the effect of the miswak. Recent research by Dr Otaybi from Saudi  opened a new area for research on the systemic effects of Miswak ( Sewak ) after discovering its great positive effect on the immunity system. Dr.Rami Mohammed Diabi who spent more than 17 years researching on Miswak effects on health and especially its anti-addiction effects  on smokers ( curative & Preventive sides ) had opened a great field of science and researches by his last research : "Miswak Medicine theory " or Sewak Puncture medicine  which led him to what is so called Beyond Sewak: World of Science and Research) Miswak also is contributing in the fight against desertification (See effects of Salvadora Persica "Miswak tree" on stopping deserts and fixing the soil ), thereby affecting our environment and global climate.
"Miswak extract" compared to other oral disinfectants
Studies indicate that Salvadora persica extract is somewhat comparable to other oral disinfectants and anti-plaque agents like Triclosan and Chlorhexidine Gluconate if used at a very high concentration..
An important benefit to Muslims is also that the reward of prayer (salaah) is multiplied 70 times if miswak is used before it. Although not mentioned in the Qur'an use of the miswak is frequently advocated in the Hadith (the traditions relating to the life of Muhammad). Situations where the miswak is recommended to be used include before religious practice, before entering one's house, before and after going on a journey, on Fridays, before and after sleeping, when experiencing hunger or thirst and before entering any good gathering.
In addition to strengthening the gums, preventing tooth decay and eliminating toothaches it is also said to halt further increase in decay that has already set in. Furthermore it is claimed to create a fragrance in the mouth, eliminate bad odour, improve the sense of taste and cause the teeth to glow and shine.
Supposed benefits not related to teeth and gum include sharpening memory, curing headaches, creating a lustre on the face of the one who continually uses it, strengthening the eyesight, assisting in digestion and clearing the voice. However, none of these claims has been researched scientifically.
Examples of Hadith concerning the Miswak
From Sahih Bukhari:
From Sahih Muslim
A miswak should be one hand span in length when selected. If it becomes dry, it should be soaked in rose water to ensure the end is soft. The end should be cut afresh to ensure hygiene, and should never be stored near a toilet or sink. It can be used by cutting the branches instead of roots ( like people of Sudan's habit ) keeping in mind that the roots can keep the humidity of Miswak more than the branches ( longer time usage).
5- Miswak effect on Immunity System  6- Miswak Medicine Theory  6- Islamic Research on Miswak ( DR AL Sahli) 
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Miswak". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|