Use of siwak is part of sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) and its use is encouraged in many hadith. Its effect is described as purifying the mouth, cleansing it of dirt, making it smell good and also prevents various diseases.
Siwak is a general word which affirms its powers of purification and protection.
It is indeed a miracle of Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who said: it was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Siwaak is purifying for the mouth and pleasing to the Lord.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (hadeeth no. 5). Al-Bukhaari narrated it as a mu’allaq majzoom report in Kitaab al-Sawm,Bab Siwaak al-Ratab wa’l-Yaabis li’l-Saa’im. It was classed as saheeh by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (1/133) and classed as hasan by al-Nawawi in al-Majmoo’ (1/267). In an addition mentioned in al-Mu’jam al-Awsat by al-Tabaraani (7/278) it says “and clearing to the eyesight”, but this is very weak. See al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah by al-Albaani (no. 5276).
How can it not be purifying when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) enjoined us to use it. He guided us to protect our teeth and mouths from diseases by cleaning them which modern science tells us now. As it is said, prevention is better than cure because it gives us a life that is filled with happiness.
All the means that are used to keep mouth and teeth clean are very valuable and prevent the diseases. One method and means which is mentioned in hadith from Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) is the use of the stick from araak tree. This stick is called siwak.
The siwaak is many times better than the toothbrush and toothpaste in chemical and mechanical terms.
It is found out that the substance present in siwak kills germs and heals our mouths from the disease.
It can take place of a toothbrush and toothpaste because of numerous substances it contains which are superior to those contained in toothpaste.
The strong and gentle natural fibers work better than the bristles of the toothbrush and do not damage the gums. They remove plaque from the teeth and other leftovers in the mouth.
Up until today, in our civilised world, there is no toothpaste that contains the substances contained in the siwaak. Similarly, it says in the weekly magazine American Dentist that most of the toothpaste used in the United States of America is not good or healthy.
In most of the kinds of toothpaste, there is nothing other than chemicals aimed to make a profit. The mouth and the teeth do not benefit from them at all.
But in the case of siwak it was found (after scientific research) it contains many effective substances carried in its fibres, including cleansers such as sinigrin, astringents which strengthen the gums, such as gallic acid, volatile oils which give the mouth a good smell, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, potassium chloride, calcium oxalate and a number of substances which clean the teeth. Some substances in the siwaak also kill germs, so it has an effect similar to that of penicillin.
So the siwaak is indeed the purifier for the mouth and teeth. As Prophet Muhammad( peace be upon him) said: “Siwaak is purifying for the mouth and pleasing to the Lord.”
According to new research, siwak is said to contain a substance which stops bleeding, purifies the gums and sterilises wounds i gums. It also contains in its fibers large amounts of mineral salts and ions such as calcium, iron, phosphates and sodium.
And Allah knows best.