This study evaluated a herbal mouthwash containing lemon verbena versus chlorhexidine as a gold standard for treating plaque-induced gingivitis.

Materials and methods

Sixty individuals diagnosed with generalised gingivitis were recruited from Mashhad Dental School referral patients. Plaque indexgingival index (GI), and bleeding on probing (BOP) were measured at baseline (T0). Patients were randomly divided into three groups of 20 and given a mouthwash containing either lemon verbena 1%, chlorhexidine 0.2%, or a placebo following scaling and patient health education. Patients were instructed to use the mouthwash twice daily for 30 seconds for 2 weeks. The measured indices were assessed at three time points (baseline, 2 weeks, and 1 month), and changes across groups over time were analysed using one-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests.


At T1 and T2, GI and BOP were significantly lower in the experimental groups than in the placebo group (P0.001). At T1, GI in the lemon verbena group was not significantly different from the chlorhexidine group; this correlation was reported to be significant at T2 and was lowered further in the chlorhexidine group. At T1 and T2, BOP in the lemon verbena group did not differ significantly from the chlorhexidine group. There was no statistically significant difference in the plaque index between any groups at T1 (P = 0.149) and T2 (P = 0.060).


Lemon verbena mouthwash, comparable to chlorhexidine, seems to be effective in treating gingivitis with no adverse side effects, making it a viable alternative to chlorhexidine mouthwash.