Qur’anic Botanic Garden: Toothbrush Tree

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  • Published: July 29, 2013
DSC_1952-web.jpgPlant’s name
Scientific name: Salvadora persica
Arabic name: Arak, miswak
English name: Toothbrush tree

About the plant
Arak is an evergreen desert shrub or small tree. Siwak are underground stolons – or shoots – from the tree. They are used as toothbrushes throughout the Arabian Peninsula, where it grows. Spherical fruit from the toothbrush tree is called Kab’ath in Arabic.

Plant in the Holy Qur’an and Hadith
The toothbrush tree has been mentioned in the Hadith and Sunnah (Sayings and Traditions of the Prophet Mohammad, PBUH) as Siwak.

Allah’s Apostle said: “If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak for every prayer.”

Did you know?
It is reported that Siwak can prevent tooth decay. Furthermore, it is said to eliminate bad breath, improve the sense of taste and cause teeth to shine. Other benefits include a sharpened memory, cured headaches, stronger eyesight and better digestion.

Ahmed El Gharib
Assistant Researcher


To find out more about the Qur’anic Botanic Garden, email: qg@qf.org.qa