Mefakia: The Natural Ethiopian Toothbrush


“Mefakia” is the Amharic word for the natural wooden Ethiopian toothbrush, which is made from fibrous twigs, roots and stems of plants. Today in Ethiopia many still use Mefakia as the main tool for oral hygiene. Even in the city of Addis Ababa, Mefakia is continuing to be one of the main reasons behind the beaming and beautiful smile of Ethiopia.

If you wonder around on the streets of Addis Ababa, you find boys carrying pile of Mefakia around the city to sell it and make a living.


The Mefakia comes in different types, price and grade as they come from different kinds of natural toothbrush trees, and from different parts of the country. The main manufacturers are the village merchants, who shortened the sticks to 5 inch or less so that they can be pocketed, mold and designed them in the most appealing and creative ways and wrapped up with plastic bags


Their main customers are people who live in the city, who do not have easy access to the toothbrush trees unlike the rural parts of the country where people have the trees at their back yard and where you can witness amazingly white and beautiful smile in abundance.


Mefakia is the Ethiopian version of the world wide known “Miswak” which is predominate in Muslim inhabited areas and known as chewing stick in the western world. It is the natural wooden toothbrush that many studies proved its health benefits of killing gum disease, fighting plaque effectively, removing bad breath, effective cleaning and increasing salivation hence Xerostomia.


Since Mefakia can be used anytime anywhere, spotting people using it in public is a common scene of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) so grab one and be part of beautiful Ethiopian smile!

About Sara Genene

I am a traveler... on an endless journey of self-discovery!
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