Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy that you may have heard of - it has gained a lot of traction in mainstream alternative medicine in the last few years, and for good reason! It is a simple technique that is known to improve the overall health of your mouth and benefits many other systemic diseases. Since the mouth is the first step in the digestion process, having healthy gums and teeth is essential to healthy digestion and sufficient detoxification.
According to the classical Ayurvedic text Charak Samhita, oil pulling can be done in two ways: Kaval and Gandusha. In Gandusha, the mouth is filled completely with liquid and held for 5 to 15 minutes. In Kavala Graha, a smaller amount of liquid is held in the mouth and swished through the teeth for 5 to 15 minutes, then gargled and spit out.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
When this practice is done routinely, it improves vision, hearing, smell and taste. It also promotes mental clarity and improves memory. Oil pulling in the morning especially is both refreshing and calming.
Oil pulling is highly recommended for people experiencing bad breath, dry skin, chronic exhaustion, loss of appetite, fatigue in the morning and chronic sore throat.
According to Ayurvedic principles, oil pulling purifies the entire system because each section of the tongue is connected to a different organ: the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestine, stomach, colon and even the spine. Oil pulling activates the salivary enzymes that absorb the chemical, bacterial and environmental toxins from the blood that come out through the tongue.
Recent studies have shown that oil pulling supports the treatment of gingivitis and plaque, and helps to remove the microorganisms that cause bad breath. Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth are single cell organisms. Cells are covered with a fatty membrane, so when they come into contact with oil, they naturally adhere to each other. When you spit out the oil after 5 to 15 minutes, the microorganisms go with it!
Best Oils To Use
Arimedadi Oil is one of the most effective products to use in oil pulling, regardless of your prakriti or Doshic imbalances. When Vata Dosha is in excess, especially with typical Vata issues like toothache, the oil should be warmed before swishing or gargling.
As a remedy for oral health issues stemming from a Pitta excess, such as mouth ulcers, mukha pak in Sanskrit, it can be mixed with milk. Ghee formulations such as Jatyadi Ghritam, Panchagavya Ghritam and Triphala Ghritam also support the healing of mouth ulcers and can improve the ability to taste.
Arimedadi Oil can be mixed with Dasamulan Kashayam when someone is experiencing sensitive teeth and gums and toothaches. For bleeding and sensitive gums, practice oil pulling with Arimedadi Oil and Nimbadi Oil.
According to the Charak Samhita, Kaval and Gandusha support the healing of about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headaches and migraines to diabetes and asthma. It also helps prevent tooth decay and relieve bad breath, bleeding gums, chronic dry throat and cracked and lips. Overall, it strengthens teeth, gums and jaw muscles.
Further Research Supporting the Benefits of Oil Pulling
- Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study
- Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test
- Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis
It is very important to use safe and high-quality Ayurvedic products when oil pulling to ensure the benefits of this natural therapy. Do not replace brushing and flossing with oil pulling. Oil pulling should never replace routine dental visits and traditional home oral care.
- Bethesda M. A Closer Look at Ayurvedic Medicine. Focus on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Institutes of Health, US National Institutes of Health. 2006;XII(4)
- Hebbar A, Keluskar V, Shetti A. Oil pulling – Unraveling the path to mystic cure. J Int Oral Health. 2010;2:11–4.
- Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res. 2008;19:169.
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