Oil Pulling is a buzzword nowadays in health and alternative treatment circles. Though recently gaining prominence and popularity, many people know the process originated in India, but few people are aware of how established and highly beneficial this ancient powerful Ayurvedic healing technique actually is.
Oil Pulling or Gandusha as it is known in Ayurveda is a highly effective Detoxifying Ayurvedic prac- tice that has been in practice for centuries, called Kavala Graha or Kavala Gandusha is referred to in the pre-2nd century CE Ayurvedic scripture called The Charaka Samhita!
As the name suggests the technique involves the use of natural oils to clean and detoxify oral cavity, however, there are multiple health benefits associated with the technique which go far beyond simply cleansing the mouth of bacteria, it is both a preventative and curative practice.
Performing oil pulling itself is a relatively simple technique to practice; one simply places a tablespoon or so of a pure, never blended oil (an organic, unrefined, cold-pressed oil should be used) into your mouth and then swish and swirl it around (pulling it into the spaces between your teeth), starting with five minutes and building up to an ideal of fifteen to twenty minutes before spitting it out.
So How Does Oil Pulling Work?
Once you start swishing the oil around in your mouth, it starts to mix with your saliva. Lipids in the oil start to pull out toxins from the oral cavity. As the oil is swished around the teeth, gums, and tongue, it continues to absorb toxins from the Saliva and the various glands in our mouth. Any antibacterial properties of the oils used in this practice also kill various germs and bacteria inside the oral cavity. The oil ends up turning thin, viscous and white after a certain amount of swishing inside your mouth. Once the oil has reached this consistency, it has reached it’s “saturation point” and you should spit out.
As mentioned earlier there are multiple benefits of oil pulling for overall oral health. It strengthens teeth, gums and jaws. It prevents bad breath and diseases of the mouth and gums, like cavities and gingivitis, it relieves and cures bleeding gums. It also helps to prevent dryness of the lips, mouth and throat.
The Many Benefits of Oil Pulling for Other Health Issues.
In the Ayurvedic scripture Charaka Samhita, the daily practice of oil pulling is attributed to being able to treat about 30 systemic disorders ranging from migraines, diabetes and asthma.
The Ayurvedic view that oil pulling purifies and detoxifies the entire bodily system can be justified with a reference to reflexology and traditional Chinese medicine therapy (TCM) as each section of the tongue is connected to a different organ of the body, such as the kidneys, the lungs, the liver, the heart, the small intestines, the stomach, the colon and so forth.
The connection between oral hygiene and heart disease is a well-established fact today within conventional medicine.
It is also believed that oil pulling helps the Lymphatic System of the body to remain in good health (our Lymphatic System is a network of tissues and organs that help to rid the body of toxins, waste matter and other unhealthy materials). This is due to harmful bacteria being removed, and the beneficial microflora and bacteria being given a healthy environment to flourish within. Due to this holistic aspect, oil pulling is also used as a preventative health measure for many other health conditions.
Some of the overall benefits of a healthy Lymphatic System and detoxified body include increased energy, increased mental clarity, decreased headaches, clearer sinuses, alleviated allergies, better sleep, clearer skin and a more balanced hormonal system.
A Step by Step Guide on How to Practice Oil Pulling.
Step 1: First thing in the morning on an empty stomach and before drinking any liquids (including water), take exactly one tablespoon of sesame, coconut or olive oil you have chosen into your mouth. REMEMBER only ever use an organic, unrefined, cold-pressed oil.
Step 2: Swish the oil around in your mouth WITHOUT swallowing it. Move it around in your mouth and through your teeth, just as if it was mouthwash (do NOT tilt your head back to gargle the oil though).
You’ll find that the oil will start to get watery as your saliva mixes with it, keep swishing it around. If your jaw muscles get sore (and they may well the first few times), relax your jaw muscles and use your tongue to help move the liquid around the inside of your mouth. Do this gently, not vigorously, in a relaxed way for about 5 to 20 minutes as per your routine.
It can be a bit unpleasant the first few times when you’re new to it, but you will soon get used to it. Keep swishing the oil until it has turned thick and white, which is an indication of the process being complete.
Step 3: Spit the oil out, then rinse your mouth with warm water. After rinsing brush as normal.Re- member this process is not a substitute for regular brushing.
Don’t swallow the oil. The oil should be spat out. But, if you accidentally swallow it, there is nothing to worry, it will just pass through your system.
Symptoms like nausea, a runny nose or excess formation of mucus are very common when you start off practising oil pulling. This is because of the toxins which are being expelled from your body. These symptoms will last only for a few days, also not everyone experiences these symptoms.
If you are allergic to a particular oil don’t use it.
If you have the unbearable urge to swallow the oil or if it becomes too unpleasant, spit the oil out and try again.
This process works best in the morning. Don’t incorporate it into your night time oral hygiene routine
Different Oils to use and their Benefits
As we mentioned earlier on in the publication, when performing oil pulling, only organic, unrefined, cold-pressed oil should be used. Listed below are the three most popular oils used for oil pulling, and the benefits of each oil.
Sesame oil is particularly high in the antioxidants sesamol, sesamin, and sesamolin. It also holds a high concentration of Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These antioxidants have been found to stop the absorption of negative forms of cholesterol in the liver.
Multiple studies have shown the antibacterial capacities of sesame oil. These studies support the use of oil pulling in the prevention of dental cavities and gingivitis.
Coconut oil is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse, which makes it ideal for reducing inflammation and oxidation in the mouth.
Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) that is incredibly effective at killing the bad bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. These same compounds may also decrease the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth, in turn reducing your chance for gum disease.
Olive oil is another popular choice thanks to its ability to fight inflammation, and protect against heart disease in several ways. Extra virgin olive oil has antibacterial properties and has been found to be particularly effective against Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacterium that can cause stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.