What is Oil pulling and its benefits?
Oil pulling is an important part of ayurvedic daily rituals practices that support and maintain balanced health.
Oil pulling is described as Kavala or Gandusha in the ayurvedic texts, which means a comfortable amount of oil, is held in the mouth and gargled or pulled through the teeth and around the gums and teeth.
In Ayurveda, the individual is seen as an individual, diagnosed as an individual, and treatments are based upon them. Oil pulling is described as preventive and curative therapy as well. Ayurveda claims oil pulling can cure 30 different diseases, including many illnesses that have nothing to do with the mouth.
It is popular because of its numerous health benefits and miracles. In fact, it’s been proven to be even more effective.
It is one of the best time tested practice for centuries.
“An oil pulling prevents dryness of throat and lips, protects the teeth, and strengthens gums.“ – Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthan 5, 78-80
Where did this originate?
Oil pulling has its root in Ayurveda medicine, which dates back an estimated 5000 years and is mentioned in ancient Ayurveda literature, the Charak samhita, Sushruta samhita and Astanga Hridaya. In all three texts, various kind old techniques of oil pulling are described.
How does oil keep your mouth clean?
- Bacteria are singled celled organisms enclosed by a lipid membrane. These bacteria are attracted to the lipid structure of the oil, pulled from the oral tissues by adhering to the fat molecules of the oil.
- Also the oil with anti-microbial properties
- Ayurveda connects that tongue is connected to various organs such as kidneys, hearts, lungs, intestine, and spine, etc. Oil pulling is believed to help in the excretion of heavy metals by saliva. Oil pulling activates salivary enzymes, which absorb toxins such as chemical toxins, bacteria toxins, and environmental toxins from the blood.
Can you use any oil or does it have to be coconut?
Black cold-pressed sesame oil was (and is) the oil of choice for oil pulling. Ayurveda describes sesame oil as a mother oil or queen of the oils because of its medicinal properties.
Also, other organic, unrefined and cold-pressed oils such as sunflower oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are of benefit for pulling out bacteria, virus, and protozoa from the oral cavity. Since the trans fat is absent in cold-pressed oil it is recommended.
Do you still need to brush your teeth if you practice oil pulling?
Ayurveda describes the importance of teeth brushing and oil pulling as separate rituals. Though some oil pulling experts say it can be used instead of tooth brushing, there is no evidence to support it can substitute tooth brushing although oil pulling can support your dental health.
In conditions where brushing is difficult and sometimes contraindicated, oil pulling can be advantageously used to maintain oral hygiene.
Are there any contraindications of oil pulling?
If done correctly, oil pulling is safe and free of side effects for most people. The exception to this rule is if you regularly aspirate, or choke on, the oils you’re using. When fats enter the lungs, a condition known as lipid pneumonia may result. This is also the reason, it is contraindicated for children below 5 years due to the risk of aspiration.
If you are allergic to a particular brand of oil, change the brand of oil or oil itself to different oil or just stop practicing oil pulling.
Also, Ayurveda suggests choosing the right oil as per your constitution for the best result.
The choice of oil depends upon your body type. If you don’t know your body type, take our dosha quiz and to confirm meet an Ayurvedic doctor for an initial Ayurvedic consultation.