Learn about Ayurvedic remedy called 'oil pulling': what is it? Is it safe? Who should do it & who shouldn't? Is it effective? Find out all the answers you need in this article.
Could there be a 'mouthwash' that not only cleans the mouth but also helps in pulling toxic waste out of the body?
Sounds like a miracle but that is exactly what the Ayurvedic remedy of oil pulling is about - cleaning the whole body through the channel of oral care. In this article, we discuss all that you need to know about oil pulling - how to incorporate this practice into your daily regimen and reap its benefits to live a healthier life.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic oral/dental care method that involves swishing oil in the mouth for good 20 mins on an empty stomach and then spitting the oil out. This draws out toxic waste not just from the mouth but also from the whole body. Oil pulling is also called "kavala" or "gundusha." The toxins are called as "ama" in Ayurveda. Oil pulling dates back to 3000 years.
What are the many benefits of oil pulling?
Oil pulling has many benefits and has been touted for giving one clean mouth, white teeth, stop bleeding gums, helps inflammation of the mouth, fights gingivitis, pulls out bacteria, plaque, and food particles from the mouth, and helps eliminate odorous breath.
It is also known for helping with clear breathing issues and sinuses. It helps lubricate the mouth thus allowing for easier breathing especially during allergy season.
Because it aids detoxification, it helps in lowering the inflammation and helping issues such as arthritis, joint stiffness, muscle soreness and also aids in beautifying the skin.
Oil pulling is also known for curing both acute and chronic conditions in the body. It takes a while for both type of conditions to disappear but consistency and a daily regimen of 1-3 times of oil pulling (depending on the condition you are trying to heal) is the key.
What oils are best for oil pulling?
Ayurveda recommends sesame oil as it is most revered oil in Ayurveda. Sunflower oil is second choice. Both oils must be cold pressed and possibly organic for optimum health benefits. Coconut oil has also been used for oil pulling, but sesame tops the list when it comes to oil pulling.
What time does Ayurveda recommend for oil pulling?
Ayurveda recommends morning time after brushing teeth and cleaning tongue before oil pulling. This is to be done 1 hour before breakfast on an empty stomach in the morning.
OK. I am ready! How should I start?
Take 1-2 teaspoon of sesame oil (or any of the above listed). Sit or stand comfortably with your chin up so that the oil touches all parts of the mouth including the gums, cavities, mucous membranes and the teeth. Swish till oil becomes watery or as long as you can. Spit. Brush if desired.
What is the best way to know it's time to spit the oil out & stop swishing?
When you start swishing the oil in your mouth, the oil will feel oily. As you progress with swishing, the oil should become more watery and foamy. This is an indication that it has worked its magic and pulled the toxic waste out. When this happens, then that means its time to spit the oil out and that the oil is no longer useful in the mouth. That is why you need only little quantity of oil, say, about 2 teaspoons for adults and 1 teaspoon for kids.
Where should I spit out the oil?
DO NOT spit the oil back in the washbasin as that will clog the drains. You can spit either in the toilet or keep a trash bowl especially for this.
What if the oil does not become watery in my mouth?
This can happen due to dry mouth and lack of salivation. This is because you are dehydrated and drinking less fluids than what your body needs. Increase your intake of water daily and also in the morning. It is recommended to do some light exercise like walking in the morning and then doing the oil pulling. If the problem of dry mouth still persists, increase more water intake daily and lower or eliminate inflammatory foods like dairy, animal products, wheat, sugar, etc. All this will make a positive difference in the dryness of the mouth.
What if I have to sneeze or cough during oil pulling or have phlegm?
Just either sneeze while holding oil in the mouth or you can spit it out and start all over. Same for coughing or phlegm in the mouth or any other irritation.
Are there any side-effects?
NO. This is a very ancient remedy that has been practiced since centuries in India. Western medicine (drugs) has side effects but not oil pulling!!
Another point to add is that this is why it is important that you read and learn only from quality articles like this one - detailed and thoroughly researched for you. The reason I say this is because lot of fools on the internet will say this and that have side effects when in reality it is the healing crisis - BIG difference. Healing crisis is also called as Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction or “die-off.”
Side effects are frowned upon and are uninvited whereas healing crisis is an indication by the body that the therapy is working and that the body is returning to its normal, vibrant state of health and vitality. Healing crisis is a happy outcome of some remedy or therapy - it is invited even though it causes temporary discomfort, whereas side effects (due to drugs, chemo, etc) are an indication that the body is deteriorating and getting worse than before. BIG difference.
Healing crisis might happen when you start oil pulling as the toxic waste finally has a chance to be expelled out of the body. Such signs will include appetite loss, sneezing, coughing, nausea, headache, sleeplessness and so on. This is also aggravated by the weather, foods you are eating at the time (your dietary habits), your hydration, your stress level and rest and sleep quality. So, do not just blame the oil pulling when other elements of your life and your lifestyle habits are the ones making you sick. Clarity of thought goes a long way in healing and self care.
What if I have dentures or fillings?
In case of dentures, remove them and do the oil pulling. In case of fillings, work with an Ayurvedic practitioner and see what he/she recommends for you. At the very least, you can brush your teeth with natural, organic toothpaste and add a pea-sized amount of coconut oil to it. This (the coconut oil) will still help whiten your teeth, keep your breath fresh, keep gums healthy, remove bacteria and lubricate your mouth! There!
Points to remember:-
So, here is another great article for you - solution based, doable, affordable and simple, easy steps that deliver enormous benefits to your overall well-being. I hope you will start this practice right away and reap the benefits. Ref (1), Ref (2).
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To smiles & sunshine - till next article.
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