Oil pulling is a simple and effective technique to maintain oral hygiene. Oil pulling is an ancient method mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. The Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita mentions Oil pulling as Kavala and Gandusha. Kavala involves holding a medicinal liquid in the mouth and Gandusha involves retaining as well as moving the liquid in the mouth. Oil pulling involves sipping a tablespoon of oil and retaining, swishing and moving it in the mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, to pull out the toxins and microbes.
Oil pulling has great health benefits. It can improve digestion, remove bad breath, help with dry/cracked lips, sore/dry throat, loss of taste, tooth decay, gum bleeding, gum infections, asthma, migraines, etc.
How does Oil Pulling Work?
Oil pulling helps to remove the toxins, stale food particles and microbes from the mouth. After food, we generally use water to cleanse our mouth. But most of us do it hurriedly and it may not be effective in removing all the food particles in the mouth, especially those that get stuck between the teeth. During Oil pulling the act of swishing and moving the oil between the teeth is more effective as it is done for almost 20 minutes. The oil collects the food particles as well as many microbes that are hiding between the teeth and the gums.
During Oil pulling the metabolism increases. There is increased blood flow to the tongue and other tissues inside the mouth. This helps to flush out toxins faster. In the morning, we see that the tongue has a white coating which is nothing but toxins pushed out from the body. Those who scrape the tongue in the morning can remove this coating to a good extend. It is highly recommended to scrape your tongue after brushing your teeth. Oil pulling helps further to remove this coating as the oil is swished around for almost 20 minutes in the mouth. The oil absorbs this toxin as the blood pushes out the toxins through the skin of the tongue.
Some substances that stick to the teeth and gums are water soluble, while others are oil soluble. Water alone may not be able to remove all of them. When the oil is swished around, it will dissolve those wastes in the mouth that are oil soluble.
How to do Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is simple process. It involves sipping a table spoon (15 ml) of oil (sesame or sunflower oil) and holding and swishing it in the mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. The oil turns into white color after collecting all the toxins and microbes. Do not swallow the oil. It should be spit out at the end of the process. The mouth should be rinsed few times with plain tap water. That’s it!
Oil pulling is done usually in the morning on an empty stomach. One can do it twice or thrice a day also if needed for quicker results. It should be done on an empty stomach.
Edible sesame oil is traditionally used for Oil pulling. You can stock a bottle of sesame oil from your grocery store for use every morning. Some use sunflower oil or even other refined oils.
When you start practicing Oil pulling, you may not be able to hold the oil in the mouth for long. You may feel like spitting it out in few minutes. That is fine. Within few days of practice, you should be able to hold it in the mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
After sipping the oil, move the oil in the mouth gently. Move it between the gums and the space between the teeth. Make sure you do not swallow the oil as it now contains toxins and microbes that should be thrown out. In case you inadvertently swallow a little of it, don’t worry. It will get thrown out through the intestines. Also, do not move the oil in the mouth too forcefully, lest the oil may squirt out of the mouth. Continue the process for 15 to 20 minutes. Spit it out in the sink and rinses your mouth with plain water a few times. Also clean the sink properly after use to prevent the oil sticking to the wall of the sink.
The practice of Oil pulling has to be integrated into your life style. Some of the results like healthy teeth and gums, removal of bad breath, etc can be seen in a short period of time. But the effect on chronic diseases like arthritis, migraine, diabetes, etc. may take a long period of practice.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
The amazing thing about Oil pulling is its simplicity. A simple technique can have such wide benefits. Oil Pulling has become popular in the recent years because of its quick and easy results.
Oil pulling removes stale food particles that get stuck between the teeth and the gums. Along with that it also collects all the bacteria that survive on the stale food particles. This removes bad mouth odor and keeps the mouth fresh.
It removes toxins which are pushed out of the body through the coating of the tongue. This removal of toxins can have a wider effect on the health of all entire body. According to the science of Ayurveda, the toxins accumulate in various organs and finally manifests as diseases. Removing this toxin is not only curative but also preventive. In the Charaka Samhita, it is said that Oil Pulling can cure around 30 systemic illness including head ache, migraine, diabetes and asthma.
The teeth become whiter and the gums become more healthy and pink. Also the color of the tongue can become more pinkish.
Oil pulling can remove gum infections and gum decay. It prevents teeth decay and tightens the teeth.
The powerful detoxifying effect of oil pulling can be preventive as well as curative for many chronic illnesses. Many recent testimonials have reported benefits for bronchitis, arterial thrombosis, blood disorders like leukemia, hormonal disorders in women, meningitis, peritonitis, gastro enteritis, eczema, etc.
Oil pulling is the best method known to ancients for maintaining oral hygiene.