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Did you know the tradition of using oil for oral hygiene dates back more than 3,000 years? Ayurveda mentions the process of Kavala and Gandusha as part of the dinacharya or daily routine. While Kavala refers to holding a small amount of fluid in your mouth, swishing it briskly, and spitting it out, Gandusha is the process of holding oil in your mouth.
What is oil pulling? How to do it?
It is simply the practice of swishing one tablespoon of good quality cold-pressed/organic virgin coconut oil in your mouth and spitting it out. Rooted in ancient Indian wisdom, it is garnering fame across the globe for its numerous benefits, especially in boosting oral health.
Have you tried oil pulling? Photo Credits: Freepik
What are the things you need to keep in mind while practicing it?
1. Do it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
2. Use one tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil.
3. Swish the oil around your mouth slowly. Ensure it reaches all corners.
4. DO NOT swallow. Swish for 5 to 15 minutes. Are you new to the practice? Start with 5 minutes and build it up slowly.
5. Spit it out once done. Rinse your mouth with water.
6. Brush your teeth as the last step. Preferably with a toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride.
It is a simple yet powerful practice and can be part of your morning and oral hygiene routine. We often get asked why one should not gargle or swallow. The simple reason being this oil is supposed to pull toxins, bacteria, viruses, and fungi out of your mouth. Gargling or swallowing the oil will push them right back into your system. So, it is best to spit it out into the sink. If you live in a cold place, it is better to spit it into your garbage to avoid clogging your drain.
What does science say?
When you swish the oil in your mouth, it emulsifies at the end of five minutes. It coats your teeth, thereby inhibiting the bacteria from clumping together and reducing the chance of plaque formation. A study conducted among 16 to 18-year-olds with plaque-induced gingivitis concluded that 30 days of oil pulling with coconut oil helped reduce plaque and gingival indices significantly by 50%.
How does oil pulling help?
- It kills harmful bacteria that threaten to increase your chances of plaque.
- It prevents gingivitis, decay, and cavities.
- It fights mouth odor or bad breath.
- It soothes bleeding gums and keeps them pink and healthy.
- It relieves dry mouth/throat and chapped lips.
- It naturally whitens your teeth.
- It strengthens your oral cavity muscles and jaws.
Does this mean you should stop brushing or visiting your dentist? NO. Practice oil pulling but do not forget to brush your teeth, keep your oral hygiene routine in check and visit your dentist quarterly/half-yearly.
How does oil pulling work?
Most toxins enter your body through your nose or mouth. So if your mouth continues to host different harmful bacteria, you constantly add to the toxin overload. It dampens your immunity and drains you of your energy. Constant and unexplained fatigue is a sign that your body needs a cleanse. (Know more about our Rejuvenation and Cleanse Program under You Care Wellness here).
The simple process of oil pulling for anywhere between five minutes to 20 minutes will pull toxins out of your mouth and prevent them from going into your body. When it comes to everything right from good health, weight loss, stronger hair, clear skin, or anti-aging – cleansing your system by detoxifying and eliminating toxins is important.
Which oil should you use?
While some people also use olive oil or sesame oil, we prefer and recommend using good quality organic coconut oil. It has fewer omega-6 fatty acids and is highly anti-inflammatory. Coconut oil has lauric acid, known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Sesame oil and olive oil are not bad, but the science behind coconut oil makes it the best medium for pulling. Shop for it here.
What are the other benefits of oil pulling?
- By reducing the toxic load, oil pulling can help boost your immunity. If you are already going through a health condition, it helps your immune system fight it better.
- It reduces inflammation, the number one root cause of most lifestyle and health conditions today.
- Most mouths contain the streptococcus bacteria, one of the leading causes of decay and cavities. The more you oil pull, the better your ability to control this decaying, heal and prevent cavities in the future.
- Oil pulling is considered effective in improving hormonal balance and boosting skin health by reducing the number of bacteria and toxins in the body.
- Oil pulling is excellent for headaches and migraines caused by toxin buildup in the mouth or chronic constipation.
- Oil pulling, done consistently and the right way, improves mental clarity and alertness.
Try this ritual, especially if you have issues with your gum, teeth, mouth, and an overload of toxins. If you are going through any conventional medical treatment or are on antibiotics, chemotherapy, or radiation, this could be a powerful practice to cleanse the body.
Do you practice oil pulling? How has it worked for you? Let me know in the comments.
Disclaimer: Always make an informed decision. Do this if it suits you. If it doesn’t avoid it.