Oil Pulling / Gandusha is a very powerful and effective Detoxifying Ayurvedic practice that has recently become very popular. The concept of oil pulling is not new, and it has been mentioned in the Ayurvedic scripture called Charaka Samhita, where it is referred to as Kavala Graha or Kavala Gandusha. Oil Pulling involves the use of natural oils to clean and detoxify oral cavity. Its benefits are not only to treat the oral cavity but also to cure and prevent many other health issues. Read on to know all the health benefits of oil pulling and how to do it.
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling involves placing a tablespoon or so of pure natural oil into your mouth and then swishing it around (pulling it between your teeth), starting with five minutes and building up to the ideal of fifteen to twenty minutes and then spitting it out.
How Does Oil Pulling Work?
The oil which we swish around in our mouth mixes with the saliva. Lipids in the oil pull out toxins from the oral cavity. As the oil is swished around the teeth, gums, and tongue the oil continues to absorb toxins from Saliva and various glands in our mouth. Antibacterial properties of oils used in this practice also kill various germs inside the oral cavity. This oil usually ends up turning thin, viscous and white after swishing inside our mouth. Once the oil has reached this consistency, it should spit out.
Benefits of Oil Pulling for ‘Oral Health’:
It strengthens teeth, gums and jaws.
Prevents diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis.
Prevents bad breath.
Cures bleeding gums.
Prevents dryness of the lips, mouth and throat.
Benefits of Oil Pulling for Other Health Issues
It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic scripture Charaka Samhita, that this practice can cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from a headache, migraine, diabetes and asthma.
Ayurveda’s claim that oil pulling purifies the entire system, can be justified with the reflexology and traditional Chinese medicine therapy (TCM) as each section of the tongue is connected to a different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach and colon etc.
It is believed that oil pulling helps the Lymphatic System of the body to remain in a good health (the Lymphatic System is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials). This is because the harmful bacteria are removed, and the beneficial microflora is given a healthy environment to flourish. Because of this holistic perspective, oil pulling has been used as a preventative health measure for many other health conditions.
Some of the health benefits include:
- Increased Energy.
- Clearer Mind.
- Decreased Headaches.
- Clearer Sinuses.
- Alleviated Allergies.
- Better Sleep.
- Clearer Skin.
- Hormonal Balance.
All these benefits are a result of a Toxin-Free body. I feel that more research is needed to conclusively determine whether or not these ‘other benefits’ (apart from the Oral Benefits mentioned earlier) can be associated with Oil Pulling. But one can always try and see the results for oneself as this is very natural practice.
How to Practice Oil Pulling:
Step1: First thing in the morning on an empty stomach and before drinking any liquids (including water), take exactly one tablespoon of sesame, coconut or whatever oil you have chosen into your mouth.
Step 2: Swish the oil around in your mouth without swallowing it. Move it around in your mouth and through your teeth, as if it was mouthwash (do NOT tilt your head back to gargle though).
You’ll find that the oil will start to get watery as your saliva mixes with it. Keep swishing. If your jaw muscles get sore, 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 practice.
It can be a bit unpleasant at first when you’re not used to it, but soon you will get used to it. Swish the oil till it becomes thick and white, which is an indication of process completion.
Step3: Spit the oil out, then rinse the mouth with warm water. After that do your normal brushing. Remember this process is not a substitute for regular brushing.
It is recommended that organic, unrefined, cold-pressed oils should be used.
- Do not swallow the oil. The oil should be spat out. But accidentally if you swallow it, there is nothing to worry. It will go out through feces.
- Symptoms like a runny nose, nausea, mucus formation are very common when you start oil pulling. It’s because of the toxins which are being carried out of your body. These symptoms will last only for few days. Not everyone experiences these symptoms though.
- 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.
- If you have the unbearable urge to swallow the oil and if it becomes too unpleasant, spit out and try again.
- This process works better in the morning. Don’t try to do this any time of the day.
- If for some reason it is absolutely not possible for you to practice this method in the morning, you can do this on an empty stomach at any time of the day. Empty stomach means the food is digested completely.
- Sesame Oil has been found to be effective in curing diseases. Coconut Oil can be used because of its anti-bacterial properties.
See if you can find some good quality oils for oil pulling in your regular store. Amazon.com also has many good options. Following are some good quality options I found, check them out:
Note: The information in this article and website is intended for educational purposes only; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before making any diet or lifestyle changes.