One of the finer crazes of the alternative/natural health scene today, Oil Pulling has been part of the Ayurvedic daily routine for thousands of years, and for many more reasons than just teeth-whitening and cosmetic benefits.
In the Sanskrit, “Gandusha” means keeping the oil in the mouth, and “Kavala” means to swish it.
Swishing oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes daily claims to deliver a catalogue of health benefits:
Oil pulling is clearly mentioned in the classic and most esteemed textbook of Ayurveda, the Caraka Samhita. Caraka says this about oil pulling:
Numerous studies of modern science cites similar results supporting the original statement made by Caraka Samhita more than 3000 years ago.
Modern science shows that while swishing with high-quality oil for over 10 minutes, the enzymes in your mouth modify to further boost and support the effectiveness of the oil.
A handful of studies show oil pulling for 10-20 minutes a day can reduce plaque, decrease Streptococcus mutans populations (bacteria that leads tooth decay and bad breath), provide better teeth cleansing and oral hygiene, and promote healthy gum tissue.
Literally “Pulling” Out Toxins
Oil Pulling got its name from the “pulling” or cleansing effect oils have when applied to (external or internal) skin.
Oils are lipophilic, meaning they attract other oils and fat soluble toxins, “pulling” them out from the surface that the oil is introduced to.
This can be observed when oil is massaged over the skin, introduced into the digestive tract via edible oils, or - as you have learnt today - when oil is swished in the mouth.
- In the mouth, fat-soluble toxins from the oral cavity are “pulled” out by the oil, supporting a healthy mouth and fresh breath.(1,2).
- From both the external use of sesame oil in massage and the ingestion of ghee, one study found free radicals in the blood were reduced.(3)
- Another study observed how heavy metals and environmental toxins were “pulled” out of the blood during sesame oil massage and the ingestion of ghee during an Ayurvedic detox called panchakarma.(4)
Oil Pulling Supports Heart Health
Gum health has been linked to heart health in many studies over the years. This is why dentists take such care to support healthy gums. Poor gum health may allow foreign microbes to infiltrate the blood stream and irritate the arterial walls. Interestingly the same bacteria, Strep mutans, which surges in the mouth after a high sugar diet, is also found in unhealthy levels in the arterial walls of heart patients.
Lubricating the Head
As the oil lubricates the whole head neck and throat region, it is very effective for thyroid issues ear problems and hearing issues. It lubricates the optic nerve so as to maintain optimum eye sight and healthy eyes.
- Herbalised or medicated oils (ideal).
- Cold pressed black sesame oil (inferior).
Gandusha Oil: Medicated Oil Pulling Oil
Supersede the status quo of oil pulling with plain sesame or coconut oil by swishing with Vital Veda’s “Gandusha Oil.”
This oil is prepared with a sagacious combination of many herbs, a recipe passed down for generations to my teachers, which further boosts oral health, lubrication of the head neck and throat, enhance the detoxification process, and more.
- Swish 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of oil in the mouth and sucked or pulled through the teeth for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Swish after brushing teeth so as not to brush off the protective coating the oil has left.
- The quantity of liquid will increase in your mouth as it collects toxins.
- After, spit the oil down toilet or in the garden, then you may rinse your mouth out with warm water.
This practice is so easy because you can do it whenever… In the shower, during exercise, while getting ready in the morning, there’s really no excuse to not do it, as you can multi task! just don’t talk or sing at the same time.
(2)Charaka samhita Ch V -78 to 80.
(3)Sharma HM, Midich SI, Sands D, Smith DE: Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors through Panchakarma purification procedures. J Res Educ Indian Med, 1993; 12(4); 2-13.
(4) Heron, Fagan. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in its September/October 2002 issue, two
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