In ancient times when toothpaste was not discovered people used oil pulling as their major way to cleanse the mouth. In Indian Ayurveda, it is mentioned as “Kavala” or “Gund Usha”. I have seen my mother following this method whenever she has a toothache. She admits that her toothache goes away if she regularly does oil pulling. Let find out what is oil pulling and how to do it the correct way.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is swishing oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes to improve oral health. It is as important as brushing your teeth with brush and toothpaste. In fact, toothpaste just gives a mental satisfaction and menthol feeling. It hardly does anything for the mouth. Oil pulling pulls out toxins and food particles which might cause tooth decay.
Mouth full of oil
Why go for oil pulling?
- Whiter teeth by reducing plaque
- Cavity and gingivitis prevention
- Better breath
- Germ control in the mouth (including candida growth)
- Stronger teeth and gums
- Less jaw pain (TMJ sufferers noted great improvement),
- Sleep problems reduced
- Sinus issues can be controlled
- Alleviation of headaches, hangovers and skin issues (reports have shown improvement in acne, psoriasis, and eczema)
People say in first few days of oil pulling they suffered little headaches, nausea etc due to the withdrawal of toxic waste from the body. I did not go through any of these. The benefits I saw that my breath has improved, the tongue has cleaned, and teeth have whitened. Since it has been only one month I did not see any changes on my skin or in my sleeping habit.
Benefits of oil pulliing
How to do oil pulling?
- Take 1 or 2 tsp of oil – You can choose between coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil. Coconut has many antibacterial and antifungal qualities which makes it ideal. As per our Ayurveda sesame oil is the best. I use sesame oil. You can use oil blend with two or more oils too.
- Swish in your mouth for 20 minutes – There is no hard and fast rule, though. It takes around 20 minutes for the plaque to break. More than 20 minutes skin starts reabsorbing the toxins. I do it for around 15 – 20 minutes. The ideal time is when you go for toilet before brushing in morning. Before taking a bath I spit it out. The trick is your oil should be double the quantity and as thin as water. It will be white when you spit it out.
- Make sure to spit it in the trash – Spitting oil in wash basin can clog pipes. Safe is to trash it and throw out the trash bag.
- Rinse and brush your teeth – Rinse with water (warm/cold) and then brush it with any toothpaste. I prefer herbal toothpaste like Dantkanti by Patanjali.
Things to know
- Oil pulling is safe. I had consulted a dentist to confirm. If you are pregnant or have fillings in your teeth please consult a dentist before starting this procedure
- Children can oil pull too. If your child is big enough not to swallow the oil you can go ahead develop this habit in them. I remember when I was in 3rd or 4th grade I did oil pulling sometimes
- It does not remineralize your teeth. It keeps it clean but does not put back the minerals lost from drinking carbonated drinks and caffeinated beverages. It is a prevention from damage, not a reparative method
- Never swallow it, not even by mistake. After you are done with the procedure the oil is full of toxins. Never ever swallow it!
Always throw the oil in trash
Have you tried oil pulling? Share your experience down below in the comment section.
Photo credits: 1, 3, 4
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