Oil pulling or oil swishing is an ancient technique with roots in Ayurveda. It is an age old tradition of cleansing the mouth. In this method, a small amount of oil is poured into the mouth and swirled around, similar to a mouthwash, and then spat out. The ‘pulling’ refers to how the oil works by pulling out toxins from the mouth. Types of Oil Pulling Ancient Ayurvedic texts mention two kinds of gargling with fluids – Kavala and Gandusha. In Kavala(also known as Kavalagraha), a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon) is placed in the mouth and swished from side to side for about 15 minutes before spitting it out. In Gandusha, a larger amount of oil is poured into the mouth to fill it. The oil is held in the mouth for a while and then spat out. The mouth is then rinsed with water. Both types of oil pulling are found to be beneficial, the only requirement being that they are practiced correctly. Various kinds of oils can be used, like coconut oil, sesame oil, olive or sunflower oil. The most preferred oil for oil pulling is sesame oil.
10 Benefits of Oil Pulling
- The act of gargling with the oil gives a very refreshing and rejuvenating feel, especially when practiced in the mornings.
- The oil loosens up existing plaque stuck to the teeth and makes its removal easier while brushing.
- Sesame oil also provides a layer of surface protection by preventing bacteria from forming plaque on teeth.
- The removal of toxins from the mouth clears up the skin in the long term, reducing spots and blemishes.
- Oil pulling has a meditative effect. Finding a quiet place in the early morning and practicing oil pulling is very calming and relaxing for the mind.
- The anti bacterial properties of some oils also help to make your breath fresh and do away with embarrassing halitosis.
- The swishing of oil around your mouth helps relieve headaches, especially ones induced by stress or anxiety. Oil pulling relieves sinus problems as well as the effects of allergies.
- It improves the feeling of hypersensitivity that some people experience in their teeth and gums on exposure to extreme flavors and temperatures.
- Oil pulling works as a great tool in preventing bleeding gums and oral diseases like cavities and gingivitis.
- Practicing oil pulling at bedtime results in calm and restful sleep; this way, it also acts as a cure for insomnia.
Precautions to keep in mind
These are some precautions that you must keep in mind while performing oil-pulling.
- Try to use an oil of superior quality, preferably organic.
- Be sure to spit out the oil and not swallow it, as it is full of toxins absorbed from the mouth.
- Using warm water to rinse your mouth afterwards amplifies the benefits.
- When spitting out the oil, ensure that you don’t end up clogging your drains and pipes.
- After swishing, the oil should have a milky white color; if not, it means that it wasn’t swished enough.
- Avoid oil pulling on a full stomach.
- Be sure to brush your teeth; the plaque will be looser and more easily removed.
As oils in general are gaining popularity in various health and beauty treatments, oil pulling is also fast becoming the preferred method of maintaining oral health worldwide. Go for it, keeping the precautions in mind and be prepared for teeth as clean as if they’ve just returned from a dentist visit!!
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