“This is crazy,” exclaimed my friend in disbelief. “It will never work. Are you out of your mind? It doesn’t make any sense.” He suffered from chronic sinusitis. Lying down makes it difficult for him to breathe and to sleep along with frequent headaches. The therapy I was telling him was “oil pulling”.
It is very simple. All you do is rinse your mouth with vegetable oil, much alike you would with a mouthwash. As simple as it sounds, if done correctly, it has a powerful cleansing and healing effect not only on the mouth and sinuses, but the entire body. A few days later, my friend called me on the phone, “Unbelievable, this oil pulling stuff really works”, he exclaimed. “My sinuses began to drain and I expelled a lot of gross-looking mucus. I’m breathing easier, sleeping better, and my headaches are gone!”
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy which has its origins in the Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, which was believed to have been written approximately 1500 years ago. In those texts the name given for oil pulling was Kabalam. This little-known therapy can change your life in just 15 minutes a day it can also save your finances, your teeth, your hair and your life!
Oil pulling is the process of putting some oil into the mouth, traditionally sesame oil or sunflower oil, but often coconut oil is recommended for its antibacterial qualities
Oil Pulling Method
In the morning, before breakfast, on an empty stomach you take one tablespoon oil (coconut, sesame or sunflower oil) in the mouth but do not swallow it. Move the oil slowly in the mouth as rinsing or swishing, suck and pull through the teeth for 15 to 20 minutes. This process makes oil thoroughly mixed with saliva. Swishing activates the enzymes and the enzymes draw toxins out of the blood. The oil must not be swallowed, for it has become toxic. As the process continues, the oil gets thinner and white. If the oil is still yellow, it has not been pulled long enough. It is then spit from the mouth. The oral cavity must be thoroughly rinsed and mouth must be washed thoroughly. Just use normal tap water and good old fingers to clean; then brush your teeth.
Clean the washbasin with some antibacterial soap because the spittle contains harmful bacteria and toxic bodily waste. If one drop of this liquid is magnified 600 times under a microscope, one would see microbes in their first stage of development. You can also do this while bathing by keeping this oil in mouth.
How does it Work?
There are thousands of different types of bacteria in the mouth. Some of them are friendly, others are not.
Certain bacteria can cause harm, such as Streptococcus Mutans, which is the main culprit behind plaque buildup, gingivitis and cavities. The bacteria in the mouth create a “biofilm” on the teeth – a thin layer that they use to adhere to the surface. This is what we know as “plaque.” Having some plaque on your teeth is normal, but too much of it is dangerous.
The way oil pulling works is simple. When you swish the oil around your mouth, the bacteria “get stuck” in it and dissolve in the liquid oil.
Basically, you remove a large amount of the bacteria and plaque in your mouth each time you do this.
Prefer Coconut Oil
Traditionally, Indians used other oils such as sesame oil or sunflower oil. Oil pulling should work with pretty much any oil you choose.
Coconut oil was best because lauric acid (about half of the fats in coconut oil) is proven to be antimicrobial; it can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. The taste of coconut oil is also fairly pleasant compared to other oils. I found it rather disgusting at first having my mouth full of oil, but I got used to it after a few days.
Now let’s look at a few studies on oil pulling…
Modern scientific inquiry increasingly confirms it benefit to oral health:
- Proven to be as effective as the chemical chlorhexidine (as in Oral B mouthwash) for chronic bad breath halitosis, but without the side effects.
- Proven to be beneficial in patients with gingivitis and can result in whiter teeth and pinker gums.
- Proven to reduce the cavity-linked Streptococcus Mutans bacteria in plaque and saliva of children.
- Do not swallow. The oil should be spat out. But inadvertently if you swallow, there is nothing to worry. It will go out through the feces.
- If you are allergic to a particular brand of oil, change the brand of the oil or use a different oil.
- Coconut oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil have been found to be equally effective in curing diseases. Other oils were not found to be as good.
Benefits of oil pulling for oral health include:
- Prevention of bad breath.
- Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums.
- Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth, and throat.
- Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area.
- Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws.
- Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis.
Benefits other than for Mouth
Ancient Ayurvedic health practitioners believed that oil pulling could reduce more than just diseases of the mouth and throat. “The health of your mouth is tied to the health of your whole body.” When you have a healthy mouth, you lay the foundation for a healthy body as well.
Other possible benefits of oil pulling for overall health include:
- Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption.
- Aids in reducing pain.
- Reducing inflammation of arthritis.
- May help with gastroenteritis.
- Aids in the reduction of eczema.
- May reduce symptoms of bronchitis.
- Helps support normal kidney function.
- May help reduce sinus congestion.
- Some people report improved vision.
- Helps reduce insomnia.
- Migraine headache relief.
- Correcting hormone imbalance.
- Reduces the symptoms of allergies.
- Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms.
- Prevents nausea and diarrhea.
- Good for diabetes and heart pr
Oil pulling is inexpensive; the only expense is the oil you use. And all you do is rinsing your mouth out with that oil. What could be simpler than that? Nearly anyone can do it, regardless of their level of health. So, go ahead and try it if you need to. Sometimes the simplest procedures produce the greatest results.
[sws_green_box box_size=”600″] Article by,
Dr Apsara VR
Ayurveda medical officer, Dhanvandharimadam, Trivandrum.
Email :[email protected][/sws_green_box]