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Oil Pulling and Its Many Health Benefits

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is another name for swishing oil in the mouth. It is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic technique in which the oil, preferably sesame or sunflower oil, is moved all around the mouth and in-between the teeth by a pulling action.

History of Oil Pulling

The history of oil pulling dates back to thousands of years. The Ayurvedic text "Charak Samhita" and Sushreeta's "Arth Shastra," written around 1500 BC, both mention this procedure, which was termed "Kavala Graha" or "Kavala Gandoosha."

The modern-day term of "oil pulling" was suggested in 1992 by Dr F. Karach, a Ukrainian doctor, when he presented a paper on this technique at a conference of "The Union of Oncologists & Bacteriologists" in the USSR.

Karach said that oil pulling was so effective that one could not only avoid taking drugs for healing diseases but could also avoid surgeries in many cases, as well. He believed that since oil pulling slows down down the ageing process, as it removes toxins from the body and heals tissues, humans could theoretically live to about 140 to 150 years of age.

Why Does It Work?

According to Ayurveda, specific locations on the tongue are related to specific organs of the human body. Organs like stomach, intestines, colon, kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas, and spine each have a particular area assigned to it on the surface of the tongue.

When the oil is swished around in the mouth and teeth, these organ locations are stimulated due to the massage-like actions of swishing and pulling the oil.

Method

For oil pulling, the best oils are sesame and sunflower oils. The method is very simple.

  • Take 1 tablespoon of sesame oil or sunflower oil in the mouth. Do not swallow.
  • Swish this oil all around the mouth. Also, pull the oil in between the teeth. All this swishing and pulling has to be done gently, without effort & strain.
  • Do this for a period of 15 to 20 minutes.
  • As you do this procedure the oil which is yellow and viscous in the beginning will become thinner as the saliva mixes with it. The toxins which start coming out will also tend to make this oil lighter in colour thin and foamy.
  • Once you have done it for the required amount of time, spit out the oil and rinse the mouth well with ordinary tap water. You can brush your teeth after this in your usual way.

Proper Technique

  • Oil pulling should be done on an empty stomach in the early morning before even drinking any water every day. Though early morning time is the best time for oil pulling, it can be done at any time of the day taking care to do it only 4 hours after a meal.
  • It is not necessary to brush the teeth before oil pulling.
  • Oil pulling should be done for a period of 15 to 20 minutes. If you are doing it for the first time try doing it for 3 to 4 minutes initially to get comfortable with the feel of oil in the mouth, which you will be sooner than you expected.
  • If you wish you can do it with the head lowered a bit towards the chin.
  • After spitting out the oil, the mouth can be rinsed with plain tap water. Some suggest that it should be done with saltwater.
  • If for any reason you have to spit out the oil before you finish the procedure, it can be restarted with fresh oil again.
  • Do not swallow the oil as it is teeming with bacteria. However, if you happen to swallow it by chance, do not worry, it will be eliminated in due course.
  • If you are allergic to any oil change the brand or the oil itself. It can be done with other oils but the benefits may not be consistent.
  • It is better to do oil pulling with cold-pressed oil.

Health Benefit for Teeth

The most immediately noticeable effect is that the teeth become whiter and firmer. The gums get pinker and the breath fresher. Overall better dental health accrues by doing oil pulling for teeth.

The other benefits that have been posited include relief from the following: headaches, migraine, allergies, bronchitis, asthma, arthritis, eczema, stomach ailments, heart disease, kidney diseases, mucus congestion, ulcers, diabetes, back pain, skin affections, insomnia, sinusitis, women's diseases, etc.

More Notes

  • Remove dentures before doing oil pulling for teeth.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers can also do oil pulling for teeth.
  • If more saliva is secreted during oil pulling reduce the amount of oil taken initially.
  • Quantity of oil to be taken:
    Children over 5 years - 5 ml, Adults - 10 ml
  • Do not do immediately after a meal as vomiting might occur.
  • After doing oil pulling rinse the mouth well and then one can eat or drink immediately.
  • As the oil during swishing or pulling is loaded with bacteria, it should not be ingested. If you feel the urge to spill it out for any reason like a cough or sneeze coming, do it. If you haven’t done the full duration restart again.
  • The best oil is sesame oil because it has a lot of medicinal properties.
  • Oil pulling can be done during fever, illness or even when women have their periods.
  • You can do other work during oil pulling but ensure that you do not lose concentration of the main work.
  • One can drink water prior to oil pulling although it is best to drink it at least ½ hour before starting the therapy.
  • Oil pulling for teeth should be done in a single session of 20 minutes and not split between 2 sessions as it is more effective in an unbroken session.
  • There is no need to stop any medications being taken
  • Oil pulling for teeth has no side effects though during the initial phase of detoxification some may develop experience congestion, more mucus flow, pimples or headache. This is no cause for worry and is normal.

Benefits of Using Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is also known as Gingelly oil. It is the most preferred oil for oil pulling because:

  • It has high levels of antioxidants, phenols, and tocopherols which reduce blood pressure and prevent the degeneration of the blood vessels. It reduces cholesterol.
  • It contains phytic acid, sesamol, and sesamin three very powerful antioxidants. Phytic acid slows down the ageing process.
  • It does not stain and has no after taste.
  • It is thought to boost the Vitamin E levels in the body.
  • It contains about 40% linoleic acid which is a good anti-inflammatory.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, oil pulling is a cheap, effective, safe and extremely easy health practice. It has healed hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 15, 2017:

N.K.Ramani thanks for your input.

N.K. Ramani on June 09, 2017:

I have been practicing this oil pulling for the last 5 years. It is really wonderful medicine /therapy for a toothache. Most importantly it immediately helps for easy & smooth defecation.

Emmanuel on May 29, 2017:

Where to get oil pulling to buy in Ghana and their Telephone numbers thank you

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 29, 2016:

Shrirang thanks for commenting on the benefits of oil pulling as well as other alternate therapies. Much appreciated.

Shrirang on June 29, 2016:

I am a regular practitioner of Self Healing Therapies like Mudra Therapy and Acupressure, along with Oil Pulling, Hot water Bath, And PanchKarma Therapies too..I have practise Oil Pulling ocassionally and it has given me marvellous benefits in terms of increasing your capacities of snell hearing and taste....it improves your dental health, breath becomes fresh....very useful...one must do it alternate day at the first place and then everyday!!!!

Robert Morgan from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Gilbert AZ on June 13, 2015:

Thank you for helping me to better understand oil pulling. I have been doing it for about 7 years on and off. I now feel its time to to recommit and to share what I have learned from you with my clients.

Robert Morgan from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Gilbert AZ on May 26, 2015:

I am glad to see that many people more people in the west are doing oil pulling. It has amazing positive effect on many of the bodies systems.

s3tycoon on July 25, 2014:

Dear sir,

According to you which is the best brand in India for cold pressed organic seasame oil?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 16, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by, Cecilia.

Cecil Wilde from Melbourne, Australia on June 16, 2013:

Interesting! I've never heard of this before but it makes a lot of sense. I'll have to try it out.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 14, 2013:

@Gwenny-thanks for reading and I'm glad this write up has been of help to you.

@Malena-if you love the taste of sesame oil you certainly can use this as a salad oil. Thanks for stopping by.

Malena on June 13, 2013:

Thanks for your information. I wonder if I can use the Sesame oil I use for my Salads. Kadoya (100% pure sesame oil, product of Japan). I would love to try ASAP.

GwennyOh on June 13, 2013:

Wonderful piece. This topic came up for me recently and I wanted to know more about oil pulling. Thanks for sharing rajan jolly.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 08, 2013:

Thanks Elisha, for reading the hub.

Elisha Jachetti on June 08, 2013:

I definitely recognize that picture of the Russian sunflower oil! During my recent trip to Russia, which I wrote a few hubs about, I encountered sunflower oil everywhere! I even brought a full bottle of it back home with me. It has a very unexpected flavor in a way, but I am glad to know about its other uses.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 08, 2013:

Thanks for the read and share, Indian Chef.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on June 07, 2013:

Rajan,

I never heard of oil pulling before. I never thought something like this would work but after reading your blog it must be good. Voting it up and sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 03, 2013:

@Cookie-be regular with it and it will work wonders. Sesame oil is the first preference for oil pulling. Thanks for stopping by.

@mercuryservices-yes of course! Thanks.

Alex Munkachy from Honolulu, Hawaii on May 02, 2013:

I guess you learn something new every day.

BG from PA on April 30, 2013:

I've never seen sunflower oil locally, but most of my city's grocery stores carry sesame oil. I will try this tomorrow. Even if I don't notice a health benefit right away, sesame oil is wonderful for cooking!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 30, 2013:

Hi Rebecca,

It is a very simple and straightforward technique and the results are amazing. Do try it. Thanks.

Rebecca Furtado from Anderson, Indiana on March 29, 2013:

This is an easy and simple technique to improve dental health. I am going to try it at home.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 22, 2013:

Lumitare, ok go ahead and do it. I'm sure you will like it after you see the results. Thanks for stopping by.

Lumitare from Helsinki on February 21, 2013:

I have never heard about this before but it sounds very interesting. I don't know much about Ayurvedic techniques except that I use Ayurvedic toothpaste. At first it tasted horrible but now I couldn't imagine cleaning my teeth with anything else. So I definitely have to try this one too.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 20, 2013:

Thanks khmohsin.

khmohsin on February 20, 2013:

Very interesting and informative hub. I have never seen such a hug collection of benefits like that. I really impressed with this hub, outstanding work.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 18, 2013:

tebo, you can start off with 10 minutes initially or even lesser time to get used to the feel of oil in the mouth. You will get used to it in a few days and then can do it for the duration recommended.

Appreciate your interest and visit. Thanks.

tebo from New Zealand on February 18, 2013:

I have never heard of this but it sounds like a worthwhile thing to do. I shall give it a try although 20 minutes sounds like a long time.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 08, 2013:

@ Dr Eve - I'd certainly be interested to know how oil pulling goes for you. Do keep me posted. Thanks.

@ Catherine - thanks for stopping by.

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on February 08, 2013:

Very interesting. Never heard of this but taking in good oils does improve health. Voted up.

Dr. Eve Riser-Roberts from Santa Fe, NM on February 07, 2013:

I've been tormented with thick stringy mucus and excess saliva since I had some dental work. The dentist was no help with suggestions for it, and I've been trying this and that for months. Well, here's something else to try. First thing tomorrow morning. I read it might produce more mucus at first, but that wouldn't even be noticeable. And if it gets rid of it, hallelujah. Thank you for the suggestion :-)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 06, 2013:

effleurage, glad you are getting the benefits of oil pulling. Thanks for stopping by.

effleurage1 on February 06, 2013:

I love oil pulling! I alternate between sunflower and sesame.Considering coconut.Thank you for all the extra info!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 04, 2013:

It also depends on how one does it but in a month results will be very obvious.

Thanks for stopping by, patchofearth.

Rebecca Long from somewhere in the appalachian foothills on February 04, 2013:

I have heard of this practice and considered trying it myself. How long does it take to see results?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 03, 2013:

Joseph, you can buy oil from ebay or amazon online. Thanks for reading.

Joseph Asumadu on February 01, 2013:

I want to buy some of the oil pulling , kindly send me your contact and how I can make order for this product .

email asumaduj@yahoo.com

00233-0243418386

Ghana -west Africa

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 01, 2013:

My pleasure, Stephanie.

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on February 01, 2013:

Thank you for the quick response rajan jolly!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 01, 2013:

Thanks Stephanie, I hope you try this routine and see the results for yourself.

It is preferable not to use use toasted sesame oil as during the heating process, many vital ingredients are lost as well as the oil is exposed to chemical solvents during the refining process.

Cold pressed and unrefined sesame oil is the best.

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on January 31, 2013:

I am glad I cam across this hub. Your writings are always so detailed and helpful. I have never heard of this technique before. But this will be a good method to add to my repertoire and pass along to others.

Can this be done with roasted sesame oil? Or should you only use sesame oil?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 31, 2013:

Glad you like the info Jaye. Thanks for stopping by.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on January 31, 2013:

Very interesting procedure and certainly worth a try.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 01, 2012:

Oil pulling oil should not be ingested as it is full of bacteria, even though the oil itself is healthy. The oil for consumption can be used as required otherwise.

Thanks for reading.

badmofo from The Universe on October 31, 2012:

Excellent hub. I am very familiar with oil pulling. Despite this, I never intentionally did it although I realized I was doing it when I make my oregano oil mouthwash (I use at beginning and end of teeth ritual).

1 small dropperful in a small glass of water is VERY POWERFUL, potent and very concentrated. You can't take a mouth full of oregano oil, but the way I make it is as strong as you CAN take it without burning yourself. Despite how strong it is, it smells and tastes pretty good (or at least it grows on you....pretty standard herbal vibe).

I wouldn't recommend swallowing the teeth/pulling ritual oil, but oregano oil (taken internally) actually has it's own properties (look up oregano oil benefits) that are very good (especially antibacterial amongst many others). It also comes in capsule form (to ingest or to squeeze into your glass of water)

If you use it for your teeth/pulling, your breath will be feeling extra clean, extra fresh, and bacteria-free.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 15, 2012:

That's a useful feedback Harsha. Thanks.

Harsha Vardhana R from Bangalore on September 15, 2012:

Thanks for simple, safe and almost free practice to improve health.

I had the fortune of interacting with a senior citizen who has dedicated his life for the spread of oil-pulling. He started this service after he was able to cure himself and family from many disorders for which modern medicine could provide only symptomatic relief.

I too started. Initially every day . My dental health has become far better. These days, in a month, I practice at least 3-4 times. I go with sun-flower oil

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 07, 2012:

alocsin, it is a technique worth trying. Theses oils should not be difficult to come across.

Thanks for the read and votes.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 07, 2012:

What an interesting technique totally unheard of in this country. If I should come across the recommended oils, I'll give this a try. Voting this Up and Useful.

Jewels from Australia on March 25, 2012:

Thanks for this hub Rajan, I'd not heard of this practice before. Last November I changed my dental regime by using an all natural goats milk soap. Two ingredients are caster and olive oil. The health of my gums is clearly noticeable and my teeth feel cleaner and are whiter. It only took 3 brushes to get used to the very mild soap taste. Now when I use the peppermint based commercial toothpastes - it tastes awful. Was the best health decision I made last year. Now I'll have to try the oil pulling.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 18, 2012:

derma, oil pulling does work if done the correct way for the required duration. There are numerous testimonies to its effectiveness.

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Appreciate very much your sharing.

derma on March 18, 2012:

Yup i have seen my community members trying oil pulling for psoriasis and KP and they say results are pretty much satisfactory. May be it works.. anyway nice informative article, will recommend to my members.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 08, 2012:

Christy, thanks so much for the visit. Glad it was informative to you.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on March 08, 2012:

I had not heard of oil pulling before, thanks for introducing me to the concept!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 07, 2012:

Sunita, thanks for the read and am glad it's been helpful.

Sunita-Sharma from Los Angeles,California,US on March 07, 2012:

Very Informative hub...I vaguely remember my grandparents use to practise Oil pulling!I too wanna try this :)

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on March 07, 2012:

I had never heard of this before. Quite interesting. Voted up,up.

Dame Scribe on March 07, 2012:

Got to love how Dr's learn and study the various practices in our cultures :) fantastic info!