Oil Pulling and Its Many Health Benefits
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Consult Your Doctor
Before taking any new home remedies or supplements, or before starting any new health regimens, consult your doctor to discuss your specific medical condition.
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.
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