Dental hygiene is known in Ayurvedic medicine as Danta Swasthya and is considered to be the root cause of many health conditions, both in modern medicine and in the ancient texts of Ayurvedic science. Apart from our common Western dental hygiene routine involving brushing and flossing, Ayurveda incorporates oil pulling as part of regular routine or Dinacarya.
Oil pulling in Sanskrit terms is Gandusha or Kavala and is considered to be one of the most effective therapeutic treatments for improving the condition of teeth and gums. It is a simple rejuvenating treatment, which, when done regularly, enhances the senses, maintains clarity, invigorates the mind and brings about a feeling of freshness. This oral cleansing therapy can also benefit bad breath, dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, and anorexia, loss of taste, impaired vision and sore throat.
The exciting aspect of this therapy is its simplicity; the following information is to provide some understanding of this therapy and to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding oil pulling. Please feel free to contact the clinic if you have any further queries regarding Oil Pulling with our Organic Black Sesame Oil.
How do you do it?
Oil Pulling (Gandusha or Kavala) involves holding and swishing organic black sesame oil in the mouth for 15-20 minutes per day, for most people 15-20mL of oil is suitable for this therapy. The most beneficial time to perform this therapy is in the morning before eating as this is the most opportune time for oral detoxification. I recommend performing your oil pulling at a time when you are completing a chore in your home; it is best performed while doing the dishes as this takes the focus away from holding the oil in your mouth for such a period of time. When most people start oil pulling they want to vigorously swish the oil in their mouth, however, maintaining this level of enthusiasm become quite tiring, especially after 15-20 minutes! Instead, aim to slowly move the oil in your mouth, gently swishing between your teeth and throughout the gums and tissues in your mouth. Remember to spit out the oil when you are finished.
How does it work?
The ancient Ayurvedic texts suggest including oil pulling into daily routine for its detoxifying therapy, and today, in the modern world we are exposed to numerous toxins through our diet, lifestyle and environment. When the body is exposed to toxins that cannot be eliminated, the body will ‘park’ these toxins in the fat stores. Due to the lipophilic (oil attracting) quality of organic black sesame oil, these toxins are drawn from the tissues of the body into the oil when oil pulling.
How long should I do it for?
For most people, benefits will be noticed after regular oil pulling for 4-6 weeks and improvements can range from subtle to dramatic, including changes in teeth and gum condition to improvements in focus and concentration. One sure indicator that you are effectively pulling toxins through your body is when the oil becomes white or cloudy after your oil pulling session – when you notice this happening regularly, it is best to continue with your oil pulling for several more weeks. Once you have reached a point where you have become happy with the results from your oil pulling, you may benefit from continuing with this treatment on a less frequent basis, however, long term benefits will come about with ongoing therapy.
Is there any scientific testing for this therapy?
In 2009, a study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of oil pulling with sesame oil on plaque-induced gingivitis and this study compared the oil pulling to the efficacy of chlorhexidine mouthwash. This study was conducted by Asokan S et al with a total of 20 age-matched adolescent boys with gingivitis and the oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, plus modified gingival scores and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque.*
According to Charaka Samhita, the authoritative text on Ayurvedic medicine, these are the benefits of Oil Pulling or Gandusha:“Keeping oil gargle provides strength in jaws and voice, development of face, maximum taste and relish in food. The person (practicing this) does not suffer for dryness of throat, there is no fear of lip-cracking, teeth are not affected with caries, rather they become firm-rooted. They (teeth) are not painful nor are they oversensitive on sour-taking, they become able to chew even the hardest of food items.” Sutrasthana chapter V [78-80]
*J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011 Apr-Jun: 2(2): 64-68