Oil Pulling Benefits?
Acharya Charak had mentioned oil pulling in Dincharya Adhyay, and also mentioned its benefits for oral health. Oil pulling known as Gandush in Sanskrit is a process in which medicated oil, decoction, or plain water is held in the mouth. There’s another term used in Ayurveda i.e. Kavala which should not be confused with Gandush. Kavala is also an oil pulling process but in this method, the medicated oil, decoction, or any liquid is moved inside the mouth and in the case of Gandush the liquid is held inside the mouth without moving it.
Oil Pulling Benefits?
Many Acharyas had mentioned oil pulling as it possesses numerous benefits for the oral cavity. We eat a lot in 24 hours so it can lead to the formation of plague so it helps to maintain oral hygiene and prevent plaque formation. It imparts strength to the jaws, clarity to the voice, excellent gustatory sensation, and gives protection from dryness of throat, lips, dental caries, etc. It has a good role in preventing and curing both local and systemic illnesses.
Read Also: Coffee with Coconut Oil Benefits
When it should be done?
Acharya Charak in Dincharya Adhaya had mentioned the sequence of events that should be done after waking up in the morning.
•Waking up early morning – Acharyas had mentioned to wake up in Brahma muhurta (48 MINUTES BEFORE SUNRISE) that is before sunrise as it’s the best time to gain knowledge and fresh air.
•Passing urge of urination and defecation (Shaucha vidhi) – The first thing to do after waking up is to pass urine and stool, as it removes the metabolic waste products from the body that has been accumulated in the night. The urge for micturition and defecation shows signs of good digestion and a healthy gut. Suppressing the urge for micturition and defecation can lead to various diseases, Acharya Charak had mentioned it as an “Adharniya Vega” which means the vega (urge) which should not behold and has to be expelled as soon as possible otherwise can lead to some serious complications.
•Brushing teeth (Dantapavana) – Brushing teeth was performed for ages when toothbrushes were not invented, even then people were aware of their oral hygiene. They used plant twigs and herbal powders for maintaining their oral hygiene. Even different-different rasa twigs are mentioned according to the predominant dosha in the body. Many herbal powders were also used for cleaning teeth.
•Application of Collyrium in the eye (Anjana) – Anjan is a thick substance made from herbs that are applied to the inner part of eyelids. It soothes the eye and gives a calming effect, it helps to prevent eye disorders, promotes good vision, and also enhances the beauty of the eyes.
•Nasal Installation of Oil (Nasya) – Nasya is a process of installation of medicated oil in nostrils. It is said that Nostrils are the way to the brain, hence it’s an effective way to nourish brain cells. 2-2 drops of medicated oil are inserted into each nostril on daily basis, known as Pratimarsh Nasya.
•Oil pulling in the mouth (Gandusha) – Then after all these processes Gandush is performed, Oil is held in the mouth and kept for some time and then spitted out. Hence it is done in the early morning on an empty stomach and should be performed daily.
Oil pulling with Coconut Oil
Oil pulling can be done with any oil but coconut oil is widely used for this as it tastes better and possesses many health benefits also. Since Sesame oil is considered the best oil among oils according to Ayurveda, so it can also be used.
Coconut oil is very high in fatty acids, these types of fatty acids are healthy as they’re both easily digested and absorbed. It’s an anti-microbial, anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. Coconut oil has functional ingredients- Caprylic acid, Capric acid, Lauric acid, and Meristic acid. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) act as a potential antibacterial agent which shows the most inhibitory to growth bacteria.
Capric acid and Caprylic acid also inhibit the growth of bacteria. Hence Coconut oil act as a great choice for oil pulling as harmful bacteria attacks mouth first. A single bacteria or any kind of infection enters to gut through the mouth only so it’s necessary to maintain oral hygiene.
Oil Pulling – How to do it?
Oil pulling is done early morning on an empty stomach. And the sequence of steps performed before oil pulling is mentioned above.
Steps for oil pulling are
•First of all take medicated oil or simple oil of your preference for the process
•Fill your mouth will oil so that it can be easily swirled
•You can daily practice Kavala as it needs less oil and can be performed easily
•After filling your mouth with oil, move it inside for 5-10 minutes
•Then spit it off, do not swallow
•Wash your mouth with warm water as oil is sticky in nature hence warm water should be used for gargling
•It can be uncomfortable on the first or second try but daily practicing provides better results
As such there are no side effects of oil pulling, as it doesn’t involve any chemicals or is a very hard process. Just it should be kept in mind that oil should not be swallowed as in some people it may lead to loose stools or vomiting-like conditions.
But it doesn’t seriously affect health, oil if swallowed also doesn’t cause any harm to the body. And also some people are allergic to a particular oil, then in that case it has to be avoided.
The science behind it
Kavala and Gandusha were performed since ancient times to maintain oral hygiene and now it has again gained popularity. The fats present in oil mix with saliva to kill germs. As we all know saliva also secretes enzymes and possesses anti-bacterial properties which help to maintain a hygienic environment of our mouth. Oil does possess many anti-bacterial properties, which when mixed with saliva helps to remove toxins from the mouth.
Oil pulling is an ancient method for oral protection but now has gained popularity after many years. We do not realize the importance of our old age concepts and how beneficial they can be for us. Not only this but there are many preventive measures explained in Ayurvedic texts, it’s always said that “Prevention is better than cure” but we do not actually follow this policy. If we start giving importance to our health in a natural way and accept our ancient principles, it’s guaranteed that the chances of serious disorders will be reduced to nil.