Most people have heard Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda or other forms of folklore and indigenous healing technics used by our ancestors. Some of us even have our old grandmother’s homemade cough remedy or decongestant. If you are not new to this, you know what I am talking about. If not, well that’s ok! I am going to share with you a 3500-year-old, powerful detox practice that evolved from India. This post will discuss the history and benefits of oil pulling.
Vedic healers discovered millennia ago that swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth is a very beneficial daily practice.
The Benefits of Oil Pulling:
Elimination of bad breath
Dryness of throat
Strengthening gums and the jaw
Heal bleeding gums
The impression of speeding up the body’s recovery
The practice of oil pulling was referred to as “kavala graha” by the Hindu mystics. This was later translated from Sanskrit to what we now call oil pulling.
The benefits of oil pulling were taught and practiced in many of the major schools and heralded by all Ayurvedic traditional medicine practitioners as a panacea (cure-all) for most major diseases. To date, there are just 24 oil pulling research studies reporting on the health benefits of oil pulling.
So how does oil pulling work and what makes it so beneficial?
Based on scientific research, the results have shown that oil pulling activates all the necessary salivary enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for absorbing and breaking down the toxins (chemical or organic), as well as bacterial toxins and environmental toxins from the blood. It has been proven that the first signs of disease can be found in the mouth as there is a direct link between the health of the intestinal tract and the health of the mouth.
The benefits of oil pulling are in fact a way of detoxifying the blood and the entire body. If you think about how many of us spend so much time detoxifying our livers with herbs or doing colonics for our intestinal health, well this isn’t any different.
The process of swishing the oil around allows the lipids (or fatty acids) of the oil to mix and coalesce with the fatty acids naturally and creates a sticky substance which binds to all the harmful substances in your teeth, gums and glands. This is similar to how activated charcoal binds to toxins in your gut.
Ayurvedic medicine considers the mouth to be the “mirror” of your entire body. Similar to how TCM considers the eyes the windows to your soul. Dysbiosis (imbalance) in the oral cavity, according to a Vedic healer, is a clear sign of an imbalance or systemic issue lurking in your body.
As most alternative approaches, modern medicine has not embraced nor even considered the ancient practice of oil pulling, however, this does not mean that it is not practiced around the globe. Many health-conscious people today practice oil pulling daily, as do I!
Oil Pulling: How-To
Take a tablespoon of oil (Recommended options sesame and coconut) into your mouth.
Swish the oil in your mouth, forcing the oil through your teeth and gums (The point here is to really get into all the tight spots, so feel free to play around and make it fun. Try to feel the oil getting into every nook and cranny of your mouth. This is the difference between an effective oil pull or simply a taste test).
Aim to do this for 5-20 minutes (this may be hard at first, but don’t stress do what you can and work your way up to 20). This should be done before breakfast and preferably before brushing your teeth. Again go at your own pace, this is not a competition.
Once done, spit the oil into a garbage can, never the sink as you risk clogging your drain.
If you are suffering from severe oral afflictions or overall health issues, you can opt to do this more often daily (3 times per day).
You can eventually get creative and start using a drop of essential oil (peppermint is excellent!) – for added benefits and recovery
The first time oil pulling may seem complicated and obnoxious for some, but just think of it as any other form of challenge. When you first start back at the gym, you don’t go all out and try to max the weights – same for oil pulling. Slow and steady wins the race!
A brief description of the two oil of preference.
The ancients used to opt for sesame oil. Why? Not sure! Maybe it was more prevalent, less expensive or the only option they had. Either way, sesame seed oil is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds. It is a proven anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and has anti-plaque building properties.
It is rich in zinc and revered for longevity and vitality. Tyrosine is a compound found in sesame oil, which is a precursor to boosting the production of serotonin (responsible for raising mood levels) and relieving anxiety. Sesame seed oil is extremely high in copper, another known mineral responsible for quelling inflammation. Copper is also an antifungal agent.
Lauric acid is a common compound found in coconut oil. This compound is known to have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being very effective against Strep, Candida and Staph. This oil can be used as an antiseptic as well, which makes it a fantastic option for tending to cuts and scrapes.
The benefits of oil pulling are often noticed within a week. Please keep in mind though that as we are all individuals with different diets and lifestyles, we will all respond differently. Additionally, depending on your current state of health and so many other infinite factors, results will most definitely vary. As always and with all things, patience, discipline and perseverance are essential.
We hope you enjoyed this brief post on the benefits of oil pulling and hope you will implement this practice into your daily lifestyle. I don’t know about you, but if something has been around for millennia, I think it is at least worthy of our attention.
Stay healthy, stay informed and most importantly stay true.
Please feel free to post comments below and let us know your experience with oil pulling. We would love to hear from you.
Please note that all opinions here are strictly opinions and for informational purposes only. They are not to be used as a replacement for medical opinions and should not be used as the only metric for diagnosing any medical condition.