Ayurveda holds an ocean of wellness secrets. One of its treasures is Oil Pulling. It comes with a surprising set of benefits through its easy application. It’s a technique; primarily used for dental health to improve oral hygiene and gum health.
In oil pulling, a tablespoon full of oil is swished around the mouth, preferably first thing in the morning. The time before brushing teeth and breakfast, with an empty stomach is most preferred one considering the number of bacteria in the mouth. One can do this any time of the day however, efficacy is observed more when performed in the morning.
Read through some of the insights by Ms Preeti Shah, a IIN New York & IAHC Washington Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specialized in Gut & Hormone Health. She is also the owner of Plera Wellness Plus – A Salt Spa based in Mumbai, India.
- Take one tablespoon of pure organic oil and swish around the mouth and teeth like a mouthwash for around 20 minutes.
- One can start with 5 minutes and build up to 20 minutes. Do this method slowly without putting force on the jaws and continue breathing from the nose.
- Once done correctly, the oil will become thinner and milky white. Once you are done, spit out the liquid.
- Rinse and wash mouth thoroughly with clean water and brush your teeth well to kill remaining bacteria.
- The oil should not be spit in the sink as it can cause clogging of the pipes; instead, a thick paper towel or trashcan can be used.
- Care should be taken not to swallow the oil as it is full of toxins and bacteria. However, if accidentally small amounts of oil are swallowed, there is nothing to worry as the same is removed by the body through faeces.
Kids above 5 years of age can do this under the supervision of adults. However, it is not recommended for kids under 5 years of age as they might swallow oil by mistake.
Benefits of Oil Pulling:
- Oral health: In this procedure, the oil will coat the teeth and gums while swishing. That will inhibit the growth of bacteria and formation of plaque which in turn helps to eliminate bad breath, reduces chances of cavities, resolving gum related issues including gingivitis. By regular practice, one can expect to have whiter teeth and can resolve symptoms of dry mouth and chapped lips. In the case of oral ulcer, asthma and tendency of vomiting where brushing is difficult, oil pulling can be helpful to maintain oral hygiene.
- Swishing and pulling oil around teeth helps to pull out bacteria & fungus which helps the body to detox naturally and reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation and bacteria helps in sinusitis and clearing up of excess mucus build-up in the throat. It can be of great help in reducing frequent cold/cough or allergies.
- As per Ayurveda, oil pulling is believed to help in the elimination of toxic and heavy metals by saliva. Thus oil pulling detoxifies and purifies the entire human body. With the regular practice, one may expect improvement in skin, hair health with overall health.
Which Oil Can Be Used:
- Organic, raw virgin, cold-pressed Coconut oil, Sunflower oil and Sesame oil are recommended for the best effect. Refined oil also works in pulling bacteria and fungus. Since trans fats are absent in cold-pressed oils in comparison to commercial oils, oil pulling is ideally performed with cold-pressed oils.
- Coconut oil, sunflower oil and Sesame oil have antibacterial, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. They work differently with different bacteria. Best is to mix coconut oil with sunflower oil or sesame oil. One can also try oil pulling by changing oils at regular intervals.
Oil pulling if done properly has no adverse effects. On the other hand, it is helpful to improve overall health. One can expect to see results within 2 weeks of practising the correct method of oil pulling. With limited research available on this technique, it can be safely performed to maintain good hygiene along with routine brushing and flossing with positive results in overall health.