The Benefits of Oil Pulling
If you haven't heard of oil pulling, at first read, you may think it sounds a bit far fetched. I know I once did! But, I've learned that you should never knock it until you try it. Oil pulling, also known as "kavala" or "gundusha," is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 15 minutes - or as long as you can manage!
This action draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health. It will also help clear your skin, whiten your teeth and does it all 100% toxic free.
The procedure I follow:
I aim to do it first thing in the morning, after my meditation and before breakfast. I might make the bed and make my morning shake while I am doing it.
Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and has a milder taste that other oils and is my personal preference, but you can use any other vegetable-based oil.
I take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around my mouth for 20 minutes. You can start with 5 minutes and build up from here. (Note: Be gentle here - no need to be as aggressive as you are with mouthwash, as you will be doing it for up to 20 minutes and don’t want to get a stiff jaw!).
The oil will almost double in size as it draws in saliva as well as the toxins. Be sure not to swallow as you will be taking these toxins into your body - the complete opposite of what you are trying to do.)
Once the time is up, I spit the oil out into the trash (not the sink, where the oil may solidify and block up the drain) and I swish my mouth with warm salt water.
Key reported benefits include:
- Whiter teeth
- Cavity and gingivitis prevention
- Better breath (halitosis suffers also reported greatly improved morning breath)
- Stronger teeth and gums
- Less jaw pain (TMJ sufferers noted great improvement), less sleep problems and sinus issues
- Alleviation of headaches, hangovers and skin issues (reports have shown improvement in acne, psoriasis and eczema).
Why Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil makes a great, organic substitute for mouthwash as it contains Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties thanks to the lauric acid and monolaurin.
Coconut oil has other proven benefits, too. It contains lots of easily digestible, fat-soluble vitamins: A,D, E and K.
Vitamin A is good for the immune system, Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties for the skin and can provide some protection against UV rays, Vitamin D is good for strong bones and teeth, and Vitamin K is good for blood-clotting.
Multiple scientific studies show the efficacy of oil pulling therapy. One study shows that oil pulling can boost overall oral health.
Scientists believe that the lipids in the oil both pull out bacteria, as well as stop bacterial from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.
Ancient Ayurvedic health practitioners believed that oil pulling could reduce more than just diseases of the mouth and throat. Today, many holistic practitioners tout its use for a variety of health concerns.
It is believed that these oils help the lymphatic system of the body as harmful bacteria are removed and beneficial microflora are given with a healthy environment to flourish.
Because of this holistic perspective, oil pulling has been used as a preventative health measure for many other conditions.
Other possible benefits of oil pulling for overall health include:
- Migraine headache relief
- Correcting hormone imbalances
- Reducing inflammation of arthritis
- May help with gastro-enteritis
- Aids in the reduction of eczema
- May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
- Helps support normal kidney function
- May help reduce sinus congestion
- Some people report improved vision
- Helps reduce insomnia
- Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
- Aids in reducing pain
- Reduces the symptoms of allergies
- Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms.