Updated: Aug 5
This is one of those practices -you either love it or just don't .I belong to the former category.I am a more recent convert in all honesty as the thought of oil in the mouth never really appealed to me.So I started off on this journey only a few years ago.While I do not have any known or visible dental issues yet,I feel really good each morning after I use our toothpowder,the tongue scraper and the oil rinse together.I genuinely like that combination.I am not worried about any synthetics and I just feel safer and like I am in good hands!
So I d love to tell you more about Oil pulling and I most certainly would encourage you to try it for at least a month and ideally 48 days i.e. one mandala
Oil pulling is the act of taking a small amount of oil and swishing it around one’s teeth and gums—like a mouthwash,for oral and systemic health benefits.Ancient ayurvedic texts claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma using the one daily practice of oil pulling.
According to Ayurveda, teeth are actually the by-product of the bone tissue which means healthy teeth can be correlated with the health of bones.Modern researchers have also linked the unhealthy oral bacteria to those found in the valves of the heart and the brain. So, supporting our oral hygiene is a benefit for our general health. In fact, our mouths are host to over 600 different species of bacteria which populate the teeth, tongue, soft tissue of the cheeks and palates, and our tonsils. The oral cavity further adjoins the esophagus, nasal passages, sinuses, and the intricate ear cavities.
You can see why bacteria in the mouth is a big deal!
It is no wonder then that both Western medicine and Ayurveda use the tongue as an important diagnostic tool, indicating the fact that a healthy mouth and a healthy tongue is interrelated to the health of the entire body.
How do you Oil pull?
Step 1: Take a tablespoonful of oil and swish it around the mouth in the early morning before breakfast and on an empty stomach for about 20 min. In case of children above ﬁve years of age, a teaspoon of oil is used. It is not suggested for younger children.
Step 2: Pull the oil and force it between all the teeth by swishing it all around the mouth. At the end of this activity if the procedure is done correctly, the viscous oil will
become milky white and thinner. Then,spit it out.
Step 3: Wash your mouth thoroughly with clean warm saline water or tap water.
A few things to take note of:
1.While starting off,twenty minutes can seem like eternity.Start with five mins at a time (also seems like eternity initially) and then slowly increase the length of time.
If the jaw aches, then you know you need to reduce the time.
2.Avoid spitting the oil into the sink as the oil can cause clogging of the pipes. Instead, the oil should be spit into trash can or into the toilet bowl.
3.Avoid swallowing the oil as the pulled oil is said to contain bacteria and toxins.
Benefits of Oil Pulling: While there are many benefits to oil pulling,here are the three main benefits in my opinion why you should consider practicing it on a regular basis.
Fresh Breath: There are numerous causes for bad breath. One of these causes is bacteria.There are lots of places for bacteria to hide in our oral cavity!
In one controlled study, the efficacy of oil pulling was compared to that of chlorhexidine (the main component in more conventional mouthwashes) a common antimicrobial mouthwash, to reduce bad breath. When compared results of the sesame oil used to oil pull and chlorhexidine showed similar scores in the reduction of bacteria and volatile sulfur compounds.When it comes to eliminating bad breath, research shows that oil pulling can work as well as chlorhexidine.
Healthy teeth and gums:A healthy oral microbiome plays a leading role in healthy teeth and gums. In addition,Ayurveda texts mention that swishing liquids in the mouth prevents dental caries, bleeding gums, dryness of the throat and cracked lips. It strengthens teeth, gums and the jaw, combats bad breath and exhaustion, improves taste perception, strengthens the vocal cords, averts anorexia and loss of taste, and delays wrinkling of the face.
A Balanced routine: Oral hygeine has to be more than just brushing,flossing,a mouthwash/oil pulling and tongue scrapping done singularly.
However,all added together,it seems to be a fuller approach towards oral hygeine. While we brush and are more particular about what toothpaste and toothbrushes we use for the same,we tend to give lesser thought to the other oral cavities that attract bacteria. Oil pulling seems to cover the entire mouth a lot better because of the swishing and pulling action.
Research studies conducted also point out to the fact that gargling with sesame seed oil - a natural anti-bacterial, vitamin E rich oil is as effective as a conventional mouthwash.
So if both were to function as effectively,I would lean towards the more natural of the two.
Add some herbs to your oils and you multiply the goodness of nature.
All herbal remedies take a longer time to show effect.Nature requires you to be patient.
So give it time once you begin.It would take you a little over a week of consistent trying to get used to it and use the practice more effectively.
You will however,feel the difference from the first day you try it.
Combine it with a herbal toothpaste and a tongue scraper for maximum benefit.I can confirm from personal experience though the toothpowder and oil rinse combination definitely helps me taste my food a lot better!
I will have another article discussing the various options for the oils you can use to pull.
Coconut oil is a popular choice, but traditionally sesame oil or a sesame seed oil base is what use and what I am most comfortable with.
Untill then,please let me know if I can help you with any questions you may have.
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