Oil pulling may be growing in popularity but it certainly isn’t new. It is known as “kavala” or “gundusha”, ancient Ayurvedic dental techniques that date back 3000 years.
Oil pulling is a practice of swishing a tablespoon of either coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes to promote good oral health. Since I love the tropical smell and taste of coconut oil that is one reason it is my oil of choice for oil pulling. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, known for its antimicrobial properties that has benefits such as the ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and yeast.
Don’t let the time deter you. You can swish it around while you’re in the shower, getting ready for work or making your breakfast. After doing it a few times it becomes as natural as brushing your teeth. This is one of the easiest ways to promote oral health naturally.
There are many reasons you may want to make oil pulling a part of your daily ritual. It draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health. Good oral hygiene is more important than you may think. The mouth has millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins. The oil acts like a cleanser, pulling them out before they get a chance to spread throughout the body. Pathogenic microorganisms and their toxins can harm more than just your mouth when they circulate through your bloodstream. They can cause secondary infections and chronic inflammation throughout your body.
Oil pulling has been shown to:
- Significantly reduce plaque, cavity causing bacteria and bad breath.
- Improve gum health.
- Whiten teeth – the oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brightens and cleans teeth.
- Increase energy – our bodies have to work hard to clear toxins, using much needed energy. Oil pulling clears toxins before they hit the internal body.
There are many different techniques used. One ancient technique called kavala is used by filling your mouth with liquid and holding it there for a couple of minutes before swirling it around the mouth and spitting it out. The process shouldn’t exceed more than three or four minutes; it’s repeated at least two or three times. Another ancient technique is gandusha, this is a technique of holding the liquid still in the mouth for three to five minutes. The liquid is then spit out and the process is repeated.
More modern techniques consist of swishing the oil in your mouth, pulling, pushing, and sucking it through your teeth for up to 20 minutes. The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. The best time to do oil pulling is in the morning before eating breakfast, but it can be done anytime. When you start out, you may want to start by swishing for 5 – 10 minutes. For best results try it twice a day if possible. When swishing, don’t swallow the oil. You don’t want to ingest the very toxins you are trying to get rid of.
Using oil pulling, regular brushing and flossing along with your regular cleanings at the dentist office will help ensure the healthiest gums and teeth.
Enjoy your oil pulling,