Ayurveda, considered the most holistic system of medicine, provides solutions to most of our current health problems. Oil pulling is mentioned in Charaka Samhita as an age old technique to ensure good oral health. There are two types of oral cleansing techniques: Kavala and Gandusha. While Gandusha refers to the act of holding large quantities of oil in the mouth without gargling, Kavala refers to the act of swishing the oil held in the mouth for a specific time.
There are four types of Gandusha: Snigda, Shamana, Shodana, and Ropana. Snigda or oil holding is done with fats processed with sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Shamana (palliation) is done with fats processed in bitter and astringent tastes. Shodana is done with fats processed in bitter, acidic, sour and salty drugs. Ropana is done with astringent and bitter tasting fats. The substances used include, fat, milk, honey, vinegar, alcohol, cow’s urine, cereal stock and so on depending on the condition of the patient. As a routine practice, sesame oil is used for oil pulling.
Oil pulling promotes good health. Let’s see how. Oil pulling improves overall immunity ensuring that the body is not loaded with toxins. The mouth is the main point of entry for toxins. Regular practice of oil pulling ensures that the toxins exit from the mouth instead of going into your gut. Oil pulling prevents disease-causing organisms from spreading throughout the body leading to secondary infections and other inflammations. Oral cleansing through oil pulling also solves bad breath, dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, anorexia, loss of taste, and impaired vision.
Oil pulling is also effective in maintaining a good balance of vatha and kapha. When kapha is mitigated in the mouth due to oil pulling, it prevents diseases related to the throat, neck and head. Vitiation of vata prevents conditions, such as sensitive and loose teeth. Ayurveda considers sesame oil the best for oil pulling because of its vatha and kapha balancing nature.
A simple practice of swishing oil offers you immense health benefits without any fear of side effects. Isn’t that reason enough to include it in your daily routine?