The Benefits of Oil Pulling- An Ancient Ayurvedic Oral Hygiene Ritual
If you follow along with current wellness trends, odds are you've probably heard of oil pulling. The seemingly strange Ayurvedic self-care ritual involves putting coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes, swishing it around the teeth and gums. You may wonder where this practice originated, the benefits, and if it is safe before exploring it yourself. Look no further; we're giving you all the details on a unique approach to oral hygiene.
According to Ayurveda, oral health and hygiene are essential for a healthy body. The appearance of our tongue alone can tell us a lot, and in many eastern medicine traditions, the tongue is used as an essential diagnostic tool to indicate the health of the rest of the body. Taking care of the health of our mouths with practices like oil pulling can help us protect our good bacteria and eliminate the harmful bacteria that can lead to illness.
Many Ayurvedic texts, such as Kavala or Gundusha, claim that oil pulling promotes a healthy mouth by improving oral flora, preventing tooth decay, promoting fresh breath, and strengthening the tissue of teeth and gums. In addition, other Ayurvedic oral health practices that can be added to your daily hygiene routine include herbal tooth powders and tongue scraping.
How to Oil Pull
Oil pulling is most effective when practiced in the morning on an empty stomach and after brushing your teeth. Use either coconut oil or sesame oil for your morning ritual.
- Start with one teaspoon and work your way up to one tablespoon. The oil expands with time, so you may need to spit out the extra oil before the 20 minutes is up
- Swish the oil in all mouth areas, including the front and back of the teeth and in between them.
- Swish the oil around for up to 20 minutes, working incrementally up to this time frame.
- Spit the oil in the trash can. Do not spit oil down the drain. Oils harden and can clog your pipes.
- Make sure you do not swallow the oil. The bacteria gathered in the oil can be harmful to your digestive system and can make you sick.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
Oil pulling does more than clean our teeth and freshens our breath. Various benefits can be had from implementing this practice into our everyday life. Some of the other advantages include:
There are severe health conditions that may be linked to the bacteria in our mouths, such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and even complications with pregnancy and birth. Maintaining our oral health helps to ensure we are correctly expelling harmful bacteria and that our bodies are detoxing effectively.
Our sinuses directly relate to our oral cavity; Oil pulling can increase the circulation of the oral tissues, bringing nutrients and lymph to the sinus tissue.
Oil pulling can help with TMJ by exercising the jaw as you swish, loosening up muscles tightness.
There's a reason oil pulling has been practiced for thousands of years. The ritualistic aspect is a beautiful way to connect with yourself and treat your body with love. Have you tried oil pulling yet? We encourage you to give this healthy habit a try in 2022.