Are you aware about the health benefits of oil pulling? What is oil pulling, you asked? Read on to learn more
What is Oil pulling?
Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional folk remedy started in India thousands of years ago where oil is “swished” (kavala graha) or “held” (snigda gandoosha) in the mouth. Oil pulling helps in improving oral and systemic health, beneficial in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma and acne and teeth whitening. It was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by Dr. F. Karach, who used it with success in his medical practice. The practice of oil pulling works by “pulling out” toxins which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation.
It works on the basic principle, “like dissolves like”. The oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums. All you need to do is to put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, then swish it around for 15-20 minutes to improve your oral health. The main benefit of oil pulling is that it reduces the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
#1 Coconut oil is good for oil pulling. Though you can also get same bacteria-fighting benefits with sesame or sunflower oil, what coconut oil does differently is adding the benefits of lauric acid to the exercise. Lauric acid is well-known for its anti-microbial agents. Coconut oil is also, additionally, good for teeth whitening.
#2 For beginners, it’s advisable to start with just 5 minutes a day but you can gradually increase the time duration according to your preference. Yes… the longer you pull, the more bacteria you’ll remove but 5 or 10 minutes will still offer some benefit. And, if your jaw starts paining, slow down the process and don’t work too hard. A gentle swishing, pushing and sucking the oil through the teeth is all that’s required.
#3 Don’t swallow the oil. If you find it hard not to, chances are you likely have too much oil in your mouth. Spit it out and try again with a smaller amount. Also, don’t spit it down the sink, as the oil could clog your pipes. Just discard the used oil into the trash bin.
#4 Don’t skip brushing and flossing. Oil pulling should never replace your routine dental visits and your oral care habits. It’s a great supplemental therapy, so you can brush your teeth after oil pulling if you are doing it in the morning. Or if you are doing it in the night, you may follow with mouthwash.