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Oil Pulling

17 Mar 2016   Shanti Gowans
Many practitioners claim that oil pulling is nothing short of a miracle because it is so effective against various ailments that they consider it as an alternate medicinal treatment in itself! The best thing about this 5,000 year old practice is that it is neither esoteric nor expensive. Anybody and everybody can use it if they want to. To use it, you need only two things: 10 ml of sesame oil  and 5 minutes or so, of your time. 
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an remedy that uses natural oil to help clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally, and some evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria.
This simple home remedy can also speed up recovery from various diseases ranging from common colds to acute allergic conditions, bronchitis, indigestion to stomach ulcers, and headaches to migraine. The treatment involves rinsing your mouth with 10 ml of sesame oil for a few minutes.
During oil pulling, the oil binds to the biofilm, or plaque, on the teeth and reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth.
This treatment has its roots in ancient Indian traditional medicine system Ayurveda, considered by most Eastern and Western scholars as the oldest form of health care, the original one, listed in the Ayurvedic textbook Charaka Samhita.
Ayurveda recommends the use of sesame oil as the oil of choice as it is more warming and may be more gently detoxifying than other oils that are “colder” energetically. It has a somewhat strong sesame flavor, which is a familiar food taste for most people.  
Today, people have been using different types of oil and are seeing effective results. Recently people have started using organic coconut oil as it tastes better and because of its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.. It has a cooler energy than sesame oil, so it can be helpful for people who tend to have a warmer constitution or condition of heat. Some people have reported that coconut oil is more strongly detoxifying, which isn’t always a good thing for some people, so it’s best to be cautious and go slowly.
The benefits of oil pulling
Oil pulling is known to be useful in the treatment of the following conditions:
• Common diseases such as cold, cough, allergies, headaches, etc
• Skin problems such as itching, pigmentation, eczema, scars, rashes, etc
• Respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, etc
• Headache and migraine
• Tooth pain, gum diseases, dental caries
• Back pain, neck pain, joint pains, and arthritis
• Constipation and other conditions arising due to some problem in digestive system
• Blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
• Piles
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, which studies confirm can be treated, prevented, or controlled by oil pulling, other conditions in which oil pulling might be useful include:
• Chronic sleepiness
• Liver disease
• Kidney disease
• Cancer
A survey conducted by Indian daily newspaper, Andhra Jyoti, confirms the healing properties of oil pulling
Approximately 2 ½ years after publishing an article on oil pulling and its several benefits, Andhra Jyoti conducted a survey to understand the following:
• The kind of health conditions the procedure cured
• The degree of its effectiveness
1041 readers responded to the advertisement sharing their experience with oil pulling. Among the respondents, 927 (about 87%) stated that oil pulling cured one or more disease. 114 respondents (approx. 11 %) reported that oil pulling did not provide relief from the ailment(s) they were suffering from.
An analysis of the testimonies of people who found oil pulling useful revealed that it successfully cured the following diseases: allergies, cough and common cold, gum diseases, dental caries, infections in the ear, nose, mouth, eyes, and throat, tooth pain, headache, neck pain, migraine, back pain, lip cracking, allergic sneezing, and fever.
When to do oil pilling
Ayurveda recommends oil pulling first thing in the morning (on empty stomach) right after brushing your teeth. 
How to do oil pulling
To use oil pulling, follow these steps:
After brushing your teeth, and while on empty stomach, place 10 ml of sesame oil into your mouth. 
Hold the oil in your mouth for a few minutes.
Swish your mouth thoroughly with the oil, before spitting it out. A white spit indicates that you have done the procedure correctly.
Wash your mouth thoroughly with water
Drink a glass or two of water
- Oil pulling is not recommended for children under 5 years of age
- Use only 5 ml of oil for children above 5 years of age
- Do not gargle and do not swallow. However, more importantly, do not worry if you swallow the oil. Sesame oil is edible. When swallowed, it is either digested or excreted naturally.
- If the colour of the solution you spit is yellow, it could mean that you have not held the oil long enough or have used it in amounts greater than the recommended dosage.    


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Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

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