Many Ayurvedic enthusiasts and practitioners claim that oil pulling is nothing short of a miracle. Because it is so effective against various ailments, 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 engage in it if they want to. For this to happen, 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 a remedy that uses a natural oil to help clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally, and there is evidence to show 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, stomach ulcers, headaches and migraines. 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 reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth.
This treatment has its roots in the ancient Indian traditional medicine system of Ayurveda, considered by most Eastern and Western scholars as the oldest and original form of health care in the world as noted 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.
However, today, people have been using different types of oils and are also seeing effective results. Recently people have started using organic coconut oil because it tastes better and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil 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. This is not always recommended 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 the common cold, coughs, allergies, headaches, etc.,
• Skin problems such as itching, pigmentation, eczema, scars, rashes, etc.,
• Respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, etc.,
• Headaches and migraines,
• Tooth pain, gum diseases, dental caries,
• Back pain, neck pain, joint pain and arthritis
• Constipation and other conditions arising to problems in the digestive system
• Blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
• Piles ( hemorrhoids ).
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, which studies confirm can be treated, prevented, or controlled by oil pulling, other conditions for which oil pulling might be useful include:
• Chronic sleepiness
• Liver disease
• Kidney disease
A survey conducted by an 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 of their diseases. 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 the people who had found oil pulling useful, revealed that it successfully cured the following diseases: allergies, coughs and common colds, gum diseases, dental caries, infections in the ear, nose, mouth, eyes, and throat, tooth pain, headache, neck pain, migraines, back pain, cracked lips, allergic sneezing, and fevers.
When to do oil pulling
Ayurveda recommends oil pulling first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) immediately after brushing your teeth.
How to do oil pulling
To use oil pulling, follow these steps:
After brushing your teeth, on an 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. White sputum indicates that you have done the procedure correctly.
Wash your mouth out thoroughly with water.
Drink a glass or two of water afterwards.
– 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 do swallow some oil. Sesame oil is edible. When swallowed, it is either digested or excreted naturally.
– If the colour of your sputum is yellow, it could mean that you have not held the oil in your mouth long enough, or that have used an amount greater than the recommended dosage. Alternatively, it could simply be cleaning up too much turmeric or saffron from your food, or be an indication from your liver, in which case, further investigation may be prudent.