|3500 years ago, a powerful detox practice was born in the heart of India. Vedic folk healers learned that swishing a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth not only eliminates bad breath and makes the teeth stronger, but seems to speed up the body’s recovery from a number of major illnesses and promotes longevityThis method is known as “kavala graha” by Hindu mystics, but seekers in the western world now know it as as oil pulling.In Ayurveda, one of the major schools of traditional medicine, they say that oil pulling is highly therapeutic for many systemic diseases. The technique is touted as a panacea, or cure-all.
So, how does it work? What makes swishing oil so medicinal?
There are a number of studies on oil pulling. One such study from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) states that: “Oil pulling activates salivary enzymes which absorb toxins such as chemical toxins, bacterial toxins and environmental toxins from the blood… Thus, oil pulling detoxifies and purifies the entire human body.”
As it is swished around your mouth, the lipids (or fatty acids) in the oil naturally extract these potentially harmful substances from your teeth, gums and saliva glands.
In Ayurvedic medicine the mouth is considered to be a “mirror” for the entire body, and when something is out of balance in the oral cavity, a Vedic healer will tell you there is most likely an illness brewing elsewhere in your system as well.
As with everything in the world of folk-medicine, the best way to approach oil pulling is to try it in moderation.
A Simple Technique for Oil Pulling:
#1 Place a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth.
#2 Swish in mouth, forcing through all teeth and across all areas of your gums. (Really aim to get the oil into every nook and cranny of your mouth. This is very important. Billions of microorganisms dwell in the oral cavity, and the mouth is the start of digestion.)
#3 Perform this for 5-20 minutes, ideally before breakfast daily.
#4 Spit the oil outdoors or in a rubbish bin, not the sink. This avoids the risk of clogging your drain.
*For faster healing and recovery, do this before every meal or 3 times per day.
For those beginning this process, swishing for 20 minutes is daunting and nearly impossible without incident. Start off with 5 minute sessions and gradually build to 20 continuous minutes. If your jaw starts to cramp or hurt, simply stop. This isn’t a competition – do what feels right for you, at your own pace.
The first time is the most difficult. After that, it’s like going to the gym and you develop muscles you never knew you had.
*Again, it’s very important that you spit the oil out afterward. DO NOT swallow it, as it has now pulled unwanted substances from your body.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and effective against Strep, Candida and Staph. It’s also an antiseptic and makes for a wonderful cut cleaner.
The effects of oil pulling are often noticeable in as little as 7-10 days. But like all things on the healing path, patience and discipline are key factors here.
If you’re looking for a widely embraced natural method for detoxifying the body, whitening the teeth and keeping your mouth fresh, this is certainly something to try out!