Detox your body naturally and reverse gum disease with this ancient Ayurvedic technique!
In Vedic times, healers — usually yogis — discovered that swishing a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth would not only eliminate bad breath and make the teeth stronger, but seemed to speed up the body’s recovery from a number of major illnesses, as well as promoting longevity. Today, seekers in the western world now know it simply as “oil-pulling.”
In Ayurveda, it is believed that oil pulling is highly therapeutic for over 30 systemic diseases. In fact, THIS technique is touted as a panacea, or ‘cure-all’ by many Ayurvedic practitioners. Dr. F. Karach, MD., is said to be the man that brought oil pulling to the western world, claiming that it could cure numerous illnesses. Whether or not oil pulling can cure all of the diseases Dr. Karach mentions, there are certainly great benefits to be had by incorporating it into your health routine.
Bruce Fife, a naturopathic doctor and author of Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing, says that, “The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris.”
Plaque is not water-soluble, it’s fat-soluble! So, the oil in your mouth binds with the ‘amma’ (toxins) in your mouth and you spit out the oil along with the toxins.
Fife goes on to say, “As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.”
If you’re looking for a totally natural method for detoxifying the body, whitening your teeth and keeping your mouth clean and fresh, this is certainly something to try out – bearing in mind the cautions below.
How to ‘oil pull’ (overview)
You simply put approximately one tablespoon of ordinary cooking oil in your mouth and swish and chomp the oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes – and then spit it out. Germs are soaked up by the oil, so make sure you do NOT swallow it. Rinse your mouth with water, and then brush your teeth (with fluoride free toothpaste). It sounds quite revolting to Western minds but this procedure, when performed daily, can work wonders of your health!
Oil Pulling Instructions (detailed)
- Do this first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth, eating or drinking. The best way is to take a shower for 10 minutes and then carry on for another 5-10 as you get ready for your day ahead.
- Put the oil in your mouth, tilt your chin up and slowly swish, suck, chomp and pull through the teeth. (Hence the name)
- Do this for at least 10 minutes. 15 – 20 minutes is better. You want the oil to become a thin, white foam when you finally spit it out. If it’s still yellow (assuming you are using sesame or sunflower oil), you haven’t done it long enough.
- The intention is that toxins are drawn out of your body and into the oil. So… once again… don’t swallow the OIL!
- You can do this two more times during the day if you want to detox faster. Make sure you do it on an empty stomach as most people feel sick the first time they try it. They have a gag reflex.
- If you are going to do this later in the day make sure that you have not eaten in the last 2 hours.
- Spit it out in the bin when your mouth is full and rinse your mouth out well. Don’t spit it out down your sink. It can clog the drain!
- You need to make sure that you drink at least a full glass of water after you brush your teeth.
Let me say it one more time: DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL. It now contains parasites and bacteria – in concentrated form!
DO NOT GARGLE IN THE THROAT. THE OIL IS MEANT TO BE SWISHED IN THE MOUTH ONLY.
The science behind oil pulling.
There are a number of good studies on oil pulling including 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.
Top tip! Try a surgical grade tongue scraper!
The tongue is heavy with toxins in the morning, when you wake up, and also last thing at night before you go to bed. These are the times that you want to scrape your tongue. An ordinary toothbrush won’t do because it will just push the slimy film of toxins deeper into the tongue.
Try it and see!
If you’re just starting out, swishing oil for 20 minutes can be a daunting and nearly impossible task, so start off with just 5 minutes, and build up to 20 continuous minutes.
The effects of oil pulling are often noticeable in as little as 7-10 days.
However, like all things on the healing path, patience and discipline are key factors in getting the results you want. Whilst Ayurveda touts this as a ‘cure all’, I would say you need to take a holistic approach and look at your total health habits – if you want to increase your energy and overall health, you must improve your diet, smoke and drink less (if you indulge), exercise more regularly, practise pranic breathing in nature/fresh air and so on.