What is Ayurvedic Oil Pulling?
The world of oral care has significantly shifted towards more natural and holistic practices in recent years. One such practice that has gained popularity is Ayurvedic oil pulling.
This ancient technique, rooted in the rich history of Ayurveda, has been used for thousands of years to maintain oral health and hygiene. Let's explore the origin of Ayurveda, the practice of oil pulling, and its numerous benefits for our overall health.
Origin of Ayurveda
Ayurveda, an Indian natural system of medicine, originated more than 3,000 years ago. Stemming from the Sanskrit words for life (ayur) and science (veda), Ayurveda translates to the knowledge of life.
With the ultimate goal of restoring balance between mind, body, spirit, and the environment, Ayurveda employs natural therapies and specific lifestyles. It operates on the belief that disease results from imbalances or stressors affecting one's consciousness.
The history of Ayurveda can be traced back to ancient India, where accomplished masters taught it to their disciples. Some of this knowledge eventually became written texts over the years. Today, Ayurveda has influenced other natural healing systems, such as homeopathy, and is widely practiced worldwide.
Ancient Ayurvedic Oral Care
So, where does Ayurveda fit into oral care? Practices involving oil are included in the classic Ayurvedic texts, and Indians have used oil for millennia for many things, like pain reduction and even reversing heart disease.
The Sanskrit word panchakarma deals with some of these oil practices. The word means “five actions” and includes techniques to rid the body of toxins. When it comes to our mouths, however, ancient Ayurveda has presented the world with gundusha and kavala.
Gundusha is the word used to describe a practice of filling the mouth with oil and holding it. On the other hand, kevala means to fill the mouth with oil and swish it around the mouth so that it moves around the gums, teeth, and tongue. Both are important and beneficial Ayurvedic practices.
Our mouths are full with about 700 species of bacteria which are coated in a lipid (fat) membrane. When exposed to the fats in the oil, the bacteria binds and is released from your body when you spit it out. Say buh bye to all those nasties your mouth absorbs through the foods we eat and the environments we live in!
Ayurvedic Oil Pulling Benefits
Oil pulling is an age-old Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing oil, typically coconut oil, in the mouth for an extended period to promote oral health. It has gained popularity recently due to its numerous benefits and the increasing interest in natural health practices.
Some of the key benefits of Ayurvedic oil pulling include:
Oil pulling can help to eliminate the buildup of bacteria, one of the main causes of halitosis or bad breath. It works as effectively as chlorhexidine gluconate (a germicidal mouthwash) to eliminate bacteria. Unlike the latter, however, coconut oil isn’t a scary-sounding chemical, won’t stain teeth, doesn’t leave an after-taste, and won’t produce an allergic reaction that may be life-threatening(!!).
Healthy teeth and gums
Oil pulling can help remove bacteria contributing to tooth decay and gingivitis. Regular practice has significantly reduced markers of gingivitis and inflammation, promoting healthier teeth and gums. Bacteria, particularly Streptococcus mutans (S. Mutans), greatly contribute to tooth decay. Not only is oil pulling for gums effective, but it’s also soothing, too.
Not to mention those bad bacteria again, but the bacteria in our mouth can affect our entire body. In fact, oil pulling can help to cure more than thirty systemic diseases if it’s practiced regularly!
By ridding our mouths (and bodies) of toxins and dangerous bacteria, oil pulling can help prevent serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, and endocarditis.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that oil pulling can support healthy sinuses by reducing bacteria in the nasal passage and surrounding tissues, potentially preventing sinus infections and alleviating allergy symptoms.
Oil pulling teeth whitening—what’s this all about? As if we even need another reason to swish with oil every morning, whiter teeth are yet another perk. Coconut oil can remove surface stains, making your pearly whites even whiter.
How To Oil Pull
The technique of oil pulling involves filling the mouth with oil and swishing it around so that it moves around the gums, teeth, and tongue. To practice oil pulling, simply follow these steps:
- Choose a high-quality oil-pulling solution, such as Terra & Co’s Brilliant Black Oil Pulling mouthwash, which combines the natural healing benefits of coconut oil with activated charcoal teeth-whitening powers.
- Start with a small amount of oil (approximately one tablespoon), and adjust the quantity based on your comfort level.
- Swish the oil around your mouth, ensuring it reaches all areas, including your teeth, gums, and tongue. Do this for at least 10-20 minutes, ideally first thing in the morning before eating or drinking.
- Spit the oil into a trash can or a paper towel. Avoid spitting it into the sink, as it can cause clogs.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining oil residue.
- Brush your teeth as usual, preferably using an Ayurvedic toothpaste such as Brilliant Black toothpaste which is crafted with ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils.
Blending Modern Medicine and Ayurvedic Practices
Today, more health practitioners and people worldwide are embracing Ayurvedic practices. Ayurveda has also influenced many health and wellness practices, incorporating its principles into alternative medicine practices focusing on whole-body healing.
Insights from Ayurveda's history and origin can be used to establish daily routines that promote balance and harmony. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend aligning oneself with the cycles of the sun, as our daily routines, or dinacharya, are essential for maintaining good health.
A balanced morning routine inspired by Ayurveda may look like:
- Waking with the sun (ideally 10-15 minutes before sunrise)
- Drinking warm water with lemon early in the morning to restore hydration and stimulate digestion, loosening and expelling toxins
- Flushing toxins out by showering, practicing tongue scraping and oil pulling, and using a Neti pot
These Ayurveda-inspired routines not only help regulate our circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, but also support our nervous system by decreasing stress and reducing inflammation.
Experience the Benefits with Terra & Co's Brilliant Black Mouthwash
In conclusion, Ayurvedic oil pulling offers numerous benefits for oral health and overall well-being. Incorporating this ancient practice into your daily routine allows you to experience fresher breath, healthier teeth and gums, detoxification support, and even teeth whitening.
Give Terra & Co's Brilliant Black Oil Pulling mouthwash a try and see the results for yourself. With its unique blend of coconut oil, activated charcoal, and peppermint oil, you'll be on your way to a healthier, more radiant smile in no time.