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What Is Oil Pulling & Why Do It?

Oil Pulling on a Reg

Oil pulling is becoming an increasingly popular practice in America.  This blog will explain the origins and benefits of Oil Pulling as some may have heard of this practice but are unaware of the benefits.

Oil pulling is referenced in one of the main Ayurvedic texts, the Charaka Samhita.  This text recommends incorporating oil pulling on a daily basis in order to maintain and promote oral health.  Charaka Samhita refers to two different types of oil pulling: Gandusha, which involves filling your mouth completely with oil and holding it there; and Kavala Graha, which involves using a smaller amount of oil and swishing the oil between the teeth as well as gargling the oil so it reaches the back of the throat.  Traditionally, sesame oil (not toasted) has been referenced in the Vedas for this purpose.  However, I have noticed that many blogs recommend oil pulling with coconut oil. Out of respect for the divine wisdom of the Vedas, I personally use sesame oil for pulling.

So how is oil beneficial???

Well. . . our mouths accumulate a lot of bacteria in our sleep.  Oil is antimicrobial - meaning it kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. So, by oil pulling, you are reducing the bacteria that accumulates in your mouth.  It reduces plaque and leads to healthier teeth and gums and white teeth and pinker gums.  It also has been shown to decrease halitosis, which is responsible for bad breath.  One study even showed that oil pulling decreased levels of streptococcus mutans, which is a strain of bacteria that has been found to cause cavities.   Some will even go so far as to state that oil pulling may reverse cavities, however, this is not specifically referenced in the Vedas and it is unclear what studies have been performed in this respect.  In addition as Ayurveda recognizes the tongue as important in providing information as to a person's organ health and cleansing and treating the tongue is thought to bring balance to other parts of the body. Putting some of these other purported benefits aside, the studies showing that oil pulling has a positive impact on oral health is sufficient motivation for me to implement this in my daily routine.  

So how do you oil pull ???

Oil pulling is recommended upon rising and before you drink or eat anything. You can take a tablespoon of sesame oil (not toasted) and hold it in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes. Every so often (even 3 to four minutes), you can move the oil around your mouth to ensure it gets between your teeth and the back of your throat.  After 10 to 20 minutes, you can spit the sesame oil out. You will notice that it is a milky white substance.  [As a practical matter, be careful to dispose of the oil properly as continuous spitting of oil down the sink or toilet may clog pipes. You can spit dig a whole and spit it outside if you have private space.  Or, you can spit it in a container, keep it in the freezer, and dispose the container when it has filled up].  After you spit the oil out, rinse your mouth a few times with warm water to ensure that all of the oil and bacteria is out of your mouth. You can then proceed to brush your teeth.  

Please be sure to not oil pull for more than 20 minutes as extended oil pulling can cause  you to accidentally breathe oil into your lungs.

It is really not that bad???

For those who think they will not be able to stomach a mouthful of oil for 10 to 20 minutes, its really not that bad. I have been doing it for 3 years now.  My mouth feels exceptionally cleaner than it did before. On the rare occasion that I do not oil pull, I feel the difference in my mouth.  In addition, when I feel that I am about to get a cold/flu, I will oil pull a few times a day as a preventative measure. Once you experience how much cleaner your mouth feels, you will likely forget any discomfort that you think may accompany the oil pulling process.

En Light's Enhanced Pulling Oil??? 

En Light has come out with an enhanced pulling oil.  Utilizing traditional Ayurvedic methods to prepare this oil,  the enhanced pulling oil incorporates spices such as turmeric and cloves, which have additional benefits to oral hygiene.  Please contact us if you want to learn more.

Luv, peace and shanti


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