Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. Ayurvedic medicine is not widely studied as part of conventional (Western) medicine. Many Ayurvedic practices predate written records and were handed down by word of mouth. Three ancient books known as the Great Trilogy (Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga Hridaya) were written in Sanskrit more than 2,000 years ago and are considered the main texts on Ayurvedic medicine. Key concepts of Ayurvedic medicine include universal interconnectedness (among people, their health, and the universe), the body’s constitution (prakriti), and life forces (dosha), which are often compared to the biologic humors of the ancient Greek system. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. It’s a simple practice, with quite remarkable results. Many have heard of it, but have never actually dove in to try it. It definitely has a mystical and exciting vibe around it. But what exactly is it? What does it do?
To oil pull, simply swish your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth; similar to the way you would use a mouthwash. Some oils that can be used for oil pulling is coconut oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. This can be done anywhere from five to 20 minutes. The process attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in your mouth or lymph system; and also pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses which is amazing! With the help of your saliva, all these scary undesirables bind with the oil, ready to be disposed of. Pulling also helps re-mineralize your teeth and strengthen your gums by thoroughly cleansing the area. This sounds good, right?
To start, scoop ½ to 1 full tablespoon of oil into the mouth; if it’s cold, allow the oil to melt. Now push, swirl, and pull the oil between your teeth, around your gums, and allow it to touch every part of your mouth except your throat. You don’t want the oil getting in contact with your throat because it’s now carrying somewhat toxic material. No gargling! Have fun with it, though! Hum a little song, or practice deep breathing through your nose. Allow this to be a sacred time. Once your time pulling is over, spit into the trash or toilet, but never the sink. The oil could solidify and clog your drain. Now rinse your mouth out with clean water two or three times. Finally, drink a glass of water and relax. You should be feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
Why oil pull? A popular reason for oil pulling is to find relief from congestion in the sinuses and throat. It is unbelievable how quickly this happens! Immediately after rinsing, you will find yourself blowing your nose and clearing your throat. Oil pulling also strengthens the gums and makes teeth become whiter. Other benefits of oil pulling are clearer skin (making it more clear and also bright and glowing) and boosting of the immune system.