Oil pulling is an act of swishing oil in the mouth for about 20 minutes with the purpose of improving oral health. It is an old remedy that is mostly used in Ayurvedic medicine and it uses natural substances to detoxify and clean teeth and gums and can even whiten teeth. It is also beneficial in fighting harmful bacteria in the gum, helping prevent diseases and cavities. The most common oils that are used are coconut, sesame, olive, palm or sunflower. Oil pulling which is also known as Gundusha or Kavala Graha started thousands of years ago in India and it was introduced in the United States by Doctor F. Karach in 1992 where he used it to the success of his medical practice. He claimed that it could cure a lot of illnesses ranging from digestive disorders and heart diseases to hormonal disturbances.
When you swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, you must spit it out. Often people prefer to oil pull whist showering as it is easy to dispose of the oil in the shower. It works by sticking to the bacteria in your mouth and killing them in the process. The oil is kept in the mouth long enough until it turns a milky white colour. The changing of colour gives us a good indication that bacteria has been pulled out. Most people will prefer using coconut oil because it contains lauric acid in it which is responsible for whooping the bacteria in the mouth and it has antimicrobial effects which inhibits the Streptococcus mutants.
The benefits of oil pulling include:
1. Promotes dental hygiene
Oil pulling is useful for eliminating bad breath (halitosis) and reducing tooth cavities as it removes the Streptococcus mutant and other organisms in the mouth. It also helps prevent plaque-induced gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums.
2. Whitens teeth
It cleans and brightens teeth because the oil that is used in pulling has natural antibiotic and antiviral properties hence keeping them pearly white.
3. It detoxifies the body
The mouth is the gateway of germs which enter the body and cause inflammation, hence leading to illness and diseases. When you oil pull, you are removing toxins at the source before they get a chance to spread.
4. It boosts the immune system
Oil pulling removes toxins in the mouth before entering the body, hence the immune system isn’t compromised. The immune system also doesn’t have to use a lot of energy to remove toxins from the body and therefor one is left with a lot of energy.
5. Reduces headaches
Headaches and migraines do occur when the body is under toxic stress so when you oil pull; you eliminate bacteria from the body avoiding headaches.
6. Keeps skin clear and smooth
When you remove toxins from the body, it means that they don’t find a way into the blood stream and then skin a chance to shine. Skin issues and rashes clear completely when you oil pull.
7. Balances hormones
Hormones in the body do behave and function to their level best if there are no foreign substances in the body which could cause them to go off balance.