Updated: Aug 28, 2018
It seems like every time I look in a magazine or on the internet there is an article on oil pulling! I’m always so excited when there is a buzz around Ayurvedic practices and the wonders of Ayurveda and thought it was part of my duty as an Ayurvedic consultant to give you the low down of this "new craze' from an Ayurvedic and personal perspective.
Oil has been used in Ayurveda for centuries to treat diseases and disorders of the mouth and is best done every morning as part of your daily routine.
Most of the literature you will find on the internet says to use coconut oil but the traditional oil is sesame. There are also specific herbal/medicated oils that an Ayurvedic Doctor would prescribe based on your dosha (natural constitution/body type) and Vikruti (current imbalances) but unless you have had a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor I suggest using pure organic sesame oil which has been cured (gently heated to 100C/210F and then cooled and stored in a glass container) Detailed instructions can be found here.
Be warned the first few times you put the oil in your mouth you will want to spit it our straight away as it’s not to greatest texture and taste to put into your mouth but after a few days you will have gotten used to it. Plus you will be so in love with the way it makes your mouth feel that you won’t care at all!
Here's what you do
Do it first thing in the morning before you have anything to drink or eat. I do it as I’m picking out what I’m going to wear, ironing my clothes or preparing my breakfast and lunch.
Start by scraping your tongue to remove as much ama (toxins) as you can but don’t rinse your mouth.
Place 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in your mouth.
Swish it around, suck it through your teeth in all directions, front to back, back to front and side to side.
After 10 - 20 minutes spit it out. I find 10 minutes enough sometimes longer sometimes shorter all depending on how I’m feeling and how much time I have.
Spit it into the bin. Don’t spit into the sink as oil can clog your pipes and it’s not good for the ocean either.
Rinse, gargle, blow your nose and brush your teeth.
Make sure you do not swallow the oil as it is full of toxins!!
It’s quite amazing how good my mouth feels after. It feels so clean and fresh and any morning breath has totally gone! The thing that really surprised me was how mush it clears your nasal passages. Even through the oil does not leave your mouth the process somehow lubricates the throat and nose. I always give my nose a good blow after I have finished and often cough up a small amount mucus especially now the weather has cooled.
Another benefit I have found is in winter my nose can become quite dry inside from heating systems but when I do my oil pulling it really helps to replace the lost moisture. So it’s extra super important to do in winter.
However, it’s not advisable to do oil pulling when you have a cold. Firstly you will not be able to breathe and secondly you want to dry the nasal passage, not moisten them, so best to drink lots of hot ginger and lemon tea and other heating remedies.
So there you have it! Happy oil pulling to you all!