Traditional Ayurvedic Technique Now Fashionably known as ‘Oil Pulling’

Ayurvedic Oil Pulling

Ayurvedic Oil Pulling

This ancient traditional technique of Ayurveda know as ‘gandusha’ has been recently commonly brought to light  as Oil Pulling. A practice which has been a health ritual in India for over 5000 years.

As the oil is retained in the mouth, it mixes with the saliva becoming thinner in consistency and white in colour. This subtly draws toxins from the local area and the blood by the enzymatic stimulation and lipophilic action, collecting all the accumulated fat soluble toxins ready for expulsion beyond in the mouth and beyond. If the oil is still yellow it could indicate that the pulling needs to be done for longer. Cured sesame is widely used in Ayuveda for this and numerous other treatments for it therapeutic actions on the body.

The Benefits

The health benefits for using this technique are plentiful. Here are a few of to get you thinking:

  • Brilliant for oral healthcare, preventing gum disease, cavities, firmly rooted teeth, heals bleeding gums, prevents sensitivity of the teeth and tooth aches.
  • Keeps breath freshen by removing local toxins
  • Pulls toxins and removed mucous from the mouth, throat and head
  • Improved taste and digestive metabolism
  • prevents dryness in mouth & throat
  • Invokes a clearer mind, reduces headaches
  • Helps keep sinuses clear and healthy
  • Strengthens jaw and voice

Try it for yourself:

Do this technique in the morning before Breakfast and on empty stomach.

After brushing teeth, and using a tongue scrapper. Take a table spoon or body temperature cured sesame oil or coconut oil. Retain in the mouth swooshing gently from side to side for 10-12 minutes and then expel the oil. Simple, easy, inexpensive, harmless and effective.

please note: this used should not be swallowed as it has become laced with toxins

Reference: Charaka Samhita. Ch 5. V78 -80 (Ayurvedic classical text)

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The Ayurvedic Perspective of Gastritis

Gastritis, otherwise known as urdhvaga amlapitta in ayurveda is an inflammatory condition of the mucous membrane and glands of the stomach. Pitta types are more prone to this conditions and it is a vitiation of the pitta dosha where stomach acids such as Hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes secreted by the stomach become inflamed and results in the increase of these liquid secretions leading to indigestion and symptoms such as, loss of appetite, nausea, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, abdominal pain, heartburn coated tongue, foul breath, increased salivation, sour belching, irritable bowels.

The typical root causes could include, excessive intake of alcohol, strong tea/coffee, sauces, vinegars, anger, worry, grief, strong drugs such as NA

In managing and treating this condition it is advised to avoid the causative factors such as alcohol, spicy and sour foods, fried foods, yoghurts, pickles, chutneys, chocolate, caffeine, smoking, stress, aspirin. Do increase intake of boiled milk, vitamin C (not from oranges), rice and dahl, kitchari, ghee, bitter gourd, pomegranate, barley, wheat, honey.

A panca karma approach would consider a purgation treatment to eliminate the excess pitta dosha out if the body. In terms of herbs there are various options depending on the type of condition that prevails and these can include simple herbs such as yasti madhu (liquorice), Shatavari (asparagus racemosus) and Amla (Emblica officinalis) amongst other specialist compounds.

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An Orally Good Ritual …

ImageEver since I was a young child growing up closely with my grandparents, I picked up some age-old traditions and one of which was using a tongue scraper after brushing my teeth morning and night. I thought it was perfectly normal until I realised that none of my western friends used it! So out of embarrassment, I stopped for a short period and my routine felt really incomplete; so what was the purpose of a tongue scraper, and why was I brought up using one? Well bacteria does not just accumulate on our teeth, on the contrary, what about the rest of our oral cavity? our gums and tongue, and throat for that matter?

Overnight bacteria and toxins (ama) build up and are deposited on the tongue from the process of digestion. It has been suggested that various types of digestive and respiratory problems can result from the ingestion and reabsorption of this waste material that should rather be expelled from the body.

Cleaning the surface of the tongue is an important part of daily oral hygiene along with brushing, flossing the teeth and retaining oil in the mouth (sometimes referred to as oil pulling). Gently scraping the tongue from the back to the front first thing in the morning can reduce the accumulation of toxic and bacterial substances which can lead to bad breath and disturbed digestion. This quick and easy ritual can eliminate the white or sometimes yellow coating found on the tongue as well as enhance the function of taste buds which stimulates the oral enzymes (the key sensory organ in digestion). According to Ayurveda, a healthy tongue should be pink in colour and free from any coating. Our tongue is the guidebook of our digestion, it can really tell us what is going on in there.

So next time you wake up to brush your teeth, check out your tongue too, is there stickiness or a coating? Maybe it’s time to add a tongue scraper to your routine.