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Last Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Oil Pulling - The Ancient Ayurvedic Daily Practise!

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Dr. Sreedevi NvAyurvedic Doctor • 9 Years Exp.Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), DYHE, Nutrition Certification
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Ayurveda, the ancient saga of life advocates healthy lifestyle in its core principles. 

Dinacharya, the daily regimen explained by acharya vagbhata in the text astanga hridaya describes oil pulling by the names of gandusha and kabala as procedures to maintain a healthy oral cavity and body as a whole. 

Gandusha is holding the medicinal decoction or oil in the oral cavity for a specified duration of time, whereas, kabala is same as the gargling procedure we do occasionally. 

Gandusha based on its therapeutic benefits is of four types:-

  •  Snigdha gandusha 
  •  Samana gandusha 
  •  Sodhana gandusha 
  •  Ropana gandusha 

Snigdha gandusha - the word snigdha is originated from' sneha' meaning to provide unctousness, vata dosha having dry, rough qualities is pacified by smooth, unctous taila /ghrta used here. 
Medicines having unctous quality and hot potency are used for snigdha gandusha. 

Samana gandusha - the word samana means to pacify the aggravated doshas, mainly pitta and rakta having heat as quality. 
Therefore, for pacifying these doshas, drugs having sweet taste and cold potency are used. 

Sodhana gandusha - the word sodhana means to expel out vitiated doshas out of the body. Drugs having acrid, sour, salty tastes and hot penetrating properties are made into decoction form and used to achieve sodhana. Mainly vitiated kapha dosha having cold, heavy nature is expelled out through sodhana gandusha. 

Ropana gandusha - the word ropana means healing, especially wound healing. Bitter drugs are used to achieve wound healing faster in this type of gandusha. 

For daily use, sesame oil can be used for oil pulling. This strengthens the teeth, gum and jaw bone. This when daily practised ensures overall healthy oral cavity.  For loose teeth, sensitive teeth and other diseases of the oral cavity, caused due to vata vitiation, lukewarm or cold water mixed with paste of sesame seed is used.  In mouth ulcer, gum diseases, burn like injuries, oil pulling is to be done with ghee or milk which pacifies pitta and it's hotness.  In case of mouth ulcers and to reduce burning sensation, thirst and to cleanse the oral cavity, honey is used. 

Who all should do oil pulling? 
Those having diseases pertaining to head, neck, eyes, ears, oral cavity are eligible for oil pulling treatment. Specifically useful in cases of mouth and tongue ulcers, tonsillitis, throat pain, laryngitis, gum inflammation etc. 

When to do oil pulling? 
Oil pulling can be done in the day time, preferably morning time after cleaning the teeth, voiding of urine and faeces. 

How to do oil pulling? 
Abhyanga, oil massage is done on the face and neck of the patient in supine position and then mild swedana, fomentation is given by wiping the area with a hot cloth. 

The patient is then allowed to sit on a knee high chair. The medicated oil is heated to a degree slightly more than room temperature so that he can withstand when poured in oral cavity. This is done by placing the oil in a small vessel which is kept in hot water. The quantity of oil retained can be half of the mouth or less than that depending on the therapeutic effect needed.  The oil should be kept in the mouth undisturbed until secretions of mouth, nose and eyes get released out. After appearance of these symptoms, the oil can be spit out. The oil should not be swallowed.  After this procedure, depending on the dosha vitiation, mouth is to be washed with hot or cold water. 

Medicines used for oil pulling includes tips taila, the sesame oil, arimedadi taila, meat essence, milk, honey, water mixed with alkali, hot water, triphala kasaya. 

Kabala, also can be done in similar situations and cases except the procedure. 
Procedure of kabala includes gargling and moving of medicine content in mouth in between throat and cheeks.

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