What Is Oil Pulling? Oil Pulling Therapy In Ayurveda
Oil pulling or oil swishing is an traditional remedy that have been in practice since a very long time about 5000 BCE, the way and process is mention in the Ayurveda literature called Charaka Samhita. It is an ancient literature that outlines the usefulness of this traditional Indian medicine for various ailments, it also include process on how to prevent tooth decay,bleeding gums, gums, strengthening of teeth and jaws and other ailments related to oral care such as dryness of throat, cracked lips and halitosis (oral malodor) .
Oil pulling is a therapy came from the ancient medical times and even today it is in practice. It include a various method such as rinsing or swishing with edible oil, to prevent and manage oral conditions related to tooth decay, gingivitis, halitosis, and xerostomia. It describes how a well refined plant oils such as sunflower, sesame, coconut oil and olive can be used.
The sesame oil is the most commonly oil used in this therapy due to its nutritional qualities, palatable taste and various health benefits.
Ayurvedic View On Oral Health
Ayurveda has described the detailed procedure of dental health care in the oldest book called Charaka Samhita and later in Sushruta Samhita. According to Ayurveda ( Shalyatantra and Shalakyatantra the branches of Ayurveda) there are 65 varieties of oral diseases described that can arise in seven anatomical locations such as 8 in the lips, 15 in the alveolar ridge , 8 in relation to the teeth , 5 in the language , 9 in the palate, 17 in the oropharynx and 3 in a generalized form .
In Ayurveda, dental health care is known as “swasthya tapir” it is a Sanskrit word .As per Ayurveda health care or medication is given as per the individualistic, varying with the constitution of each person known as “Prakriti”. The other factor like climatic changes, planetary influences like solar, lunar also affects the person’s body. It also describes that the constitution of the body are classified on the predominance of one or more of the three doshas known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The doshas dominance in the individual and nature’s determination is taken in consideration for health care in Ayurveda.
Oil Pulling is widely used as a remedy for the centuries for the prevention and cure of decay, oral malodor, for bleeding gums, throat dry, chapped lips and teeth strengthening, gums and jaw. Brushing is contraindicated in cases of indigestion, mouth ulcers, fever, those who tend to vomit and other ailments such as coughs, asthma. Oil Pulling is recommended to clean the oral cavity, which are usually done with oils such as sunflower oil, coconut oil or sesame oil.
Various Gums Diseases Described In Ayurveda
- Sheethada (scurvy, gingivitis)
- Dantha pupputaka (gingival abscess, periapical or dentoalveolar abscess)
- Dantha vestak (periodontal abscess)
- Upakusha (periodontitis)
- Dantha vydarbha (allergic gingivitis)
- Vardana (supernumerary tooth)
- Adhimamsa (pericoronitis)
- Saushira (anug)
- Mahashushira (cancrum oris, noma)
- Vataj dantha nadi (sinus, fistula, osteomylitis = dantha nadi)
- Pittaj dantha nadi
- Kaphaj dantha nadi
- Sannipathaj dantha nadi
Ayurvedic Remedies for Common Dental Problems
Tooth Decay: Tooth decay can be controlled by eating plenty of raw vegetables and eating the food rich in calcium. Make toothpaste mixed with turmeric, salt and mustard and rub a paste on the teeth and gums.
Bleeding Gums: A Sprig of neem, Babul and holy basil can be used for clean teeth and to stop bleeding. Make toothpaste mixed with Alum and mustard oil, massage the gums then rinse your mouth with water mixed with alum. Chewing guava leaves can also help’s stop bleeding, eat lots of green vegetables, citrus fruits and lemon.
Toothache: The spices such as clove oil, til and cinnamon can be very effective in preventing toothache. You can make remedy with a clove of garlic with pinch of pepper with rock salt. The other way is to take a paste of bark bay berry mixed with vinegar to relieve toothache. Various ailments related with oral complaints such as apthous ulcer, xerostomia, lichen planus, and can Bechet’ syndrome can also be treated by Ayurveda.
Way To Take Care Of Dental Health
For dental health care Ayurveda advocates for procedures such as oral prophylaxis, extractions, spin-offs, flap surgeries, etc. It also advocates the treatment of orofacial diseases, and recommends some therapeutic, preventive measure to maintain the oral health. Below are some procedures that are to be followed in day to day life for dental health.
1. Brushing (Dant Dhavani)
Ayurvedic texts recommended the chewing of sticks in the morning and after each meal can prevent oral diseases. Ayurveda describes various herbs that can be used for brushing it also specify that the stick must be approximately 9 inches long and the thickness should be about the size of a small finger. These herbs sticks should have properties and flavour such as “tikta” (bitter), “katu” (acrid), “kashaya” (astringent). The method described in it is that one should crush one end of the stick go chewing and brushing gradually, it also recommend using sticks from fresh plants.
The Various Plants Recommended For Brushing
- Neem (Neem or Azadirachta indica)
- Fresh stems of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Catechu Black/tree Cutch (Acacia catechu Linn.)
- Tree Arjuna (Termmalia Arjuna)
- Nut fever (Caesalipinia bouduc)
- Milkweed plant (Calotropis procera).
2.Tongue Scrapping (Jivha Lekhana)
Today in this modern world we use plastics or stainless steel tongue scrapers. Ayurveda strongly suggest the use of copper, silver or gold tongue cleaner for scraping the tongue. Tongue scraping motivates the reflex points of the tongue, helps to eliminate odor (halitosis), improves taste and stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes. It also helps to clean the growth of (approximately 500 varieties) bacteria. There is medical evidence that show’s that regular use of tongue scrapers can help to eliminate anaerobic bacteria, while decreasing the mouth odor.
3.Gargling/Oil Pulling (Gandoosha)
Oil pulling, is a procedure that involves swishing oil in the mouth for oral and dental health benefits. This therapy is very well described in the Ayurvedic text called Charaka Samhita, the chapter related to oral and dental called Kavala or Gandusha.
- In Gandush therapy the oral cavity is completely filled with a liquid ( coconut oil, olive or sesame oil ) it is kept for about 3-5 minutes and then Released.
- In Kavala Graha therapy a comfortable amount of liquid is filled in the mouth, it is closed for about 3 minutes, then gargle.
Tissue regeneration therapy is another important therapy described in Ayurveda.
- It helps to stabilize collagen production and strengthens the gum tissue (herbs like Cranberry and haw fruit are beneficial for it).
- It helps to strengthen (Asthi dhatu) the skeleton and joints that can benefit for the long term health of the teeth (herbs like Alfalfa Leaf, Cinnamon Bark and Turmeric Root are beneficial for it).
- It helps to rebuild the overall oral health (herbs like Amla or Amalaki are beneficial for it).
Today oral problems such as oral cancer, dental caries, and periodontal are consider the most fatal dental related diseases it is due to quality of life and poor oral health. The standard Western medicine also has little success in the prevention of the periodontal disease and it is expensive with adverse effects.
On the other hand natural way to deal with dental care is cheaper and is easy available home remedy, without any side effects. It is also claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases such as headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma. So patient awareness, knowledge about the safe use of Ayurvedic medicines is important.
The use of plants and herbs for dental care may be helpful in some common ailments but in fatal condition proper care must be taken. So one should get the experts’ advice for the proper care of dental problems to keeping on smiling forever.