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This Ayurvedic ritual is said to prevent disease, purge toxins, whiten teeth and clear up acne.
An ancient Ayurvedic ritual dating back over 3,000 years, oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” is a dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for around 20 minutes. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.
With the mouth playing home to millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins, the oil acts like a cleanser, pulling out the nasties before they get a chance to spread throughout the body. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque and microorganisms that cause bad breath, while also helping to whiten teeth, increase overall energy, aid hormonal changes, keep the skin clear, detoxify the body and reduce headaches.
The concept is incredibly simple. You swish a couple teaspoons of a vegetable based oil (coconut, sesame or olive) in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out and rinses well. Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, though it can be done before each meal if needed for more severe infections or dental problems.
20 minutes of swishing is a long time, and while the longer you pull, the more bacteria you’ll remove, 5 or 10 minutes will still offer some benefit. Also, if your jaw starts aching a few minutes in, slow down – a gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through the teeth is all that’s required. Also, we don’t recommend spitting the oil down the sink as it could clog your pipes. Just discard the used oil into the nearest wastebasket.
If you are looking to buy organic coconut oil, check out our favorite Liha oil here.
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