Oil pulling means swishing the oil in the mouth, pulling the oil through the teeth and slashing the oil around the gums. Similar procedure is mentioned in ayurveda texts 5000 years back by the name of ‘Gandusha’ and ‘Kavala’.
Gandusha and Kavala are traditional Ayurvedic practices under the context of daily regime (Dincharya) for maintaining oral hygiene and digestive health, as well as preventing and curing oral ailments. These can be performed by both healthy and diseased people. By exerting a cleansing action and enhancing the defence mechanism in the oral cavity, Gandusha/Kavala will help to maintain and promote oral hygiene. Depending on the person’s condition and intended therapeutic benefits, several medicated liquids such as decoctions, oils can be used.
Even though gandusha and kavala have the same benefits, the method to perform both procedures are slightly different. In gandusha, one must completely fill the oral cavity with liquid and swish it before spitting it out where as in kavala one need not to fill the oral cavity completely, vacant space should be there in order to perform swishing of the medication.
Gandusha is divided into four types-
Sneha Gandusha or Oleating Gandusha
Sodhana Gandusha or Purificatory Gandusha
Samana Gandusha or Therapeutic gandusha
Ropana Gandusha or Healing Gandusha
Oil pulling can be correlated with Sneha gandusha where medicated oil and ghee are used.
How to do Gandusha?
Take the desired quantity of medicated liquid to fill the mouth
Hold the liquid in mouth till watering from eyes or nose occur
Then swish the liquid inside the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it out. Gradually increase the time up to a maximum of 15 minutes
Rinse the mouth with warm water to remove the remaining liquid
Who can do Gandusha?
Any person above the age of 5 years can practice gandusha regularly.
हन्वोर्बलं स्वरबलं वदनोपचयः परः| स्यात् परं च रसज्ञानमन्ने च रुचिरुत्तमा||७८||
न चास्य कण्ठशोषः स्यान्नौष्ठयोः स्फुटनाद्भयम्| न च दन्ताः क्षयं यान्ति दृढमूला भवन्ति च||७९||
न शूल्यन्ते न चाम्लेन हृष्यन्ते भक्षयन्ति च| परानपि खरान् भक्ष्यांस्तैलगण्डूषधारणात्||८०||
(Charaka sutra 5/78-80)
Oil gargling improves jaw strength, voice strength, face plumpness/flabbiness, gustatory sensation, and meal flavour.
One does not experience throat dryness or the worry of having their lips chapped.
Teeth do not become carious; instead, they become firmly anchored, do not ache, are not set on edge by sour intake, and are strong enough to chew even the toughest foods. [78-80]
What to use for Gandusha?
For a healthy person – Sesame oil, coconut oil, honey water, cow’s ghee. The best would be organic cold press coconut oil.
For any one suffering from ailments- Different medicated liquids are used according to the dosha and condition of the patient