Oil Pulling – A complete Guide

Oil Pulling - A complete Guide - featured

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice that helps improve oral hygiene. The world pulling refers to how the practice results in toxins being pulled from the mouth. It involves the use of an oil like coconut oil or sesame oil as a mouthwash. It is just like how you would use a commercial mouthwash. The difference is that instead of using a conventional water based mouthwash, you are using natural oil which is safer.

Oil pulling involves swishing the oil in your mouth. When you do this for a period of 15 minutes or more, the oil can remove or pull toxins from the teeth and gums. Once the swishing is complete, the oil needs to be spat out so that the toxins are eliminated. Practicing this regularly helps in improving not just oral hygiene but is good for the body in general. It is a safe practice that has been followed for many centuries and has helped people improve oral hygiene in a natural way.

Origin of the ritual

The origin of oil pulling can be traced back thousands of years ago to India. It is a practice recommended by the ancient Indian science Ayurveda. Ayurveda literally means the science of life. It is a wellness-based system that promotes good health through various practices. The Ayurvedic texts written by sages thousands of years ago have innumerable references to the benefits of Ayurvedic oil pulling.

Kavala Graha and Gandusha are oil pulling practices referred to in the ancient texts. Kavala Graha is an oil pulling method that involves using a small amount of oil for gargling. Gandusha recommends filling the mouth with oil and then gargling before spitting it out. These practices have helped ancient Indians improve their oral hygiene besides other key health benefits. It is a proven and time-tested practice that can help ensure wellness.

Oil Pulling - A complete Guide - oil

What happens during Oil Pulling?

Most dental problems are due to bacteria that feed on food particles lodged in your teeth. Bacteria can form a film on the teeth referred to as plaque. This can damage your teeth and cause gum problems and cavities. One of the benefits of it is that it ensures bacteria is pulled from all corners of the mouth and dissolves in the oil where they are eliminated. When you use oil like coconut oil, you should know that it is antimicrobial in nature and helps to kill bacteria.

It can activate enzymes in the saliva that absorb toxins. As the oil is swished in the mouth, it starts to emulsify. This creates a coating on the teeth, which can help prevent the growth of bacteria and thus prevent plaque formation. The nature of the oil used ensures that it is able to remove toxins. The oil must be spat out and should not be swallowed.

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Which oil is best ?

In fact, most Ayurvedic practitioners prefer sesame oil for oil pulling. Studies have shown sesame oil can be helpful in removing plaque. Sesame oil has a substance known as Chlorosesamone that is antifungal in nature. It has fatty acids that can help in eliminating bacteria and can also help in detoxification, which is why it is popularly used.

An Effective Oil Pulling Ritual

Oil pulling should ideally be done early in the morning as soon as you get up in empty stomach. This gives you the additional advantage of stimulating your taste buds, so you can enjoy breakfast better.

It can be done after your regular brushing of teeth. Some people prefer to brush after oil pulling. The choice is yours! Most practitioners advocate brushing followed by oil pulling.


  • Take one tablespoon of the oil and put it into your mouth. Take care to ensure that you don’t swallow it anytime during the process.
  • Swish the oil around your mouth. You can start with the left side and then move towards the right and then back. Swish to cover the teeth at the top and bottom. Ensure that you swish even behind the teeth. While swishing, the goal is to cover the entire mouth, so that the oil reaches all the teeth and the gums.
  • Swish the oil gently, there is no need to use force. Doing it forcefully can tire you and you may not be able to swish for a longer duration.
  • Initially, you can start swishing for 5 minutes and then gradually increase the duration. The ideal duration of oil pulling is 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t start with 15 minutes, since you will find it difficult to do it for such a long period straight away and may end up swallowing some of the oil.
  • After swishing, spit out the oil completely again taking care to avoid swallowing. Avoid spitting in the sink, since the oil can clog up the sink. You can spit in the toilet or in the trash can.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water for a few seconds to get rid of the oily sensation

Have you tried oil pulling, if Yes do drop your comment!

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