Oil pulling / Gandusha An Ancient Practice for maintaining oral hygiene
Beauty Health & Wellness

Oil pulling / Gandusha An Ancient Practice for maintaining oral hygiene – A review

Written by Anima Sur

In this article am trying to review and discuss this ancient practice of Ayurveda Gandusha . This is popular as Oil Pulling.

What is Oil Pulling           

Oil pulling is a type of medicine that originated in northern India centuries ago as a type of Ayurvedic practice. The goal of the ayurvedic system of medicine is health in a radiant state of increased vibrancy, health, energy, balance, and the detoxification of the body as a whole. Now doesn’t that sound great?

Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling can be helpful for various ailments including mouth and gum disease, stiff joints, allergies, asthma, high blood sugar, constipation, migraines, heart diseases, arthritis, insomnia, diabetes, and many more!

It helps to detoxify the body by removing heavy metals and other pollutants while also strengthening the immune system at the same time. Many people pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to visit detox centers and retreats in order to experience the same benefits you can have right at home.

Does Oil Pulling Work

Oil pulling is a fast-growing therapy that is in use all over the world today. Not only is it gets support by hundreds of personal testimonies and amazing reviews, but there are also several scientific studies that support many of its health benefits.

There are also books such as “The Coconut Oil Miracle” by Dr. Bruce Fife where documentation shows that oil pulling (specifically with coconut oil) promotes weight loss and protects against many conditions. Fife cites more than 80 peer-reviewed medical journals as evidence. So join the thousands who are already practicing and get in on the benefits today!

Oil Pulling Method or how to do Oil Pulling?

On an empty stomach (preferably in the morning before breakfast) put a tablespoon of oil into your mouth.

Make sure you never swallow the oil you are using for oil pulling as it contains many toxins from inside your body. Always spit it out when you are finished swishing.

Once the oil is in your mouth move it around slowly by rinsing, swishing and pulling it through your teeth. Do this for around fifteen to twenty minutes. You might need to work your way up to this because it can be very tiring at first.

Once you are finished swishing, spit the oil out into the trash. Do not use the sink, toilet, or bathtub to spit your oil into, because it can clog it. Just try to spit a mouth full of coconut oil into the toilet and see what happens.

You can do this method of oil pulling up to three times a day. It’s recommended you do it before you eat so that it’s on an empty stomach, this is probably because while you are digesting meals in your stomach, upwards of 60% of your energy goes towards the digestion process. This energy is important for clearing out toxins and healing the body from the inside.

Oil Pulling Side Effects

Oil pulling side effects, if you experience any, are due to the detoxification process in your body. Whenever you are trying to combat certain ailments and diseases, they sometimes fight back before they disappear for good. An example of this is in the treatment of acne. When you first start oil pulling your skin might look worse for a short period of time, once you pass this “stage” then you should notice nothing but improvements after that.

Gandusha –What Ayurveda has to say?

This Ayurvedic practice involves swishing oil in the oral cavity.

PROCEDURE or How to do Gandusha

Gandusha or oil pulling involves holding of medicated oil or decoction in the mouth cavity for quite a few minutes. The Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita mentions Kavala gandusha. Kavala refers to that which is in association with the oral cavity and gandusha is a gargle.
Gandusha assists in the method of pulling out oral toxins. Just as the skin expels body waste and toxins, the tongue removes toxins and harmful microbes from the body. The treatment involves putting 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swishing it for about 15- 20 minutes. Preference is on an empty stomach, which is best to pull out all kinds of built-up toxins from the mouth and the body.

What happens during Gandusha or Oil Pulling?

Swishing activates the enzymes in the oral cavity. This enzyme stimulation draws toxins out of the blood into the oil. It is important to understand that during the oil-pulling/swishing process one’s metabolism is strengthened. This leads to improved health. To quicken the healing process, perform three times a day, but always before meals on an empty stomach.


  • Strong gums.
  • Prevents tooth cavities.
  • No bleeding during teeth cleaning.
  • Fastening of loose teeth.
  • Teeth Whitening.
  • Improves strength of lower jaw and chin.
  • Improving the quality of speech, voice.
  • Increases strength of face.
  • Upsurges liking towards food.
  • Improves senses of taste.
  • Cures dry lips, thirst.

INDICATION for starting Oil Pulling or Gandusha

  • Headache.
  • Ear ailments.
  • Eye diseases.
  • Unnecessary salivation.
  • Throat problems.
  • Thirst.
  • Anorexia.
  • Chronic sinusitis.

KAVALAM Another Ritual Mentioned in the Ayurveda

Kavalam is one of the everyday morning routines practiced in Ayurveda. Usually after brushing teeth to preserve good oral hygiene. The traditional choice is sesame oil, which is to be swirled gently inside the mouth cavity for a definite period of time. After which it is spat out when the oil becomes thicker in consistency. Each part of the tongue is in connection with meridians representing different internal organs. Kavalam soothes and stimulates these meridians that benefit the matching organ.

Oil Pulling with Sesame Oil


Kavalam increases the voice quality and brings a glow to the face. It is beneficial to the ear, nose, and throat, strengthens teeth, gums and jaws, and removes wrinkles. This therapy is highly effective for diseases of the jaw, allergies, respiratory problems, indigestion, constipation, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Introduction to oil pulling for teeth

One of the most felt benefits by those who try oil pulling for a few days or weeks are the effects on your teeth. While it takes months to see other healthy impacts on the rest of your body in healing deeper injuries, the changes on your teeth will be almost immediate.

No more bad breath

Some people struggle with bad breath despite brushing their teeth in the morning. It can turn into a serious problem that will drop your personal confidence. However, oil pulling has helped a lot of people overcome that problem and even cure it. The oil when used with pulling methods successfully destroys all of the harmful bacteria and gases that are created in your mouth. It’s better than using a mouthwash.

Good-bye plaque – hello white teeth!

One of the favorite benefits of oil pulling is the effects on the plaque buildup many people have on their teeth from years of poor brushing and eating habits. Oil pulling, specifically sesame oil pulling works exceptionally well at reducing and breaking away that plaque, no matter how long it has been there. You will start to notice results as little as 2 to 3 weeks into treatment.

Some Popular FAQ

  1. Oil Pulling Is the New Flossing (Prevent Tooth Decay, Cavities, Kills Bad Breath & More!)

As per the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, for example, emphasised a study that reviewed holistic approaches to oral health . They learnt that oil pulling is one of the most effective natural health solutions known to scientists that prevent tooth decay and loss. ( ) Acclaimed for curing more than 30 systemic diseases, the writers of this study have some profound things to say about this ancient natural healing practice: Oil pulling is a dominant detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that has lately become very popular as a CAM remedy for many different health ailments.

How dental professionals views ‘oil pulling’ patients

Now people know that this ancient healing therapy has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years. Practitioners believe that the oil pulls out toxins, which are known as ‘ama’ in Ayurvedic medicine.

Oil pulling is to remove toxins and stimulate saliva production.

Again Some studies suggest that oil pulling may decrease harmful pathogens in oral cavity, prevent plaque formation and improve both gum health and oral cleanliness.

The recommend oil pulling (with a tablespoon of coconut oil/sesame oil) three to four times per week. Some also suggest adding essential oils to your mixture.

Interesting Facts related to Brushing

Though some oil pulling advocates say it can be used in its place of tooth brushing, many say it should be used together with regular dental hygiene practices. To date, there is no evidence of it as an alternative to tooth brushing.

Don’t miss brushing and flossing. “Oil pulling should never substitute routine dental visits and traditional home oral care, It doesn’t alter the effects of tooth decay, but it’s a great supplemental therapy.

Whitening teeth: there is no scientific indication to confirm that oil pulling can whiten teeth, circumstantial evidence advocates it may clear stains from the teeth.

Note of Caution

Always follow your dentist’s suggested dental regimen, and only start alternative therapies like oil pulling after conversation with your dentist.

Are Kavala and Gandusha Same?

The terms cited in the Ayurvedic text Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita as ‘Kavala Graha’ or ‘Kavala Gandoosha’.

Gandusha and Kavala Graha are old-style pulling practices that have dissimilar processes.

In Gandoosha mouth is entirely filled with oil such that gargling is difficult whereas in Kavala Graha comfortable lesser amounts of oil is used such that gargling is possible.

About the author

Anima Sur

A health Blogger. "Take care of the whole, and the part will take care of itself". This is the essence of Yogic Wellness- keeping the whole being healthy.

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