Oil Pulling: Everything You Need To Know

Oil Pulling: Everything You Need To Know

Pooja Maheshwary

Oil pulling is an ancient dental practice also known as kavala or gundusha, in which edible oil is swished around the mouth on an empty stomach for 7 to 10 minutes and then spit out exactly like a mouthwash to promote oral hygiene. Celebs like Anushka Sharma, Jacqueline Fernandes, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Shilpa Shetty among others have been known to oil pull.

So, we reached out to Nutritionist Ruchi Sharma, Founder of Eat Fit Repeat, and asked her to share her expert insights on this practice. Ruchi says,

It is basically believed to be associated with traditional Indian medicine system, that is, Ayurveda. Oil pulling detoxifies and purifies the entire body as it activates salivary enzymes which absorb toxins from the blood and remove from the body through the tongue.

Read on to know all that Ruchi shared about this ancient dental practice!

How does one oil pull?

Oil pulling can be done on an empty stomach by swirling edible oil in your mouth for 7-10 minutes and then spitting it out. The specific oil is basically pulled through teeth and mouth. You do not need to brush your teeth before oil pulling but it needs to be followed by brushing your teeth to ensure that all of the toxins are drawn out of the mouth.


What are some of the oils that can be used?

Oil pulling can be done using various edible oils such as coconut oil, sesame seed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and palm oil. One can get the same microbe fighting benefits from sesame seed and sunflower oil, however, coconut is often preferred due to its lauric acid content that is known for its anti-microbial properties.

How many days does one need to oil pull?

Oil pulling can be done on a daily basis as there's no specific limit for oil pulling to be effective. It is recommended to swish the oil around your mouth for 7 to 10 minutes or until the oil turns milky white which indicates that bacteria has been pulled out of the mouth.

What is the history of oil pulling?

Oil pulling has evolved from the traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine system whose practitioners use sunflower oil or other herbal oils instead of coconut oil for oil pulling. It is believed to treat more than thirty systemic diseases when practiced regularly and as prescribed. It's an Ayurvedic therapy for maintaining oral hygiene.  Organic oils such as sunflower oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil work by pulling the bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from the oral cavity. This way it helps in the purification and detoxification of the entire body.


How does one absorb the nutrients from oil?

Our tongue is connected to various organs such as the kidneys, lungs, heart, gut, etc. Oil pulling is believed to be effective in the excretion of heavy metals and toxins through saliva. Oil pulling stimulates salivary enzymes that absorb different toxins such as bacterial toxins, environmental toxins, and chemical toxins from the body removed through the tongue. This is how oil pulling helps in the detoxification and purification of the mouth and other body organs. Oil pulling produces antioxidants that damage the cell walls of microbes and kill them.

What are a few homegrown brands that sell these oils?

Trikuta Oils Jammu and Green Sense Organics are a couple of such brands.

How does oil pulling improve immunity?

Oil pulling is recently gaining popularity not only for oral health but also as an immune-boosting measure. Since the mouth is home to a million microbes including bacteria, this process helps in getting rid of the bacteria through the swishing of oil in the mouth. With prolonged use of this technique, the bacteria load decreases. When we use coconut oil which is rich in lauric acid and vitamin E, these nutrients are effective in killing harmful fungi, bacteria, and viruses and hence help in improving the body's immunity.

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