Oil pulling. It whitens your teeth, improves your breath, helps your skin and even helps increase energy. So why isn’t everyone doing it?
I’ve been oil pulling for about six months now and, being someone who has always been slightly OCD about oral health, I wanted to share this Ayurvedic practice because it genuinely works!
What is it?
Oil pulling is literally the practice of swishing about a tablespoon of oil around your mouth, first thing in a morning (and on an empty stomach in general) for about 15-20 minutes. It originated in India thousands of years ago, but has been increasingly used medically in the US and UK since the 1990s. The idea is that the scummy layer that builds up in your mouth overnight sticks in the oil so you can spit it out. This is different to just brushing your teeth in the morning, where you move the bacteria around your mouth a bit rather than completely removing it.
What are the benefits?
There are many claims worldwide from people who have experienced benefits from oil pulling, including help with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver
problems etc. However, the main and direct benefits of oil pulling are:
- Whiter teeth
- Healthier gums
- Less sensitive teeth
- Better breath
- Strengthens teeth, jaw and gums
- Prevents mouth bleeding and diseases
How do I do it?
If this sounds like something you think you’ll benefit from, this is how to get started:
1. Get some oil!
Traditionally, people oil pull with either sesame oil or coconut oil. I now alternate between the two, but I would recommend doing it with coconut oil as it has added health benefits and tastes nice!
2. When you wake up in the morning, before you brush your teeth, get one tablespoon of oil and put it in your mouth.
This might sound like an extra thing to do in the morning, but I find that I wake up and am oil pulling while I get showered/dressed. Once you then spit the oil out, you can brush your teeth. Note: You must swish the oil round your mouth for at least 15 minutes, because otherwise all of the scum won’t get into the oil. You’ll know if you’ve done it right if the oil goes from being clear (when you first put it in your mouth) to being thicker and white.
3. Spit it out into the bin or toilet, not the sink.
When the bacteria is in the oil, it becomes pretty gross (even toxic, some say). So it needs to be spat out where it can be disposed of. Ideally you should spit it into the bin because the oil can clog up the pipes. However, I usually spit it into the toilet, and spray a bit of bathroom cleaner down there before I flush for good measure!
4. Inspect your clean, sparkly teeth and brush your teeth as normal.
It’s as simple as that! I will usually clean my tongue with an Ayurvedic tongue scraper after I oil pull, then brush my teeth with a toothpaste without Fluoride or Sodium Laureth Sulfate. However, you can just do whatever it is you usually do!
Ayurveda treatments incorporate many herbs and spices that are used for healing as you see in the image above.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term,“ Ayur means life or healing and the root word Veda means wisdom or knowledge.
Ayurveda’s first text of internal medicine was compiled around 200 B.C. and the 1st century A.D. titled the Charaka Samhita. Based on the ancient history of India, Ayurveda can be considered the first healing system or medicine of the world.
Ayurveda has always been well integrated with spirituality and shares many common tools with Yoga. Both Yoga and Ayurveda are really one practice or way of living, which are derived from Vedic teachings. They later formulated as independent sciences. Yoga and Ayurveda are part of the greater bharata (Indian) culture and should never really be studied or practiced as separate systems. ”
*Excerpt from Yoga & Ayurveda program manual by Mas Vidal - Dancing Shiva
Ayurdevic Healing with Neem (Indian Lilac or Margosa)
Neem is also popular by the names of Indian
Lilac or margosa and has been used for centuries by millions of people for its
medicinal properties. The ability of neem to treat many illnesses is evident in
its roots dating back to the earliest of Sanskrit writings. For over 4,500
years, Ayurvedic healers have used the bark, seeds, leaves, fruit, gum and oils
of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) for dozens of internal and external
Historically, its uses have
included a wide variety of diseases and disorders including malaria, dental
health problems, diabetes, heart disease, pain jaundice, leprosy, stomach
ulcers, chicken pox, heat-rash and many other skin disorders including cuts,
bruises, acne, boils and wounds.
Modern studies have isolated more
than 140 compounds from different parts of the tree; these compounds have been
shown, mostly in animal and laboratory studies exert anticancer, antioxidant,
wound-healing and antimicrobial properties.
Neem is also a powerful
insecticide that has become a staple of many natural head lice treatments and
It possesses antibacterial,
antifungal, anti-ulcer, blood purifier, and antipyretic, anti parasitic,
antiseptic, and antiemetic properties. Various parts of the tree are used in
Ayurveda for treating a plethora of health problems.
This herb is used to treat
diabetes, leprosy, itching, blood disorders, intestinal worms, piles,
dysentery, jaundice, vomiting, wounds, eye disease, paraplegia, female genital
diseases and all kinds of fevers.
Benefits & Method of Use:
Neem can be used in a variety of
different ways. Traditionally, the fresh juice has been extracted from the
plant and taken medicinally in doses of around 10 to 20 ml (2 to 4 teaspoons) thrice
a day. You can also take 2 to 4 grams (1/7 to 1/10 of an ounce) of powdered
leaf up to times per day.
When using neem oil, always blend
with other base oils. Try starting with just a few drops and increase the
amount slowly, to no more than 5% of the total blend. For hair, add to a base
oil and leave on the hair for up to 10 minutes, before washing out with
1. Nasya OIl - lubricate your nasal passages and clean out excess mucus from your sinuses 2. Daily Massage Oil -
warming and cooling oils to have a simultaneous penetrating and soothing effect 3. Tongue Cleaner -
According to Ayurveda, cleaning the tongue first thing in the morning is an important part of the daily oral hygiene routine, along with regular brushing and flossing of the teeth. 4. Daily Swish - Oil pulling is an excellent way to support overall oral health and hygiene. Based on ancient Ayurvedic healing techniques, this simple practice has been receiving quite a bit of attention in the media lately as a way to remove plaque, whiten teeth, and support healthy gums. 5. Triphala - Triphala contains 5 of the 6 ayurvedic tastes. When taking triphala, tablets or powder are prefered over triphala capsules because one can experince these tastes. Taste is considered by Ayurveda to be an essential part of the healing process. Taste starts the digestive process and sends signals which initiates the body’s own inner pharmacy.
According to Ayurvedic principles, by understanding oneself, by identifying one’s own constitution, and by recognizing sources of doshic aggravation, one can not only follow the proper guidelines to cleanse, purify, and prevent disease, but also uplift oneself into a realm of awareness previously unknown.
An ancient Indian system of holistic medicine drawn from Vedic literature that seeks to balance individual imbalances through adjustments in diet, exercise, and sleep and involving herbs, aromas, meditation, and yoga to address health issues …
These are attributes of the mind and can be gauged by how one is feeling. These qualities show the capacity of the mind to perceive truth and act accordingly. One can say that these qualities reflect the level of development of the soul.
Sattva is clarity.It brings about internalization of the mind, movement of the consciousness inward and unification of the head and heart. The mind that is still, calm, pure, focused but not feverish and harmonious is sattvic. Sattvic people tend to be harmonious and adaptable in nature. They are considerate of others, take care of themselves and their bodies, strive towards balance and enjoy a general peace of mind that keeps them healthy and happy. They tend to see the good in everything and look at life as a learning experience. Sattva can be improved by spiritual cultivation, yoga, meditation, chanting, mantra, sattvic diet and lifestyle, spending time in nature and living life in harmony with one’s constitution.
Rajas is distraction or turbulence of the mind.It causes us to look outward and lose ourselves in the external world. Desire, disturbed thoughts, anger, ego, greed, envy are all rajas. The mind that is seeking stimulation is rajasic in nature. Rajasic people have good (sometimes excessive) energy and have a tendency to burn themselves out with excessive activity. They are often impatient and inconsistent in their general approach to life and tend to blame others for their problems.
Tamas is heaviness, lethargy, dullness. It causes the mind to be clouded by fear and ignorance and results in an inability to perceive.The mind that is unfocused, inattentive, dull and dominated by subconscious forces, is tamasic in nature. Tamasic people tend to have blocked or stagnant energy and emotions. They are often caught in bad habits, addictions and attachments that they are unable to question.
heat up 1 cup plant milk (I like almond, hemp or coconut best for this), ½ tsp coconut oil (optional) and ½-1 tsp turmeric paste. take off heat and stir in maple/rice malt/agave syrup to taste. enjoy:)
turmeric paste: -½ cup water -¼ cup turmeric powder -½ tsp ground black pepper mix ingredients and heat up in a sauce pan on medium heat while stirring until paste thickens, pour into jar, let it cool and keep in fridge for up to a week!
fun fact: by mixing turmeric with black pepper together, you increase your body’s absorption of the turmeric by 2000%
Hello my loves! Happy New Year! Hope 2017 started with positive vibes and you surrounded by magic :) I want to share my thoughts from a recent trip to Sri Lanka. I have never been to that part of the world, but I’ve always been captivated by Eastern Traditions and religions, Ayurveda medicine and simple natural way of living. Someone told me that in my past life I was a monk living in Indian ashram somewhere in 6 century. Don’t ask me why so specific haha but I do believe in reincarnation, past lives and karma. I believe that all life matters and we didn't ‘just’ appear out of nowhere to live on Earth. We all have a purpose, a reason to be here. Each one of us are SO unique, we are all here to bring more love and unity. We all have soul that do not die with our physical body but continues its journey through the Universe and eventually comes back to the Earth.
The place I was staying called Ulpotha - its a small village in the middle of the jungle. I lived without electricity, hot water, cell phone reception, TV, coffee, wine etc.. well, you get the picture :) Its only me, my body and my mind that didn’t get stimulated by social media, news, youtube. I did yoga twice a day, meditated every morning infront of my favorite Ganesh (pic below) sometimes accompany by monkeys. I walked barefoot , eat organic fresh vegetarian food that grown in the garden. There is no fridge so the produce is as fresh as picked the same morning. I signed up for every day ayurveda treatments that were performed by local villagers. The ayurveda doctor is from a near by clinic. He sees his patients for free you only need to give him leaves from a sacred bodhi tree in exchange for his service.
It was a very basic way of living: eating fresh food, drinking coconut water, pure water that comes directly from the spring, connecting with people that at the beginning of my arrival were complete strangers but by the time I had to go back home I was crying saying Good Byes. We shared so many moments that were deeply spiritual, we cried together when meditation was very intense, we danced with blindfolds - and when you really dance like no one is watching is a very powerful experience.
We hiked to the rock and as we watched the sun go down and a full moon rise at the same time it was like nothing you can imagine. I felt the heart of the Earth, the power of Mother Nature, I felt SO grateful to be alive and having this experience.
This trip was very important and came at the right time in my life. I needed to get away and focus on myself. I put myself outside of my comfort zone. It wasn’t easy to do that. But as we know if you live comfortable you don’t grow. I’m all about challenges, growing, self developing, learning and discovering.