Gandusha kriya is an ancient practice that has regained popularity in the West since the 1990s. Gandusha is commonly known as oil pulling. However technically there are two varieties of the same procedure considering the mode of application. The procedure in which the prescribed medicine is of a quantity that fills up the whole of the oral cavity owing to which it cannot be moved around or gargled is called Gandusha. This is different from another Ayurvedic procedure called Kabala, when the solution is of a quantity that can be moved around or gargled in the oral cavity.
Method – Gandusha involves retention of the prescribed substance in the mouth cavity for several minutes.
Gandusha/Kabala helps to balance the affected doshas by optimizing the sensory and motor nerve conductivity, removal of toxins and stabilizing the digestive function. The procedure is ideally done on a warm and hot day and inside a room that is not exposed to wind. The treatment begins with a gentle soothing massage of the neck and shoulders for a few minutes. This is followed by tilting the face slightly upwards and pouring the prescribed solution into the open mouth. The mouth is closed and the solution is retained without swallowing until saliva fills up the mouth and the eyes start watering. It is ideally done on an empty stomach.
In Ayurveda, Gandusha/Kabala is recommended in diseases affecting the eyes, ears, teeth, gums, tongue, throat, inner lining of the mouth, paranasal sinuses, migraines; pathologies caused by the lesions of any of the 12 cranial nerves, stiffness of the muscles of the neck and shoulders, drowsiness, bad-breath, loss of appetite, dryness of mouth, etc. The substances usually prescribed for Gandusha/Kabala are milk, honey, suitable ghee or oils, herbal decoctions, urine and meat soups - depending on the pathologies to be attended. The temperature of such substances can be either warm, lukewarm or cold depending on its desired effects on the disease. As part of the daily regimen, even in a healthy individual, it is advised to do Kabala with organic sesame oil, coconut oil or lukewarm water mixed with powdered sesame seeds. This treatment should be done first thing in the morning.
Benefit – Gandusha helps bring a glow to the face, improve lines and wrinkles, tone the skin, and assist with any kind of mouth, voice, or teeth disorders while cleansing the ear, nose, and throat pathways. This treatment is reported to treat numerous health conditions ranging from sinusitis, migraine, along with comprehensive oral and dental health care.
The following are some tips that can help in carrying out Gandusha/Kabala effectively:
1. Swishing should be done gently, it is not required to do it forcefully.
2. It is most important that you should not swallow the solution.
3. Wait till the solution cannot be held any longer in the mouth or the eyes start watering
4. Spit out the solution once you finish. Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing the mouth with warm water.