Gandusha, commonly known as oil pulling, is an age-old Ayurvedic practice that has gained recent popularity because of its various useful benefits. Gandusha may be often confused with Kavala but both are different practices. In the case of Kavala, a small amount of oil is used for gargling. However, for Gandusha, the entire mouth is filled with a larger quantity of the oil that is gargled before spitting it out. With Kavala, you are able to move around the oil inside the mouth because it’s a smaller quantity, which is not the same for Gandusha.
While performing Gandusha, the person is asked to keep the prescribed oil in the mouth for some time frame. 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 Gandusha treatment first starts with a neck and shoulder massage to loosen up the area to start the procedure. Then the face is tilted slighted upwards and the prescribed oil solution is poured into the mouth cavity. This oil needs to be kept inside the mouth for quite some time until the eyes start watering and saliva starts to fill the mouth. Be cautious not to swallow the oil. This should be done on an empty stomach.
In Ayurveda, Gandusha/Kabala is recommended in diseases affecting the eyes, ears, teeth, gums, tongue, throat, the inner lining of the mouth, paranasal sinuses,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, - 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.
Gandusha is known to help in a variety of ways including your holistic oral and dental care. This Ayurvedic procedure helps your skin by bringing a glow to your face, helps you age gracefully, cleans ear, nose, and throat pathways and helps with any kind of health issues related to mouth, voice, or teeth.
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.
1. Should I practice Gandusha daily?
Gandusha practice involves exposing teeth and gums to natural oil; therefore, you can practice it once daily. However, ensure that you don’t go overboard and do it multiple times a day.
2. Does oil pulling really work for detoxification?
Yes. Oil Pulling is a Vedic practice that has been around for thousands of years and it helps in the natural cleansing of the mouth, maintains breath odour, and enhances the strength of the teeth. A study conducted by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) encourages oil pulling as it generates antioxidants required to keep the bacteria in check.
3. Is oil pulling harmful?
Oil Pulling or Gandusha is not harmful. If you are unsure about how to perform it, you can consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for guidance.
4. What are the side effects of oil pulling?
It’s a well-known fact that oil pulling or Gandusha offers exceptional benefits. However, as per Ayurveda, it's not free from side effects. If you swallow the oil, it can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhoea because of the toxins from the mouth and the upper respiratory system. Initially, you may experience sore jaw and headache due to swishing and even tooth sensitivity.
5. Does oil pulling actually work?
Oil pulling or Gandusha is a proven technique followed for centuries that offers numerous benefits. While it’s well-known to promote oral health, it can help you deal with various eye problems, helps with paranasal sinuses and migraines among others. It also helps maintain the natural glow of your skin and also helps keep your voice naturally clear while clearing your ears, nose, and throat airways.