A Detoxification Method with Ancient Roots
Our bodies are constantly cleansing, a process integral to our health. Getting rid of waste products is a normal operation for each one of our cells, organs and organ systems. If we lived in a perfect world and ate perfect food that would be enough.
Because most of us live busy lives in a toxic world and sometimes eat less-than-healthy foods, we walk around with a toxic load that manifests as fatigue, insomnia and illness.
I want to introduce you to an updated version of an ancient Ayurvedic method of cleansing called oil pulling. This practice consists of holding a tablespoon of vegetable oil in your mouth for a few minutes, and swishing it around as you sit quietly.
Oil pulling has its roots in the Ayurvedic practice of oil gargling. The healing modality called Ayurveda, which translates from the Sanskrit as "science of life," is a healing practice and philosophy that originated in India, but Ayurvedic medicine is practiced all over the world as a complementary and alternative medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine is about balance and emphasizes prevention of disease and rejuvenation of all of our bodies' systems, resulting in a longer and healthier life. Ayurvedic practices, including yoga and meditation, are believed to prevent diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Dr. Deepak Chopra writes in his book Perfect Health that oil pulling is an important way to start your day by cleansing your mouth and taste buds.
I have been enjoying my breakfast more during the few months since I started this daily practice. Since I began oil pulling daily, my gum health has improved, my teeth are whiter and I experience less joint pain.
Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners suggest using only sesame or sunflower oils for best results. Make sure you use good quality organic cold pressed oil, because it does not make sense to use chemically extracted oil or poor quality oil for detoxification.
Author and physician Bruce Fife, ND, suggests that coconut oil works well as an alternative because the lauric acid in coconut oil is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Killing harmful bacteria in your mouth will sweeten your breath and improve your health. In his book about oil pulling, Dr. Fife explains that our mouths are teaming with microorganisms and toxins and act as their gateway into the bloodstream. The more toxic we are, the more we will be plagued with health issues.
Dr. Fife said in an interview, "some people think I'm crazy when I tell them that oil pulling can help those with asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue, diabetes, migraine headaches, PMS and chronic skin problems."
Oil pulling works by detoxifying or cleansing the body through your mouth, removing disease-promoting toxins, allowing the body to heal itself and improving health problems of all types. Fife compares oil pulling to the function of motor oil in your car's engine, in which the motor oil absorbs debris in the engine and is expelled when you drain the oil.
So how do we do this?
Immediately after you awaken, perform your morning eliminations and then put a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around, breathing through your nose and working or "pulling" it around your teeth. Do this as you sit quietly for at least 20 minutes.
This can cause a release of mucous from your sinuses and, if you need to, spit out the oil and then take another spoonful. Spit the oil in the trash (or compost) instead of your sink to avoid clogging your drains. Many people with sinusitis will feel immediate relief from sinus pain and headaches.
After you spit out the oil, which will be thin and white colored, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm salt water. Never swallow the oil because it is loaded with toxins. After you rinse with salt-water brush your teeth.
You will notice your tongue is a healthy pink color, and your teeth and gums will sparkle. Some practitioners suggest brushing with toothpaste without glycerin because glycerin seals off your teeth and prevents re-mineralization. I use glycerin-free toothpaste made by Vicco and Uncle Harry's tooth powders.
As we enter the spring season, I invite you to try this simple method of detoxification. It has been a long winter of heavier (and sometimes less healthy) foods, and as we work on cleaning up our gardens, or spring-cleaning our homes, let's give some needed attention to our bodies.
I encourage you to try oil pulling, and let me know what results you achieved. I have been doing this practice for three months, and plan to continue it daily.
Yaakov Levine, NTP
About the Author:
Born and raised in the New York area, Yaakov has made his home in Oregon since 1998. He brings his passion for healthy nutrition and herbal medicine to his practice as a Nutritional Therapist and Herbalist.
Yaakov is an avid researcher and writer. He has a regular column in the Creswell Chronicle, and writes for the NTA Newsletter. He has been involved in the natural products industry for many years as a retailer, manufacturer, and educator. Yaakov has participated in the Breitenbush Herbal Conference since 1997 and is now a conference organizer, and has staffed the NW HerbFest since it’s inception in 2005.
In 2007 he received his certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Yaakov is currently practicing as a Nutritional Therapist/Herbalist and is the Assistant Instructor for the NTP training class in Eugene, OR.
He can be reached at (541) 895-2427 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Training: Medical Herbalism, Homeopathy and Flower Essences therapies.
Yaakov’s newspaper column link:
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