Oil Pulling/ Kavaala – Gandusha


The holistic medicine of India, Ayurveda recommends ‘gandusha’ for oral hygiene. Gandusha means keeping or holding the oil in mouth and Kavaala means rotating the oil in mouth.

Gandusha is an oil pulling or oil swishing therapy to remove dental plaques, microorganisms and to promote good health. Sesame oil is used for oil swishing. A teaspoon of oil is to be sipped and swished around and pulled in and out of the teeth for 10 minutes. The oil after swishing is spitted out. Oil when mixed with saliva draws the toxins out from the mucosa.

The chemistry behind this is, an oil is a fat when mixed with salivary alkali, it saponifies and emulsifies. Therefore, this oil dispersed with water pulls the toxins and bacteria out. Oil pulling exercise also helps in regeneration of tissues.

One should be gentle with this exercise and therefore, one should start with a teaspoon of oil and should be done for five minutes initially. Gently oil should be swished and pulled in and out of teeth only for five minutes and gradually swishing time can be increased.

The oil should never be swallowed as it contains bacteria and toxins therefore, can cause the harm if swallowed. If not followed properly can lead to problems. Head should not be tilted and oil should only be swished and not gargled in throat.

Since, it draws toxins out and therefore, considered not only good for oral health but also good for overall health.

The oils which can be used for oil swishing are sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and mustard oil but sesame oil is considered as the best oil. Sesame oil contains good amount of polyunsaturated (good fats), vitamin E and antioxidants.

 Oil swishing or Gandusha is very cost effective compared to expensive mouth rinses. This should be practiced once in a day empty stomach. Gandusha removes bad odour, reduces dental plaque, dental caries, strengthens teeth, gums and oral mucosa.



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