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Alternative Medicine

What is oil pulling?

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  • AKulreet Chaudhary, MD, Neurology, answered
    What is oil pulling?
    We have all used oil to cook our food and maybe you have even used it for massage, but did you know that gargling with oil is good for your health? Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique used to detoxify the body that has been practiced for thousands of years -- and it’s amazing what swishing a little bit of oil can do for your health. In ayurveda, this technique is used to cure problems in the stomach, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and intestines. In some cases, it is used to treat malignant tumors. It also dramatically improves the health of your gums.

    The two most common oils used for oil pulling are sesame and sunflower oil. In the morning, before you eat breakfast, take about 2 tablespoons of sesame or sunflower oil and gently swish it in your mouth. Initially, you can do it for a few minutes, but eventually you can continue for up to 10 minutes while you shower or get dressed. Spit out the oil, and then brush your teeth as you normally would. If your spit is white and frothy, you did it correctly. If your spit is yellow, then you need to gargle it longer. You can also use a tongue scraper afterward to remove the toxins that have come to the surface of the tongue. The darker your tongue, the more toxins that are present. As with any detox, you may be surprised what comes out -- physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    Watch ayurvedic expert Kulreet Chaudhary, MD, explain the method and how the oil captures toxins from your salivary glands. 
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