Oil Pulling

Medical expenses got you down? Tired of what it costs to see the doctor or how much you are paying for insurance? Disgusted that the healthcare provider you want to consult isn’t covered by the insurance anyhow? Can’t pay those hefty prices for those organic foods and supplements at the healthfood store? Here is an inexpensive way to improve you health by doing a simple cleanse that only requires a bottle of oil and about 20 minutes in the morning. It won’t take the place of good quality food and good quality healthcare, but it could have a significant impact on your wellbeing.

In the “Charaka Samhita” (which I understand can be translated as the Collected Works of Wandering Scholars), a medical book written several thousand years ago in India, there is mention of a technique called Kavala Gandoosha. Today, it is known in English as “Oil Pulling” or “Oil Swishing”, and is performed by vigorously swooshing a tablespoon full of vegetable oil in one’s mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes daily.

While it doesn’t seem like it would have any great impact on one’s health, there are a great number of Oil Pulling advocates and enthusiasts who claim to the contrary. Apparently, the leading modern day proponent is a Russian (or perhaps Ukrainian) physician named Karsch who rescued this technique from obscurity. Using it first to treat several personal medical conditions successfully, he then began offering it as a therapy for patients.

I write “apparently” because although there are many sites that describe and discuss Oil Pulling on the Internet, I have not been able to find anything published by Karsch himself. Everyone refers to him and a presentation he made at a Ukranian medical conference and pretty much quotes the same information.

Be that as it may, Oil Pulling is incredibly simple, certainly not harmful and is another way to both detoxify and stimulate health physiological activity in the body. Karsch is said to have successfully treated a number of serious medical conditions with it.

An oft quoted listed of illnesses that it has purportedly cured is: Mouth & Gum Disease; Stiff Joints; Allergies; Asthma; High Blood Sugar; Constipation; Migraines; Bronchitis; Eczema; Heart, Kidney, Lung Diseases; Leukemia; Arthritis; Meningitis; Insomnia; Menopause (hormonal issues); Cancer; AIDS; Chronic Infections; Varicose Veins; High Blood Pressure; Diabetes; Polio; Cracked Heels.

There also are a number of theories as to the mechanism by which Oil Pulling works. One refers the nutritional value of the oil and the possibility of that being absorbed directly through the mucous membranes into the body bypassing the rest of the digestive tract. Another, and to my mind, more likely idea is that the combination of the oil and the continued chewing activates enzymatic activity and stimulates the entire metabolism of the body. This increased activity promotes a systemic detoxification, drawing toxins and micro-organisms out of the blood.

Karsch is said to have performed a microscopically examined the mixture of oil and saliva after a session of Oil Pulling and found hundreds of organisms termed ‘bacteria embryos’ swimming around in it. That is why it is important to not swallow during the Pulling and to carefully spit it all out once one is finished.

Likewise there is no absolute consensus as to the type of oil that should be used for the Pulling. Sunflower, peanut and sesame oils are the most commonly mentioned. It would seem logical that organic, cold-pressed (that is produced without high heat) oils would be the most healthy, but some commentators say any form of the oil can be used.

It is suggested that the Pulling be done in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach. (For people with more severe conditions it can be done 3 times daily on an empty stomach.) For 15-20 minutes slowly swish it in the mouth and drawn through the teeth. The oil gets thinner and turns white and then spit from the mouth into the toilet bowl. (Too toxic for the sink!) Then thoroughly rinse the mouth several times with warm water and brush with a mixture of sea salt and baking soda.

It may take weeks or months for the positive effects to manifest and it can be continued indefinitely. In addition, it is also possible that the therapy will stimulate a healing crisis, that is, an exacerbation of symptoms as the body detoxifies. This is usually a positive sign.

My own personal experience based on several months of pulling oil is a moderate increase in general energy. Most apparent after the first few days, it is now something to which I have become accustomed. The sensation and taste of the oil is pleasant, the focused chewing almost meditative. It is my intention to continue pulling oil and often find myself recommending to patients.