As a wellness provider or holistic products provider, you are probably well aware of how important oral health is and how impactful the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling is (in addition to normal oral hygiene like brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning). The mouth is, after all, the beginning of the gastrointestinal tract—the core of wellness and health according to Ayurveda. The benefits of oil pulling include, but aren’t limited to:
- Supporting strong and healthy gums1
- Keeping plaque from building up1
- Maintaining pleasant breath1
- Maintaining a normal oral pH and oral flora2
- Assisting the body’s natural detoxification processes2
The classical texts of Ayurveda go as far as to say that it will even support heart health, the immune system, and skin health.
Traditionally, the classical texts discuss oil pulling with sesame oil. Sesame oil alone is effective for oil pulling and has been the go-to for thousands of years. But studies have looked at other oils and substances for oral health, as well.
Take, for instance, triphala. The classical texts speak of triphala as a decoction (concentrated tea) that positively benefits oral health, and the modern research is agreeing. In one study, healthy adolescent boys were randomly instructed to swish with either a triphala decoction, chlorhexidine, or distilled water. The results found the triphala decoction as effective as chlorhexidiine in maintaining healthy teeth, gums, and oral cavity.3 In a larger study with adults4 similar results were found when researching the effect of a mouth rinse made from the ethanol extract of haritaki (one of the fruits in triphala) alone.5, 6
What about other oils for oil pulling? Some practitioners and dentists gravitate towards coconut oil as well because of a study that showed how digested coconut oil could keep certain bacteria in the mouth ar healthy levels, instead of allowing it to accumulate on the teeth.7 Do note that sesame oil also supports a healthy mouth8, 9, agreeing with the ancient Ayurvedic physicians’ writings and practices.
For all of the reasons above, Banyan Botanicals created Daily Swish with a base of sesame and coconut oils, cooked using traditional Ayurvedic practices and infused with the herbs of triphala and guduchi, along with fennel (a traditional mouth freshener). Peppermint and spearmint oil top it off to leave the mouth feeling minty fresh.
As a practitioner, you may encounter clients that have more challenges maintaining oral health. Consider these suggestions in addition to oil pulling with Daily Swish.
- Swish with a decoction of neem (take note, neem can be quite bitter!). Neem is well-known in Ayurveda for its role in purifying and supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes. Traditional practice also uses it for oral health for this reason.
- Alternatively, brush or scrub your teeth and gums with neem powder.
- Mix Daily Swish with a touch of neem oil. Get the added benefits of neem in oil pulling by mixing just a bit of it (it can be quite bitter!) with Daily Swish.
- For occasional discomfort, try clove oil or chewing on a whole clove.
1 Colleen Oakley, “Should You Try Oil Puling?” WebMD, accessed September 22, 2015. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling
2 Asokan S, et al. “Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.” Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry. 26, no. 1 (2008): 12-17
3 Neeti Bajaj and Shobha Tandon. “The effect of Triphala and chlorhexidine mouthwash on dental plaque, gingival inflammation, and microbial growth.” International Journal of Ayurveda Research. 2, no. 1 (Jan-Mar 2011): 29-36.
4 Nalktari R, et al. “A randomized clinical trial to evaluate and compare the efficacy of triphala mouthwash with 0.2% chlorhexidine in hospitalized patients with periodontal disease.” Journal of Peridontal & Implant Science. 44 (2014):134-140.
5 Gupta D, et al. “Effect of Terminalia chebula Extract and Chlorhexidine on Salivary pH and Peridontal Health: 2 Weeks Randomized Control Trial”. Phytotherapy Research. 28 (2014):992-998.
6 Nayak S, et al. “Effectiveness of mouthrinse formulated from ethanol extract of Terminalia chebula fruit of salivary Streptococcus mutans among 12 to 15 year old school children of Balgaum city: A Randomized field trial.” Journal of Indian Society o fPedodontics and Preventive Dentistry. 30, no 3 (2012):231-236.
7 “Coconut Oil Could Combat Tooth Decay,” BBC News: Health, accessed December 2, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/health-19435442.
8 Asokan S, et al. “Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.” Indian Journal of Dental Research. 20, no. 1 (2009): 47-51.
9 Sood P, et al. “Comparative Efficacy of Oil Pulling and Chlorhexidine on Oral Malodor: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 8, no. 11 (Nov 2014): ZC18-ZC21.