Oil Pulling: An ancient Ayurvedic treatment, or is it?

Oil pulling is a new hippie dippie thing to the commercial consumer, yoga, spiritual, and health world. It originates from Ayurveda but what its benefits are being touted as is completely blown out of proportion. What is being claimed has no reference in Ayurveda making oil pulling definitely not Ayurvedic in the techniques and terms it is being defined in today in America. Claims of liver detoxing and all sorts of other ridiculous statements are being said and sold about what it does. People are using all kinds of oils, such as coconut oil without knowing the details and importance of the treatment being done correctly. It is important to understand the deep knowledge behind this because it originates from Ayurveda and without the details your ignorance is gonna harm you, really. Just because you don’t feel it or see it today, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Ayurveda doesn’t work in the paradigm that the American mind is use too.

This post is to inform you, what others are not. To dissolve the ignorance that is abounding around this “oil pulling” fad, and give a deeper understanding and information on Ayurveda, since this is where it comes from, but without stating western ideas “pretending and disguised” to look like they are Ayurvedic. This is neither a brief article nor shallow as to give you the correct understanding and be thorough. There is a section at the bottom that is completely quoted from an original text, to prove the validity of what is being stated.

“Oil Pulling” is putting coconut oil in your mouth and swishing it for 20 minutes. This is not an Ayurvedic treatment and has nothing to do with Ayurveda as you will get after reading the following. When something is taken out of its context and without any rules or understanding being applied, when contradictory and contraindicated actions or substances are being used, how can it be called the same thing or stated as being an Ayurvedic technique or treatment? What is being touted as being Ayurvedic is not Ayurvedic because there is no expelling of the doshas, no proper treatment being followed, and no individual bases of treatment happening with Oil Pulling.

Kavala is from Ayurveda and has been around for over 5000 years recorded in texts like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Astanga Hrdayam, Bhavaprakasha and more. It does not do as all the web sites and articles have claimed. It cleanses your liver about as much as it gives you a pedicure or washes and waxes your car.

From Charaka Samhita, the main text of Ayurveda, it states….
“Keeping of oil gargle provides strength in jaw and voice, development of face, maximum taste and relish in food. The person (practising this) does not suffer from dryness of throat, there is no lip cracking, teeth are not affected with caries rather they become firm rooted. They (teeth) are not painful nor are they over sensitive on sour taking, they become able to chew even the hardest food item.” Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 5.78 – 80

Kavala is the swishing of warm (not hot) sesame oil or water (yes, water can be used too as well as other substances for specific treatments/reasons*) in your mouth until tears develop in the eyes and the nose runs (not 20 minutes as every web site and blog tells you, the liquefying of the kapha is what is happening at this point and that will differ for every individual. The tearing and runny nose is the definitive sign of proper treatment time.). It is an upakrama used as shodana in Ayurveda, mainly. There are detailed diagnostic SIGNS and SYMPTOMS of correct treatment of everything in Ayurveda. There is also two things that need to be done prior in the proper treatment. There are substances that are used for specific treatment. They are not being taught in all of those articles on Mind Body Green and other websites and blogs because the lack of knowledge of real Ayurveda and they just hopping on a popular mass marketing bandwagon. We simply destroy knowledge with our superficiality and sales, thus also destroying the results that are touted in the texts of Ayurveda. Kavala is not just putting oil in your mouth and swishing. What is being touted as being Ayurvedic is not Ayurvedic at all due to that there is no expelling of the doshas going on with Oil Pulling. The fact that (see the actual textual quotes at the end of this article*) kavala is used to expel the doshas shows that the way it is being sold to the masses is not a correct treatment as per Ayurveda. The correct substances are not even known or being used if it was being used as a shamana treatment. There always are pretreatments that need to be done to get the doshas prepared to be expelled as well as the correct methods to doing just that. Oil Pulling is devoid any of that Ayurvedic knowledge. Further proof is that as per the touted cleansing (shodana = cleansing, detoxing as the Western world likes to call everything, not shamana = balancing) that oil pulling is claiming it does, it would have to be use “bitter, acidic, sour, and salty” as per Ayurvedic, which it is not. Coconut oil is sweet, heavy, and cold…… opposite qualities. Not the same results. You absolutely cannot do detoxing with a substance that is anabolic in its nature. Nice try though.
There is dietary conditions that must be followed including eating a light diet (laghu aahar) as per Ayurveda, not western nutrition ideas of a light diet (heavy food or a messed up digestion will create ill health and that is what this treatment is trying to get rid of). Salads are not light food and not raw food either as it would be contraindicated to this treatment. To not follow these guidelines can and will hinder the touted results and can aid in the creating disease or at minimum bad repercussions that create an imbalance that can turn to disease in time. There is not a blog big enough to give you the knowledge to understand all the details behind the whys and hows of Ayurvedic treatments, they are specific to many many variable factors and individual to the person. Ayurveda does not work from the same paradigm that the Western paradigm works from. There is much more at play in Ayurveda than the Western view. Ayurveda comes from a paradigm of holistic quantum logic, Western thought comes from a classical Newtonian physics and related biological considerations of compartmentalization. This is a huge part of why Ayurveda has been misunderstood in its superficial education in the West. The Western mind doesn’t like change and your paradigm needs to change to understand Ayurveda. It is not based upon simply the material gross world but works with the subtle and the gross. They work together, they are one. The subtle is what we are terribly confused about in the West. Is it real or is it not. Many even think they can make the subtle world anything they want it to be. Also, the scientific empirical reasoning method does not have any container for this.

This post has stirred a ton of reaction. Most of which I find interesting. How can people have judgement over something they don’t understand and have never studied? I would ask you leave your opinions at the door and be open to learning something. If your are not, why bother to read further?

To jump right into it, there are negative reactions happening out there from Oil Pulling with coconut oil. Most silent. But more and more are starting to be found on the bottom of those article pages where you can comment and they will start to come out as this “oil pulling’ is getting more crazy/popular daily. Here is one negative reaction and thank you to the people commenting that also have had negative reactions. http://sirenedelamer.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/less-than-pleasant-side-effects-of-oil-pulling-with-coconut-oil-and-update/

Yes, at one time not long ago people, the masses, thought the world was flat. Some still do.

Where did this treatment Kavala come from:
Ayurveda is the oldest recorded science/medicinal system. It is a science based in natural law and living a healthy beneficial life. Living in coherence to those rules of nature and the cosmos, to create balance of what makes up the subtle and gross, the mind and body and soul. In creating this health one is able to perceive their imperishable, immutable soul and to see their true self. It is not a theory nor spiritual woo woo stuff. Nor is it philosophical conjecture or the latest American diet fad that is doomed to change with short passing of time. Ayurveda is an over 10,000 year time tested science that has a spiritual, not religious, undertone…as we all are souls, and we all have a bodies. It is for the benefit of mankind and it is nondenominational and universal, it is not just Indian. It works everywhere on the planet if one really understands the foundations and how to apply them. Ayurvedic medicine’s Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.)  (it’s entry level lowest education of Ayurveda in India) doctorate is a 5.5 year full time medical school education which includes allopathic as well as Ayurveda. With any hope Ayurveda will find some sort of integrity within its education in America, until then……..??? 1600 hours? Really? There are many many Ayurveda hospitals in India. Yes, real regular hospital using Ayurveda. It is India’s classic medicinal system and if you think their spiritual sciences dealing with the mind and consciousness are deep well think about the understanding of the body. It is where allopathic medicine gets its roots and since allopathic medicine is from Greek medicine and Greek medicine obviously was created from Ayurveda. Just to give even more perspective, genetics is explained in Charaka Samhita in Sharirasthana, one of the main texts of Ayurveda from 5000 years ago. Wow. This is way before Mendel discovered genetics in the early 1900’s.

Ayurveda is way more advanced than Western allopathic medicine due to its understanding of the human body. Its ability to diagnose surpasses western science due to its lack of compartmentalization and limiting scope and mindset of always trying to find the smallest component that is a cause or solution, but Ayurveda rather sees a greater causality to imbalance and what causes disease. It also treats without dangerous side effects when used with its knowledge. It is a total understanding of nature and how to live within nature.

In the West, we take small pieces of things much like “Oil Pulling” and state that it does miracles. It doesn’t, sorry kids. Then we change it and take it from the original platform to market it and sell it, like the doctor quoted later selling his coconut oil that for that price must be cold pressed between the legs of virgins or something. Oil Pulling is used in conjunction with the rest of an Ayurvedic life, which that life is absolutely not a Vata, Pitta, and Kapha diet plan based on a checklist like what has being sold to you as Ayurveda in the West. Ayurveda is not a pill. There is not a generalized treatment that is going to make you better. There is deep understanding of who should do what, when, why, and specifically how. It is not a list of what to eat and what not to eat. Infact, that will cause damage to you as well if you follow it from the very lens of Ayurveda. There is so much more to understand about Ayurveda but……..

Back to Kavala………… finally.

Kavala is to be used as per the individual’s need of it first and foremost. This is everything in Ayurveda. The individual is seen as an individual, diagnosed as an individual and treatments are based upon them. Kevala is an actual treatment in Ayurveda, much more than just putting oil in your mouth and swishing. The temperature of the oil or water has an effect on the results and is also dependent upon the individual and their balance/imbalance/health. It is even done cold when indications apply. It is used to mitigate kapha in the mouth, generally, other diseases of the head and throat etc.. also apply. Bodaka Kapha is the saliva. An imbalance of this can create cataracts, salivary stones, as well as a ton of other diseases. Ayurveda is not used allopathically to treat symptoms but in context of holism of a lifestyle or life in many variables and ways. Every action has effects, this is what needs to be understood. If you are eating food and living a lifestyle that is creating the imbalance, then doing a treatment for it is absolutely ridiculous. The causation needs to be stopped then treatments can be done to further help the imbalance.
Oil Pulling is only used for “cleansing the mouth, thirst (trsna, which is a disease in Ayurveda), loss of taste (arruchi, another disease), diseases of the teeth, and it bestows lightness in the mouth.” Reference: Bhavaprakasha Chapter 5.31 – 35. Bhavaprakasha is one of the original texts circa 14th century. Doesn’t cleanse your liver except in your fantasies. One person even told me it cured his gout in his big toe. Sorry, if you understand this treatment from an Ayurvedic view and how this works, it cannot possibly.
Oil pulling for daily use done with warm sesame oil, not coconut oil. Why? Coconut oil has qualities of being heavy, sweet, and cold and will create more kapha.

Qualities of Kapha
स्निग्ध: शीतो गुरुर्मन्द: श्लक्ष्णो मृत्स्न: स्थिर: कफ: ॥
snigdha: śīto gururmanda: ślakṣṇo mṛtsna: sthira: kapha: ||

Snigdhna – oily, unctuous, Sheeta – cold, Guru – heavy, Manda – mild, viscous, shlakshna – smooth, clear, Mrutsna – slimy, jely, sthira – stability, immobility are the qualities of Kapha.

You can put two and two together and see that they are the same qualities, yes? This will cause an imbalance in bodaka kapha. The imbalance can look like the thickening and stickiness of the saliva, bad breath, loss of taste, sinus congestion, colds, headache, insomnia and several other results from using some substance with the wrong qualities.
Since the mouth is the site of bodaka kapha (thought of as saliva in western terms), anyone knowing the basic fundamentals of Ayurveda would never advise coconut oil being used daily. Specially in springtime and especially on overcast, foggy or rainy days when there is no sun (this is understood from a foundational understanding of Ayurveda). Other oils can be used when specifically directed by an Ayurvedic “DOCTOR”. They would then give you a medicated oil to use for certain reasons and certain treatment.

(What is saliva and how does it link to digestion?   https://trueayurveda.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/lets-talk-smoothies-and-juicing-you-think-they-are-healthy/  )

Using coconut oil will create problems with dental, bad breath (as has been proven from comments in several forum’s just search for them or read the comment lower about getting a cold), cavities, gum disease, sinus problems, eye sight, sense of smell, and a whole lot more due to the qualities that the coconut oil has. It does not share the qualities of sesame oil. Sesame oil has a subtle qualities (sukshma) and is the reason for it being the only oil to be used as well as it is heating (ushna) whereas coconut is cold (shita) in potency. Coconut oil is also clogging due to how heavy and gross it is. Cold, heavy, gross, sweet will all create an imbalance of kapha. Although coconut oil has been touted for its healing properties, when you understand Ayurveda, everything becomes a medicine and healing when it is used properly. The piece that is lost to Western eyes is to whom it is being used for, when is it used, why is it used, and how is it used. This is the biggest flaw of Western nutrition and sciences. Once again, as you are an individual and need an individual treatment, so is coconut oil with its own qualities. What will be medicine for one is poison for another due to this. Even two people having the same disease can be in need of different treatments and different medicines. Now really think about this for a moment with the pop health culture and certain foods and substances being cool and new. Think about this as you look for the next popular health fad that is being touted out there. Are you not an individual? Do you not deserve the respect to treat yourself and your health as that?
Another example of the complexity… Haritaki is an herb in Ayurveda. It can be used for many many uses. When used in conjunction with one substance or anupan (delivery vehicle), it will have a different effect. In this way it can be used all year around to balance the seasons as well as it can be used for many many imbalances or diseases. For viewing of this look up Ritu Haritaki. All herbs in Ayurveda are used like this so you see the need for deep understanding of the details of all of it and also understand that it cannot be minimized down to just taking Haritaki because it has benefits touted in Western books of being good for blah blah blah and blah blah blah. Now lets take it to another level. There are 11 different times to take Ayurveda medicines, this is called Bhaishajya Kala. Herbs have different effects relative to the different times at which we take them. To get the best results for a particular condition, herbs and treatments are taken at the appropriate time of day for the needed result. In Ayurveda herbs are taken at different times according to factors like daily variations of the doshas, organ reflexes, the state of Agni (the digestive fire), and the stages of digestion and working with the pranas. So you are just going to do Kevala with whatever oil you want, that you read on a popular mass health site, with no detail of knowledge in what they are touting or respect to you as an individual? See the point? Even the season that you are in has a huge role to play upon the effect and the choice of the substance. this is the depth of Ayurveda correctly used.

Doubt about using coconut oil or how any of this could create any reaction, try doing this oil pulling twice or three times a day. See what happens to you. You need your empirical proof…. you will get it.

Kavala is of four kinds- unctuous, pacifying, purifying and healing. Which one do you think you are doing? Oils with medicinal drugs are prepared in a special way for a specific treatment. There has to be a whole preparation procedure before the treatment that is done by fomenting and sudation of the throat, cheeks, and forehead prior to this treatment.  Yes, there is real detail that has been left out completely. The treatment is done for a certain specific time, until the eyes water and the nose runs. Not just 20 minutes. It is individual. Doing longer and there will be and excessive reaction from the treatment creating an imbalance that leads to disease, too little and there will not be the results from the treatment created and possible other side effects. Again, everyone is an individual in their balance and imbalance so the length of time will be different. There are signs of when the treatment is done properly as well as symptoms of it not done properly which will lead to complications and disease. Really let it sink in… there are many complications that come from the treatment not being done properly as well as who should be doing it or not. Why is it that these people that are writing these article don’t care or they just don’t know? Just as an example, by doing tongue scraping you can give yourself lock jaw. This is why details and knowledge matter.

Other posts you might be interested in reading:

Modern research methods:
By taking human beings as aggregate groups and testing ideas and substances we find empirical evidence by the outcomes. In Ayurveda, seeing from the view of the individual, rules out any research template that fits the western research model of looking at a symptoms of disease, components or studying the particular pieces and then applying it to that group. It is opposite. This is why Ayurveda is a much deeper and detailed science for an individual than modern medicine. There are far to many variables in an individual that makes them that individual to say that this technique or medicine works for everyone. Even doing a research on what the results are from the masses on oil pulling is invalid due to the understanding that everyone has their own balance/imbalance. Hence why “all” western medicines have huge amounts of side effects and don’t work for everyone. This is where all Western medicine falls apart. This is also why the western science keeps proving correct what it has stated before as incorrect or vice vs. Take soy for an example. Although Western nutritional science is littered with many many more examples. Soy was said to be the healthiest and best for women’s and men’s hormones as Western scientific research had proved in the early 2000’s. Then just 7 years later, and after a huge amount of money was made on all kinds of soy protein products, it became the worst for both. Why? Modern Western research. Many parts of the rest of the world continue to eat soy (as they always have, daily) with no health problems or hormone problems. How can that be? Think about it. What is the difference?… America and the excess, quantity, consumption, as well as the fear of mortality that is driving us. And now the latest is that Western science now states that butter is once again good. Why was it considered bad before? Who is taking any responsibility for the incorrect research that has given butter a bad name since the 70’s? Yet butter has been used in Ayurveda forever and has its unique qualities and actions which define why and how it is used.

Try putting allopathic medicine to the test of Ayurvedic research and reasoning methodology and understanding and most of it falls flat on its face. Allopathic medicines deal only with symptoms of the cause and do not deal with the underlying root problem which leaves that root problem to complicate into another disease and another pathway in time when treatment is done to the symptom. This is the explanation of why all the drugs have a long list of side effects which is the imbalance that they create by taking them as well as why the Western drugs don’t work for everyone.

What happens if you research what coconut oil does in oil pulling? Any of the results of what Ayurveda touts? If it is not actually by the standards of the treatment taught in Ayurveda, how can the study have any say to Ayurveda at all? If you take motor oil and test it as ghee, do you think it will have the same results?

If you are interested, here is two peer journal reviewed articles on the subject of Ayurvedic Research explaining how empirical evidence based research fails…..

An example:
Let me use an example to explain. Say they someone is using coconut oil for this oil pulling. They already have a kapha and gurutva (heaviness) imbalance as you have thick saliva that is (tandula) stringy and they also have the beginning of cataracts in their eyes. Now, take another person who is vata imbalanced and has dry mouth, receding gums, ama (toxicity due to improper intake, digestion, and metabolization of food stuff), constipation, and poor digestion. Neither of these two people are going to have the same effects from doing the oil pulling. Most likely both of these people are going to create a new disease by using coconut oil. The first person of a kapha imbalance could possible create a digestive problems, cold or flu, or respiratory problem and will definitely worsen the cataracs for sure, yet they will have no correlation from their western mind to see the oil pulling as the cause and neither would their Doctor that then gives them antibiotics for it, which is also absurd since antibiotics work on bacteria, not viruses. (Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses. Inappropriate use of antibiotics has helped create strains of bacterial disease that are resistant to treatment with different types of antibiotic medications.) Furthermore, now they have dangerous and costly surgery on their eyes in the long run as well as creation of other diseases. This is all in the name of trying to be healthy, following the “new and cool health guidance” in the masses. Lets say the vata imbalanced person did not have the digestive capacity or strength (yes, I know it makes no sense from a western view) and clogged with aama in their system to deal with the oil pulling and it just made the whole system clogged more and created further disease due to the coldness of the coconut oil just created more imbalanced vata after that. Of course these are completely fabricated examples. Had it been sesame, it would be different. It most likely would have created health for both. Sesame, once again, is heating and subtle so it would bring down the imbalance of both kapha and vata, which are cold in nature. This is why sesame oil is used as a default substance. Let add more real world example to the complexity, these two people also have their original state or “prakriti” and then the imbalance spoke of. Due to that original state it can throw another complication into the mix. Say that vata imbalanced person was of a kapha original state or even more complex a kapha/vata original state with a vata imbalance. Wow, now you have the hardest person to work with and using coconut oil definitely just created a new disease, a complication of what they had. I hope you now understand why no empirical evidence can be gained from any study of Ayurveda because it does not work within the Western paradigm of one size fits all and to do so it to treat it as allopathy, symptom chasing using a shotgun. (maybe you followed what I just stated or maybe not, this is how complicated it gets and why it is detailed and individualized, read other posts mentioned above for more on those details)

Ayurveda does not use a general treatments blindly for everyone. There is no vata, pitta, and kapha diet plans in real Ayurveda. That is purely a Western watered down diet plan that they are “selling” as ayurveda. It is not ayurveda though. There are some very general guidelines that are beneficial for everyone but beyond this everything becomes individualized and every meal needs all six tastes in real Ayurveda, not lacking because of dosha ideas. Beside, your diet is to be based upon seasons and where you live and other factors, oh, I guess that is too complicated.

Contraindications as per the original texts:
Oil Pulling can and will create disease if used by someone that has has “poisoning, fainting disease, alcoholism, depletion, TB, bleeding diseases, low clotting factor, inflammation of the eyes, constipation, and depletion of wastes.” (any correlations to these diseases caused by kavala is hardly to be understood in Western medicine but pretty obvious from view of Ayurveda) In that, the paradigm that this treatment comes from, a totally different culture with different lifestyle and incredibly different ways of eating as well as what is eaten, and how it is eaten, and many more variables are brought into the contraindications and/or the results of doing this treatment.

A few general signs of you creating a new disease by doing oil pulling incorrect with an oil that will clog would be bad breath, itchy eyes, new sinus problems, congestion, colds, foggy head, heavy head, headaches, sleep changes, loss of taste, loss in clarity of vision, and the list goes on depending upon the persons individuality. I hope you get that by trying all these new fangled “health” and cleanse fads, you really are playing Russian roulette and from an Ayurvedic view most likely creating imbalance. It is not like you can just stop doing this stuff and everything returns to how it was. If you create a disease by this, it will be hard to treat, specially by a Western lens that doesn’t even correlate the symptom with what you have created in the first place. Say you have created allergies by doing this with coconut oil in spring and where you live there is no sun in springtime. Antihistamines are not going to help this at all. The popular thing to do would be to take antibiotics but what help would they be for allergies?

Oh hey, another bit about this whole thing, like the part about it making your teeth whiter, its not because it is coconut oil. It is the reason why it is done for a until you tear. The swishing of the oil changes its action and saponification of the oil happens. It acts as a detergent in your mouth. 

So, the bigger problem and the real statement here to make …… think about this for a second. As this misinformation is presented in those articles out in the public, definitely in the attempt to be helpful and of innocence (and not just sales, marketing, and completely irresponsibility), what about the people that are being affected adversely and being harmed, even unknowingly…….. what about them? You. You people out there. Your just trying to do what is good for your health right? Who is writing the articles? Where is it being published? Another article I read was written by someone who makes jewelry for a living, another one was written by a wedding photographer, another one was written by a writer for health magazines. Come on people, wake up. None of them are educated in Ayurveda. Would you trust you house to be built by a wedding photographer? Trust her to do your dentistry? Then why your health? Why is it okay for anyone to write anything they want about anything in the health and spiritual world of the West. America would not allow someone without the knowledge and correct education to practice law right? Why do they have a national bar exam and Ayurveda practitioners simply pay a membership fee with no ethical or educational standards to get membership? 

Also, do you think for one moment that these people are going to take any responsibility for what happens to you? The fact that most of you out there are following something that is a fad, blindly because a celebrity said it is good?????

This is the health and spiritual world of today. Did you know you were being lied to about that outrageously expensive ghee your buying in the store too or how to make it on your own with a stick of butter? Thats not real ghee, either of those. Its only over priced clarified butter that had a recording of a mantra playing when it was melted from a block of butter. Buying it can’t help make you enlightened. This is what they are selling and an underlying promise of health. But how are you know the difference? https://trueayurveda.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=20&action=edit You can just throw a stick of butter in a pot and melt it down and say “OM” over it and get the same results. Not ghee. Just blessed butter. :)

This is what the Western consumeristic world is doing to Ayurveda and you, really. Then research is done upon this incorrect understanding of Ayurveda’s treatments and substances like ghee by Western research methods and they come up with research disproving what Ayurveda claims. Thats where things get messy. Translating Ayurveda to Western science isn’t easy. Kavala will never be understood from Western lens for what it is, why to do it, when to do it, who should do it, how it should be done, etc…. Without dropping the lens of Western medicine and picking up one of the context and education of Ayurveda, that improper knowledge, education, and translation can only result in that some people get hurt, Ayurveda gets a very bad name, and the general public is none the wiser or healthier. Think before you just jump on the popular bandwagon. Do your research. Educate yourself properly through valid channels and open your mind when looking at something from a different paradigm. It takes time to comprehend a different paradigm.

*****The following is taken straight from text of Ashtanga Hrydaya. (notice the lack of any mention of COCONUT OIL and trust me, they got coconuts galore in Ayurveda, specially in Southern India where this text originates from. This says volumes and is even more proof for you that coconut oil is not used in Kavala. Trust me, they would have used it if it was fit for use.)

The hows whens and whys of all of this.

  • Gandusha is Holding of large quantities of medicated oils in the mouth while Kavala is Swishing of oils

  • There are four types of Gandusha: Snigda, Shamana, Shodana, and Ropana. The first three are indicated in vitiation of doshas and the later in ulcer.

  • Snigda or oil holding is done with fats processed with sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Shamana is done with fats processed in bitter astringent and sweet tastes. Shodana is done with fats processed in bitter, acidic, sour and salty drugs. Ropana is done with astringent and bitter.

  • *Fat, milk, honey, water, vinegar, alcohol, soup, cow’s urine, and cereal stock (notice no coconut oil) all can be used as well along with paste of medicines, with or without cooking, in desired temperature, and as per condition.

  • For loose teeth, sensitive teeth, and diseases of the oral cavity due to vitiation of vata, Gandusha can be done with luke warm water or cold water mixed with paste of sesame seeds.

  • For daily use gandusha can be done with sesame oil or meat soup.

  • Ghee or Milk can be used with inflammatory conditions with burning or scalding sensations, exogenous conditions like injuries, poisons, burns and alkalis and fire

  • With honey (old honey, not american processed and cooked honey. Honey must be astringent!!!) it creates clarity of the mouth, heals ulcers, and soothes burning sensations and thirst

  • With cereal stock it alleviates distaste and sediment, coating and hallitosis. Used cold and without salt it alleviates dryness of mouth.

  • With mild water it instantly disintegrates the aggravation of kapha and with warm water brings lightness to the mouth.

Only to be done:

  • When the sun is shining and the day is devoid of breeze

  • After fomenting and massaging the shoulders and neck

  • Retain the liquid in the mouth until the mouth gets full of kapha (mucous in this case), and the eyes and nose have secretions

Filling the mouth completely and not having movement is Gandusha. Kavala is otherwise.

Diseases of manya (the occipital region, where the occipital bone joins the spine, head, ears, mouth, and eyes.) Praseka (diseases of throat, dryness of throat, dryness of mouth) Hrllasa (nausea), stupor, anorexia, rhinorrhoea, are specifically cureable with Kavala.



Further references are:

Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana Ch 26 Trimarmia: Afflictions of Vital Organs
This section is about the treatment of mouth diseases.

Ashtanga Hrdaya Sutrasthana 2, Chapter 22 Gandushavidya: Norms of Buccal Retention etc.

Bhela Samhita Chapter 21: Diseases of Head

Bhavaprakash Chapter 5.31 – 35




The last bit in this article about your gum and teeth health (and probably more important and pertinent):

Every Ayurvedic practitioner should know that your gums are nothing more than an extension of the muscle and bone tissue of your system. If your gums are receding it is an imbalance in your muscle tissue or what you are doing to your mouth, like brushing to hard or with too hard of a toothbrush and/or like sweet toothpaste…. it is destroying your gum health. Your gum and tooth health has more to do with your digestion and the state of the balance of your tissues health than any coconut oil pulling nonsense will ever do for you (the symptom verses the cause)

Your teeth health is dependent upon the health of your bone tissue in the same way as your muscle to your gums. Yes, what you use to clean them and what you eat will have an effect but the main state of your teeth and gums health is not going to be found thru oil pulling. It may help but once again not the root cause, just a symptom. Receding gums for example is a statement of your bone health more than a statement of your gum health. And if you have any doubt, just go out and get a bone density test if you have receding gums. For most people this makes no sense at all but with the very foundational understanding of Ayurveda it makes total sense and treating your bone and muscle tissue most likely will bring back your gum health.

Example of a common experience: I have had several clients that have had stained teeth. One in particular was complaining about her teeth and didn’t want to use any dark toothpaste or tooth powder because she thought it was staining her teeth. After cleaning up her diet and strengthening her digestive system we worked on rebuilding her bone strength. In no time at all, the whiteness of her teeth and the shine came back to her teeth.

This is not a rare experience either.

No swishing coconut oil needed.

Ayurveda is not a bunch of simplified treatments like oil pulling that is just used or done haphazardly. It is a deep and extremely detailed science. It takes years to study and understand. Please use discernment, that is what it is for.

37 thoughts on “Oil Pulling: An ancient Ayurvedic treatment, or is it?

  1. I believe you’re writing a lot of interesting things, and you probably have more knowledge about this than most westerners. I just started oil pulling with coconut oil and got a cold. Imagine me reading your post, it made quite an impression. But, why are you so agitated? You write so many important things, and you seem so angry. It’s so difficult to not feel undermined, to not feel stupid when reading your posts. We’re not stupid for not thinking right or for being westerners, we’re doing the best we can with the knowledge we have. Aren’t you from the west yourself? You know what they say, the worst anti-smokers are former smokers. I’ having a hard time believing that both the ayurvedic message and yours, is to make other people feel small for making uneducated mistakes. I hope in time your posts will be more filled with non-judgmental wisdom, making ayurveda more available and understandable to people who wish to take greater care of their health, without having the opportunity to diverge their lives fully and completely to it, like you have. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comment soakedtealeaves, love the name.

      Sorry about your cold, i can assume it s a head cold since that is what the coconut oil would possibly do. Thank you for the proof and sorry you had to be the victim.

      Just the quick answer……. yes a bit agitated and then again not at all. Kinda a bipolar thing.

      It is what it is.

      The other side, because in living in the world of health and healing for 25 years, I have watched the surge of the health field and along with it has come a great irresponsibility and sales. It actually goes completely against “health” doesn’t it?I mean the health of people, not the health of one’s bank account.

      I continually get to a point that i find it overwhelmingly impractical to try to teach real ayurveda.
      1. it is an amazingly deep science that takes years of study to understand.
      2. It is not in a paradigm of take this to relieve this as it takes the entire life of someone into account and I just don’t see how this can possibly work within the Western paradigm at all.
      3. When you look thru the lens of Ayurveda, you see our Western world, yes, i am here too. You see it as a really disease forming mess in every way. Literally. It is heart wrenching. Then to have people want to argue against a 10,000 year old time tested science because their own ignorance or to have people selling as it is not which only hurts people and destroys Ayurveda, well it kinda wears on me after a while. So some of my posts reflect that.
      4. Just as you got a cold from following what is assumed to be good information but is only a popular trend, this is case and point to my frustration. With all the noise out there in the health world, how would you know the difference? Then to have the detailed knowledge and wisdom of this beautiful science and watch it be disintegrated by our greed and fear…… and you are a victim in the meantime. And with that you do not know the consequences of what has been done. It is not within our paradigm to see the cause and effect.

      I think that explains my tone and my words. If I did not shout, you would not hear me. :)
      Thanks for your comment

      • Thank you, I love Ayurveda, and you really seem to embrace Ayurveda deeply.
        I have completed the Ayurvedic Healing course and Advanced Yoga course with Dr Frawley, to care for myself better…

  2. Interesting. Glad you commented on the other post. It makes more sense that oil pulling should be part of an overall program, rather than a “miracle” cure.
    Many natural treatments are often touted as a cure for things that really don’t relate to a treatment!

    It took awhile to read your offering, but worthwhile. I think I have a better understanding of what is going on with the body when using this process. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comment Artagene. There is so much detail and a whole different paradigm to understand, or try to, when it comes to Ayurveda. It is a pleasure to hear your comprehension of it.

  3. This is very impressive & gave me a Lot of insight! I just turned 50(yikes) & after all these years, I now am just thinking a little healthier. That is why I am here reading this..Because of what i have read about oil pulling, so thanks for stopping me! I smoked for years, & drank soft drinks like crazy! so after taking my oral health for granted, & watching my teeth get darker. I was reading about it. I’m not going to lie. I am very ignorant to all! But I think I will just stick with warm water for the time being, until my eyes water. Thank you again!

    • Thank you for your comment Angela. Yes, I agree. With everything that I have learned over the past 25 years of studying this stuff, it shocks me everyday to open my eyes to the ignorance of what is health in the modern world and the sales of THINGS outside of ourselves as touted health. You have it all within you already, really. We just don’t have the wisdom in this culture of a melting pot.
      Your teeth darkening is actually the health of the bone tissue. You may want to get a bone density test to check on em. My mother used to have osteoporosis. Not anymore. There are things that can be done but not in the Western model.
      Good luck, and keep up the learning.

  4. Pingback: Potentially less than pleasant side effects of oil pulling with coconut oil – and update | Sirène de la Mer

    • Hey, Thanks for the link and plug. I wish you had also quoted the statement of following a strict ayurvedic diet as well as the need for the treatment to have sudation and fomation prior. But a plug is a plug right. Although the scientist will come up with high carb diets it is still not correct. any heavy diet will cause severe problems with this treatment. Problem is that the effects are not felt right away and they won’t go away with any western treatments either. Think of having a chronic congestion for the rest of your life. Is it worth all the fooling around with stuff that we don’t understand from a totally different context?

      Unfortunately, your not the only one that is gonna have side effects of the “harmless” oil pulling.

      I actually feel like pulling the entire blog down for the amount of flak i get from ignorant people saying how it can’t happen and stuff.

      Remember you heard it here first and only.

      Good luck with your trials and experiments.

      • My goodness; you know I made my post as a ‘heads up’ to people about what could happen. I obviously don’t have your background in this field and even I have been shocked at the idiotic comments I get!! So I definitely hear you on that one. But in all honesty–I’d say keep it up and ignore those nay-sayers. But of course it’s your decision. :)

      • Sorry darling, I removed a portion that must have had it in it but it is down at the bottom in the part:

        Only to be done:

        When the sun is shining and the day is devoid of breeze

        After fomenting and massaging the shoulders and neck

        Retain the liquid in the mouth until the mouth gets full of kapha (mucous in this case), and the eyes and nose have secretions

        It gets pretty nasty with the comments. It is like I am preaching against someones religion or something. Thanks again. If you wanna talk about what is going on and any side effects just send me a mail. Brad.yantzer@gmail.com.

        I don’t really want to be putting out all of the details of this treatment because people are going to use it irresponsibly much like what is already going on. I don’t wanna feed the fire. My intent was to inform what you wrote about the article actually, so thanks again.

        The fact that you had the reaction (sorry you went thru that) that you did states much about your situation in general that need attention. I would advise you not to do anymore oil pulling, sorry.

      • Hi again, I will definitely be emailing you, like right now… Because I wanted to ask your honest opinion on something if you don’t mind. I totally understand your frustrations, but I also don’t see why you should have to constantly ‘battle’ all those people, especially when you’re trying to help!

  5. I truly appreciate you writing this post. I’ve linked it in my own post where I had a quite drastic reaction to coconut oil OP (which I realize could be due to different things). But it’s just shocking to me how rarely this is talked about! I appreciate you reminding others of the several factors involved when choosing to take on a new health practice. Wishing you all the best! :)

  6. you specifically lament the use of coconut oil for oil pulling but from what little bit i understand, the whole idea of oil pulling (by the western culture’s idea) is wrong? by which i mean people don’t follow the correct usage or methods and don’t eat the right things, basically don’t understand what they are doing…
    what about the people who praise oil pulling (typically they use sesame oil) and claim that it helps them? are they lying or does it have hidden, adverse side effects later on from not doing it exactly as the science behind it dictates?

    i am slightly confused and i come only seeking your wisdom. (not here to bash or invoke your wrath)

    note: i don’t oil pull, i just recently heard about it, became curious, and started digging and discovered your site. just wondering about the benefits people claim and why it would work if they aren’t following the rules.

    • Rachel,

      Thanks so much for commenting.
      I will do my best to explain. Without a wrath. :)
      Just because i care about what is going on out there to peoples health and the ridiculousness of it all gets pretty over whelming that my passion for ayurveda and peoples lives…. well sometimes it gets loud. Plus, i think this explains better anything you might take as anger or wrath in my posts. https://trueayurveda.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/this-is-what-happens-when-spiritual-paths-are-bastardized/

      #1 You see, ayurveda does not work within the paradigm of western thought. If you read the research article i linked on that post you might get a bit from that. The best I can say is that Ayurveda works in what we would consider a quantum logic but actually much more. Our science has only started to understand quantum as they have named it although the vedic sciences all are based in it and had it mapped out in detail long ago. Our sciences are not the best and advanced as we have been taught to believe.

      #2 the general masses have no template for understanding what is healthy or not, they follow what is popular like Dr. Oz is right now and what he says is the word of god but he is only a surgeon with 2 hrs of education in nutrition. Not bashing him. He is helping people, kind of. Harming from my lens.

      #3 how do you explain subtle things to a crowd who is excessively numb and always looking for more stimulation due to the numbness? I don’t mean to put anyone down. Not at all. You can ask anyone who actually meditates and doesn’t live in the crazy western world of desire fulfillment and they will agree whole heartedly with what i just said.

      #4 so with that, what is there to diagnose, I mean real diagnosis that what they are doing with coconut oil is actually helping. Nothing. It is all based upon their experience. Given what i stated in the last two can you see how that might be skewed?
      I could say alot of things, which i have in other posts, that the masses would disagree with. I would tell you that Bikram Yoga has absolutely nothing to do with yoga and from a yogic lens it is very disease forming and imbalancing. Lots of people would disagree, because of their lack of knowledge of what yoga, their attachment to identification with Bikram yoga, and their lack of experience. It is a limited experience. Yet i would tell you that the word yoga is synonymous with samadhi and nirodha. It is a state in which there are seven levels of samadhi or a state in which the prana and the mind still, one is out of the mind. How is this, true (and you can look it up) yoga (not my opinion) having anything to do with a class that is based in externalization and breaking down the body, force, excess exertion… the list goes on. Nothing in common. Just because they are having an experience does mean it is yoga nor does it mean what i just wrote is actually incorrect or even judgmental like I have been accused of many times.

      #5 I have tested ayurveda myself, I have pretended things don’t matter and that the text could be wrong. Every time I am bit in the ass and hard. I end up creating my own suffering. The science is complete, just only up to the capacity of the person’s education and knowledge.

      #6 Coconut oil could possibly be okay for someone that has bleeding disorders and stuff along those lines but then kavala is contraindicated for those diseases anyway so it would not be done.

      #7 Here is western science research for you to back up what I am saying. http://www.carbohydratescankill.com/forums/general-questions/negative-about-coconut-oil

      Just as Dr Oz made the neti pot go from $10 to $35 over night and all of the West started to do it, there was an incident in new Orleans. Two people died of brain eating amoebas. From doing neti pot with tap water.
      Look it up. https://www.google.com/search?q=neti+pot+brain+eating+amoebas&oq=neti+pot+brain+eating+amoebas&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.9902j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=91&ie=UTF-8
      Now with my education and experience, what has been found as the culprit to their brain eating amoebas is utterly absurd. Tap water is chlorinated and cleaned. Even if it was tainted in some way, it is nothing compared to the water of India where neti pot has been done for how long??????? With what kind of water??????? Not filter or treated, just out of a river that others have been doing all sorts of stuff in up stream. Yet it seems to me that nothing like this has ever happened in India. When we look closer at what happened we see why. No one is actually teaching correctly how to dry the sinuses after doing neti. It is not in all these american books of yoga and neti. so what happens to the water that is left in your sinuses without your knowledge? What happens when someone already has a condition that they are not conscious of having, like slight congestion all the time? And then that water sits in it. Well… you guessed it. brain eating amoebas. Yes, i am actually making it up logically though. This is most likely what happened because the actual full knowledge was not given out to the masses. In my view, Dr. Oz is actually a murderer. Yes, it was those two people that died, it was their responsibility to find out all the facts about it before doing it but who do you know that reads the operating instructions of anything before powering it up and turning it on these days. (That would be more proof about the ignorance of people) But also this knowledge is not easily accessible with all the junk on the net today. Just look at the oil pulling as an example. Who is writing these articles and blogs and then even when someone that is supposed to have that knowledge writes a blog, they have to write it in a quick 30 second clip to keep the limited attention span of people. (and even more to say about the modern culture of today) Look at my blog. Who do you think actually reads the entire post? I can’t believe many. But look at how long it takes to try to give some actual real knowledge to what this is and why and how to do it, yet i haven’t actually told everything about it, just superficially actually. And i still have people commenting about how they are right and i am wrong. It amazes me.

      If you look at the other comments you will see two others down there of people that have had bad stuff happen to them. What they don’t have any comprehension of is what they have actually created. Ayurveda is very very detailed, amazingly so. We live in a compartmentalized world of linear thinking in the west. It is just the way it is. We don’t understand that something can have lasting effects beyond us feeling good in the moment. Did you realize if i was to diagnose you i would need to do a complete health history and it would tie everything together telling a story to me that would lead exactly to where you are now. From that i could even predict and be very correct about what would happen next, even within which month. This is Ayurveda. It deals with the root of the cause and not a symptom whereas our western sciences and paradigm only see the symptom.

      and then again, this http://www.carbohydratescankill.com/forums/general-questions/negative-about-coconut-oil

      The western sciences are slowly starting to change. It is very hard to change a paradigm though. Specially when it has a ton of fear riding it around health and boundaries and identity.

      Read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/science/new-truths-that-only-one-can-see.html?_r=0
      Yes, it is western research on western research but explains alot. I plan on doing a post of this stuff.

      Remember when soy was so good for you and best for women’s hormones and mens? Were people not buying it and using it like mad? Where they not saying that they felt better? Was it not still messing up their hormones yet Western research had not proved that yet?

      Read the posts on juicing and raw food.
      Although people feel good doing it, it is actually very vata aggravating as any ayurveda Doctor will tell you. The increase in vata makes someone feel lighter. But who said that is good? Did you know that being depleted feels good? Yes, imbalancing prana is like getting high. Really. Doesn’t mean it is good. It creates disease. It takes vata to create a disease, pitta and kapha are completely passive and cannot do anything without vata. Which is why all of yoga asana is about balancing prana. Prana is responsible for all sensory and neuromuscular actions in the entire body. it makes your physiology work properly. Peristalsis is just one. Example is that if you go up in a plane, vata = prana goes up. When you land it can stay up and you will have constipation. Dryness. Etc. but because we don’t understand this or feel energy = prana, as it doesn’t actually exist in the 1 dimensional western world except in woo woo healing modalities, well how are we to know?

      I hope i answered your question.

      Kinda hard to explain why people have an experience of something and I am saying that it is not actually correct. I know how hard that is to believe. There is just much more than we understand.

      Maybe i can say it like this… Ayurveda has 20 types of diabetes and over half are curable. Western Medicine sees two, type a and type b. Both are incurable but manageable. Why is there a discrepancy between the two? Because western medicine thinks that it is a sugar problem. That is a symptom. Not the problem. the problem is actually a water problem, not sugar. Working with the sugar levels will only make it manageable at best. Working with the water will cure the disease n some cases depending upon what of the 20 types there are.

      It is a completely different paradigm.
      Welcome to it if you have the courage to be open minded enough. It is a great ride. :)

      • Dear Brad,
        Thank you so much for this, need your advice.
        I do daily neti for years, but what is the best way to dry out after neti, apart from turning head up and side and blow your nose, I found there is always some salt water left behind, I just use part boling water, non iodine salt and tap water…..too hard to run around buying or getting filtered water…
        I live in Oz, where tap water is drinking quality..

      • Jaqueline, Thanks for your comment and your time. Too funny, too sweet. You are one of the few people to ever ask such a wonderful and aware question as drying the sinuses is hardly known or taught and the reason for the two people dieing in New Orleans years back from Dr. Oz making the neti pot irresponsibly popular. To avoid brain eating amoebas, lol, do a forward bend after finishing. Deep inhale and slowly exhale while rolling up. Repeat with head turned towards each side. (yes, this is not working in the direction of flow of prana, i realize) Then after do at least 100 rounds of kapalbhati. You can plug one nostril while doing some then the opposite. The sinuses will be dried by the time you are finished unless you have some sort of sinus problem structurally or due to a blockage.

        Warning. Jala neti is not for daily use. When the seasons and individual balance/imbalance is taken into consideration. Unfortunately this detail is not taught as well. Say someone has a kapha imbalance in the head and they are using salt water. What does salt do for kapha? We are taught that it gets rid and melts kapha right? It increases kapha. What season is it? Late winter when kapha is being built? What do you think is going to happen? Think about it. Can’t help but throw some deeper knowledge in there.

        Glad you live in Oz where tap water is usable. Lol. It is usable pretty much anywhere. Municipal water is clean water. There is no worry of anything from tap water. That is just purely ignorance on the part of Western minds. Think about this for a second…. what kind of water is being used in India for it? River water? Pond water? No brain eating amoebas ever reported there. Strangely. Another reason is that what does the salt do to the skin? It stops the water from being able to penetrate the membrane. Osmosis. Saltwater has a much higher osmotic pressure than ordinary water, which means that salt water is not easily absorbed into the delicate blood vessels and membranes in the nose, whereas ordinary water is. If you try this practice with ordinary water you will discover for yourself, in the form of pain in the nose.

        Thanks again for commenting.

  7. Mr trueayurveda,
    First I would like to thank you for writing this blog. I was actually in the beginning stages of researching oil pulling for my speech class when I realized that there wasn’t much “Western” studies on the subject. Hence I was having a hard time trying to gather true evidence for using oil pulling as an alternative dental hygiene treatment. That is when I came upon this blog and realized that I truly couldn’t give a speech on a topic that I certainly didn’t know about and whose true origin is part of a health system different from what here in the U.S. would consider medicine.
    I myself have been oil pulling for 2 weeks now (with coconut oil, oops). Although I did see whiter teeth and less gum bleeding, I began to have a side effect I didn’t want to admit-I was having insomnia.
    What you say makes all kinds of sense. I have always felt that the body is more “complicated” that what we think it is; meaning, taking one pill and doing some fad diet is not a cure all event. We eat so hurried and so much in this country that i believe people have stopped paying attention to what they are truly eating. The way I see as a road to holistic health is one which takes many years of practice and understanding: of yourself, your inner soul, what to eat, how to eat, proper exercise. But because this takes time, people don’t want to deal with it. Therefore, people are always looking for a cure all.
    I see now that my speech is going to focus on the myths about oil pulling, without trying to offend the audience.
    One question: any advice you can give a young college student like myself who wants to practice life lasting health habits? :)
    Once again, thanks for this blog and best wishes on your journey

    • Thank you Raciel. I appreciate your comments. I would ask you a question that might guide you into some deeper exploration into self. Why are you worried about offending anyone? You know that i can write just the word IGNORANCE and so many people take offense. Why? Can I be concerned about them taking offence? If I continue to worry about how to reach people that are creating all sorts of stuff on their own that blocks them I will never actually be in any truth of my own. Instead everything i will say will be wrapped in a bubblegum wrapper so that it can sell on the terms of the person that is being offended easily. This means I am not doing myself or them any good. If they get offended, maybe just maybe, they might look at why they are offended. I am not trying to offend anyone so it is on their account that they are being offended. If I do contort my phrasing it means i am manipulating what I am saying to try to sell someone something. Think about it. Communication is a two way street. Can you have an intelligent educational conversation with a person that totally has different view point without getting offended and in the end everyone learning? There is also something else in our western world that is missing. A humbleness and honoring that someone might actually know something. Our education system has no lineage, just a quick learning to pass exams and tests and then thrown out into the world to make money. There is no in depth study of an art or profession with a wise teacher that is handing down the trade as well as the trade secrets over many years of service from the student. Today is a quick certification and you are off selling something. So there is a disregard for wisdom. Everything has turned into subjective opinion only and religion. Dogma. Just some thoughts that i am sure might stir the pot for your round table.

      To answer the last question about where to learn a practice life lasting health habits…… well considering that has been my path for the last 25 years…….. I would ask you how deep do you wanna get. There are many levels. Not all paths lead to the same place contrary to the self absorbed spiritual thought that tends to be out there. Where is your trajectory? What is the life you will live? Another way I could say it all is that hardly anyone is really willing to do what it really a yogic life. Is it for everyone? No. Not at all. To go against one’s nature has drastic horrible results. Creates mental and psychic problems and disease. So it is a longer conversation rather than me telling you of a teacher that would teach you something. Email me if you wanna continue the conversation.

      To all your being….

  8. Hi Sir,
    Thank you for enlightening me. I’ve learned a lot from you! Can i have your email sir coz I have some questions re: my health.
    Thank you.

  9. Pingback: References of Oil Pulling as per Wikipedia | GuruNanda

  10. Glad I came across this before I got into the oil pulling. Would coconut oil still be safe to use as part of a home made toothpaste. There’s recipes out there for whiter teeth, and coconut oil is being used.?

    • Jim, I would probably not, as once again as stated several times in the article, bodhaka kapha is the saliva. It will create an imbalance in time if not immediate. It also depends on what else is in the recipe though.

      Why are they using coconut oil you ask?????
      Why was it considered to be one of the unhealthiest foods and oils back in the eighties and prior to then by the West?
      Everything is all about popularity and sales Jim. Why was tofu and soy a huge seller back in the 90’s? What happened? Research showed it was all that. Then it didn’t. This is the only way the western world works. Consumption. New, improved, whiter, brighter. Every few years brings new diet fads and the last ten or so every year brought a new health substance, prices go skyrocketing and people make money until the rug gets pulled out from under the research. People are sheep, that is why they are using coconut oil.

      Truth is really difficult to see without knowledge and the Western world cannot see the whole picture no matter how it might try.

      For how long have they been telling you to watch your cholesterol? They have everyone freaked out for decades so people end up consuming lots of simple carbohydrates, which created its own problems. In only the past few years Western science now figured out about inflammation and that is now the focus and that the problem never really was cholesterol. So how about all the people that they have given diseases to with all the cholesterol meds?

      So now, they look for things like C-reactive protein, which gives insights into levels of inflammation. But they have already conditioned people to be scared of cholesterol. And do you think it will be found in the C-reactive protein?????? What was Dr. Atkins selling????

      And yet margarine is still on the shelves in stores.

      This is the ongoing process of the West; research identifies something; there is a great flurry of activity around that thing, and then comes new research that refutes the earlier findings.
      Get the level of ignorance and how it flows.
      Some people think that it is because that science is growing, from an Ayurvedic lens, obviously not.

  11. Thank you for the reply. Even with the new white fillings some are known to have BPA in them. So now pick your poison, the metal fillings with mercury or the white ones with BPA? Is there anybody left in this world that has any common sense?

    Here’s the rest of that recipe for the toothpaste, she can’t handle the oil pulling with the coconut oil so she made this up instead.

    Coconut oil, which naturally contains antibacterial/antimicrobial properties due to its high lauric acid content .

    Baking soda, which neutralizes acid-loving bacteria in your mouth, responsible for causing cavities. Baking soda also helps to whiten teeth, remove plaque, and maintains healthy gums.

    Xylitol, a natural sweetener, sweetens the toothpaste, and has cavity-fighting properties of its own! According to this article, “Xylitol not only rids the mouth of sticky harmful bacteria, it actually promotes the growth of tooth-protective, non-acidic bacteria. Xylitol also raises mouth pH and encourages mineral-rich saliva to flow into the mouth. This can protect and remineralize teeth by repairing the deep layers of enamel.” You can buy xylitol {here}.

    Essential oils, commonly peppermint, cinnamon or citrus essential oils, all have antibacterial properties of their own.

    • Jim,
      Modern world stuff. Simple as this. Use sweet toothpaste and cause gum disease. Get vicco tooth powder and use it. I would ask you to read the entire article again, exhausting I know. The whiteness of the teeth are the health of the bone. Have her do a bone density test and report back on the findings. Can do all the cosmetic stuff you want and it is not ever going to deal with the root problem. After the results of the BD test we can go from there. This may also show osteopenia or worse osteoporosis and then what, start popping calcium pills. Really try to get where i am coming from, all the western way of looking at everything is backwards. Fix the bone health and the teeth fall right in line. Use sweet and heavy kapha aggravating substances in the mouth and cause all sorts of diseases. Fillings I cannot help you with. They are part of the western world. There is a whole part of ayurveda dentistry, unfortunately it is not my focus of study. Just the basics of it. As for the tips, they are all western still as well. Thanks though, i will stick to nature and ayurveda.

    • Jim, do what you want. If you are going to be listening to every single person’s ideas and theories out there, your gonna get nowhere and end up like David Icke and the moon is gonna be a hollow space alien base that rings like a bell when the meteors hit it. Seriously, he first was focused on the color of his teeth and look what happened to him…. Lol.

      Fact is that most products out there are harmful in one form or manner if not the product and what it has in it then the way one is using it. Most are not even made up to the quality that they are said to be, production does this. If you want a real peek into the industry world, the cattle and chicken world is a real time example of what sales is. You probably already know this. Sales is never for your health, it is to sell you something. I am not apologizing for this product having aluminum, that is if it even does.

      (also, India has a very very low rate of alzheimers and dementia and funny enough, almost all the cook ware used, majority of it, is aluminum. I would seriously ask you to really reconsider what you believe and what you are reading out there)

      As stated before, how many toothpastes are sweet. Almost all of them right? This is anabolic to the tissues and makes them grow and soft and unhealthy and disease ready. Bleeding gums, right there, only cause.

      This toothpowder is made for the masses. Is there one that is made more authentically? Not likely available to the masses and easily procured. Get it? This is the level of what is available. Plus, if i knew of one and was using it myself the last thing I would do is make its presence know to the public so that it would end up in the path of the goji berry and everything else in the excessive consumer world.
      You want the best make it yourself. Find the bulk herbs grind them to a fine powder and use them. I will even write a post for you on the herbs.

      More importantly, this is a very very small thing comparatively to the reason why you are having to go on this insane and fear based hunt in the first place.
      Since atichintam or overuse of the mind and overthinking or excessive thinking is one of the main causes of high vata (also fear), maybe doing less would be good for the health of the body, teeth and even “bones”.

      Just a 2 cents.

  12. There’s hydrated salts of potassium in it, there’s aluminum in that stuff , that isn’t somebody opinion, thats science. I’m keeping an open mind and only taking in what makes most sense. I’m not listening to everybody, only the ones who make the most sense. I know how to use the internet lol. I don’t believe everything that I read, I’ll research the research until I’m satisfied.

    I’m not going on an insane witch hunt for cleaner, stronger teeth, I’m just searching around for ideas. When somebody gives me one, or if I find one to be interesting , then I do my home work on the product. If I don’t like what I read, then I’ll move on to something else. I’m not freaking out here trying to find that 1 magic potion lol My work is seasonal , so I have a lot of time to find something that I’ll be happy with.

    • Gotcha Jim. I would have to say good luck on your journey. It is really difficult with out proper deep knowledge to do anything in the realm of Ayurveda or Chinese Medicine as well. They both do not work from the paradigm that the Western mind works from. You do not take something to deal with a symptom of something and unfortunately that is all you and everyone else is left with in the Western world. As I have been saying, the discolouration of the teeth is most likely a problem with the bone tissue, not the teeth as they are secondary tissues. To treat the bones would be the primary problem, not the staining of the teeth. This is why the bone density test was advised. Until you know what the problem is, what are you treating? It is called chasing the dragon…. chasing the symptoms. In treating the symptoms more disease is created. Like putting a plug on the leak but not dealing with the nail that is causing the leak. The aluminum as I said, gotta watch what you believe. Western science is not all that. I have ample examples of how thier findings continue to change over and over. Gluten Intolerance the latest when the problem is the persons digestion and how they are eating to cause the inability to digest heavy foods, plus the gluten that is eaten is improperly cooked for the most part making it even more hard to digest. Follow me?

  13. My teeth got stained from drinking too many sodas when I used to work at a pizza store lol So instead of going with the white strips / make the teeth sensitive, I’m looking for a more natural way of doing it. I’m all about the Holistic approach , I do it ( raw diet, no vaccines since puppy stage,no heart worm poison, diatomaceous earth if he ever got a flea, etc), now I want to try it out for myself.

    • Jim, Read the latest post. just for you. Oh and advise is to ditch the raw diet. Does all sorts of really bad stuff to the body. Ask any Chinese medicine doctor or Ayurvedic doctor. It is a health fad. Destroys the digestion and creates blocking of the channels at the same time as raising vata. The sodas depleted your bones i am guessing, get the bone test done.

  14. Fantastic blog! I agree with you! I am an Ayurvedic Practitioner and work continuously on educating my clients that the Western Paradigm and Ayurvedic Paradigm are different. I have people who have educated with Institute of Integrative Nutrition who are taking an Ayurvedic herb for a symptom…they want beautiful skin. Yes! People need to be educated! It saddens me to see how people in the West disrespect this deep and insightful healing science.

    • Sally, Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is absolutely insane what is going on in the West as far as health goes not to even go into the entire facade of Western Ayurveda. What to do? When these people are paying huge amounts of money to get what they think is a real education, they learn from text books written from people that have never had authentic Ayurveda training or a watered down Western version and out they pop with a template Vata, Pitta and Kapha diet plan regime that has nothing to do with real ayurveda and no deep understanding of anything they are telling people to do…… nor the knowledge of the ramifications of it nor any need to take any responsibility, conveniently. What do you expect to show up but coconut oil pulling and crap like that? When Ayurveda in India is a minimun 5.5 years for a real education, do we think anything less in a superficial culture will be the same, say 24 weekends at Mount Madonna and one has a Masters in Ayurveda???

      The machine has grown beyond belief and is pumping out new certified practitioners with illegitimate education at an alarming rate. Hardly anyone actually cares from what I can see. Those uneducated just then copy off of those that are. Even rewriting article and stuff like that for their own fame. I even could name a woman who has published a top selling book on Amazon that is calling herself an Ayurvedic Expert (as far as her videos on youtube), and the book is stating to be based on ancient Ayurveda, yet turns out she has only done a few weekend courses with Dr. Lad and snuggled up next to some bigger names in Western Ayurveda to have them ref on the book. Another woman who has moved herself into a power position in the Ayurvedic world is a divorced indian housewife with a fake lineage, and fake credentials that she has made up. This is the darkness of the so called spiritual/health world. The excuses I have gotten from them when cornered is that you gotta start somewhere. In my world, peoples lives and health are being messed with and that is absolutely never okay. I do not see it getting better, just worse actually. Look at yoga, can’t go any different. No standards of education, no laws, and a romanticized vision of India to back it. Sadly. As I said, what to do?

      I just don’t think people know better…..

      Just as an eample here is an email I recieved about one persons journey trying to find real education here in the US.

      My interest in Ayurveda started as a yoga student and came to full fruition after encountering multiple chronic issues that western doctors didn’t have a clue about and my hath yoga teachers couldn’t touch as well. When looking at Ayurveda, there seemed to be an answer to a lot of my issues. After attending some lectures and having assessments with western Ayurvedic “clinical practitioners” that left me with little more information than what I had already surmised out of the basic books on Ayurveda, I decided to study the subject myself.
      For a host of practical reasons (i.e. I have a daughter) I decided to go with the California College of Ayurveda distance program who prided themselves on training clinical practitioners and their visibility within the western Ayurvedic community is apparent. This was totally new territory for me. I knew a bit about Ayurveda and had many doubts about learning this through a distance format – something I had never done before. But being completely naive in this field and hopeful that I could learn the basics of it this way as a practitioner, I trusted that they were what they said they were as it seemed simple enough at its core. Diet and lifestyle. Right?
      Yet from the get go some doubts started to creep in. On an introduction call with the director “Dr.” Halpern he told a fellow student named ” Kundalini” that she would learn how to diagnose illness through the pulse just like a practitioner she had met who told her she had a thyroid problem based solely on pulse assessment. This was somehow going to come from a distance learning set up too. I bit my tongue since I was aware of how much practice and skill this would take, though gave the director the benefit of the doubt since he supposedly had accolades in this field and I was pretty new to the whole affair
      The second questionable thing came when I got my course materials. It was a 400 page text written by the director himself with non existent sanskrit transliteration, partial or completely omitted references and bibliographies for most of the chapters in the book,lots of feel good quotes by western orientated authors, complete lack of photographs or proper herbal monographs,etc….I could go on and on. The content itself was a lot of what you come across in other books, albeit organized in a more systemic and clear manner which I did appreciate.
      However, this was supposed to bring us ” deep” into the world of Ayurveda and served as our only understanding of such complex topics as philosophy, history, dravyaguna, diagnostic procedures, pathology, and herbology! Multiple volumes could be written on just one of these subjects alone. The quizzes and homework accompanying the course were paltry as well consisting largely of multiple choice questions and half baked cookie cutter “case studies” with little depth. I later learned that all the answers to these quizzes and homework were accessible on-line through their student forum. The finals were based off this as well, thereby pretty much guaranteeing anyone success within this program and virtually no level of academic integrity for those who passed through their program.
      I knew I should of dropped the whole thing when I talked to my “master” teacher for the first time. She showed concern when I told her I would likely have many questions. I was not surprised given the fact that she had graduated from the program but a couple years earlier. Apparently this is common practice there, but shows little concern for what the word “master” entails. She couldn’t answer any of my questions in regards to the text (which were not terribly advanced) and had to default to the director for answers. After threatening to drop the program since I could just study the text myself and get as much if not more out of it on my own, they gave me a master teacher who was an M.D. from India. I at least felt I should give it a shot since I really wanted to learn the material and they were one of few programs accessible to me at the time.
      While my new teacher at least had some answers to my questions which I am grateful for – even she could do little to mitigate the brevity of the course content as outlined by Dr. Halpern and our allotted weekly time together was fairly minimal which only served to skim off the top of my basic questions on the subject that the text failed to get into. The end result was her always suggesting that I needed a guru (i.e.-regular teacher) to actually understand this stuff properly.
      To make a long story short, I was able to finish the reading and homework for the first two “modules” within two weeks with extremely minimal effort ( maybe 15-20 hours a piece). Two weeks and I was done with history, philosophy, and Ayurvedic anatomy and physiology! This was supposed to have taken two months to finish, which is even a ridiculously short time given the thousands of years of history in these subjects. In fact when all was said and done I was able to finish their entire course, as well as copious amounts of added texts and independent projects I took upon myself to round out the discrepancies I found in roughly half the time they allotted to the entire program ( I actually kept a record of my studied hours since I felt I was getting ripped off). I was also still at a loss for what I knew was the depth that Ayurveda offered and felt wholly cheated.
      When I brought my concerns to the director I was basically met with shrugged shoulders and a suggestion that I spend more money on a $300 text from David Frawley, whose correspondence course the entire college is based on as he informed me. He made no other accommodation to help me get deeper into the material. After giving $5000 to actually learn this material properly I shrugged my shoulders too and figured I had least gotten a decent basic introduction to the subject that I could start to use on my own, which was not the case as I will discuss. I was also later to learn that neither Dr. Halpern nor Dr. Frawley has any legitimate Ayurvedic training. Halpern is a chiropractic doctor that basically invented the Ayurvedic profession in the west as far as my understanding goes, spearheaded the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, and gave himself a lot of fancy titles that actually mean absolutely nothing nor have any legal sanction. How he has gotten so far is beyond me. Frawley got the “Dr.” title through a correspondence course in Chinese medicine, though he is commonly respected as a self taught Vedic scholar for whatever it is worth. Check out ” Modern and Global Ayurveda” for a good look at this and other real issues in Ayurvedic education (i.e. a text that should might be referenced in a proper program).
      When I went to the “college” for an intensive at the end of my first year I was somewhat furious, though tried to keep cool as I hoped this would somehow tie it all together. All I got was more concern seeing that many of the other students there were even more naive than myself and actually felt the material was too difficult in addition to lauding how much of a “master” Dr. Halpern was! Due to the same naivete they were actually going to take this stuff out into the world having no clue what they were doing!
      At our “bliss therapies” training they attempted to pack in complete abhyanga, shirodhara, and svedana training into 35 hours which then gave us a legal certificate to practice this in California. During the training they failed to cover basic hygenic conduct when working with patients, contraindications for the various therapies, or even something as fundamental as adjusting the therapies to different constitutional needs. This lack showed as people were having negative reactions to the therapies which the presenters dismissed completely. Some of the students who had a real medical background had to answer questions that the “trained” assistants had no clue on.
      When I started trying to ask questions about all I was observing the presenters started to ignore my raised hand in the Q & A sessions as I was visibly irate by that point. I had to literally run up to them in between sessions only to be dismissed with the comment that ” there are many ways to practice Ayurveda”. It was hopeless. I guess thoughtful discussion and real questions are not part of this the CCA protocol which felt more like an assembly line than education. My final alienation was when various students came in smelling of marijuana and talking about how ” stoked ” they were to have their “boobs” massaged. If there was anything close to a spiritual science or medicine being taught here, I’m not sure where it was. I was just in the wrong place and that was that.
      During the academic review of the program, it was more of the same. The teachers, a mix of recent graduates and faculty, were basically running down scripts and their own take on the spoon fed information from the same introductory material we had just learned over the past year. This brought very little depth to the situation and no real discussion once again. In talking to the students I got clued in that the first few years of the college they had some new age dance instructor teach them anatomy and physiology, but she was so out of her mind that Dr. Halpern refunded the students money so they could study the material on their own. Even one of the presenters commented how we were receiving a much better education than before when this “college” was run out of a retail space in a strip mall as far as I am aware. I can’t even imagine the state of affairs back then, which is even more disconcerting considering that many of these people have probably been practicing for many years and are spreading all kind of information in the name of Ayurveda through the US in the guise of properly trained practitioners.
      The biggest call for alarm came when I talked to an actual medical doctor who was taking the first year review after having completed the second year due to personal complications. When the idea of one dosha mixing with another in pathological conditions came up in our conversation, she was clueless. For those of you who don’t know Ayurveda, this is a fairly simple yet absolutely crucial concept that anyone even thinking about using Ayurveda should be aware of. The fact that this was coming from someone who completed the second year of this training and was about to go to work with clients in internship speaks to the caliber of their academic integrity or how much they care to ensure their students are receiving “the highest quality education and health care in the field of Ayurveda” as they claim. The fact that this person was a trained medical professional completely blew my mind as well. I’ll let you figure that one out.
      If I had any doubts left about continuing with CCA at this point, they finished right there and then. To add insult to injury, the second year students were actually grouped with us for a session, learning the same basic simple pulse techniques as us because there was a scheduling difficulty. Apparently those advanced techniques of diagnosing illness the Dr. Halpern had promised Kundalini weren’t going to be taught after all. Halpern even commented that this technique couldn’t be taught in this format and needed a personal teacher to master properly. I wish I was making up this level of hypocrisy, but I guarantee you I am not. I have sincere regard for these sciences and no profit motive to gain from any of this. I have since met practitioners who have graduated from CCA and found real Ayurvedic education afterwards through real vaidyas that won’t even put the CCA name on their bio to give you an idea what some people think about this place.
      In all fairness I did learn some basics that have been helpful in my life, yet once again was something that I could have figured out through my personal studies and was not the deep practitioner level I was promised. So when I finished I wanted to do something with my education, even if it was introductory. I decided to start a website to give people everything I learned so that they could at least have the basics without paying thousands of dollars to people falsely claiming clinical aptitude and making lots of money with self proclaimed “expert” status.
      But being one for honesty, I decided to do deeper research into every topic I had studied as I wanted to actually understand knowledge and not just an ability to report the “facts” I had heard from my classes, which is what a large majority of people in the west appear to be doing. I started reading the classics, delving into blogs, talking to people who learned from real Ayurvedic doctors, and devouring all the related information I could. I even visited other programs and attended workshops with mixed results. I don’t care to get into the minutia of everything I’ve since discovered in this process, but much of what I thought was useful in my program was just a twisted, dumbed down, and often times erroneous understanding of the basic tenants of Ayurveda. For example, even doing basic implementation of a diet plan as taught was completely backward and would end up harming people.
      Many of you may wonder how this happened as how can so many practitioners and an entire professional organizations be wrong? First of all when people have been duped they don’t want to admit their own faults or may not want to blemish someones reputation. There’s a certain shame and disbelief that comes with it all, a victim mentality. This is much the case with people being lead by these yoga teachers that are put on sat-guru like pedestals only to fall through all sorts of scandals. It is only a matter of time before people start speaking up.
      However, I also think the vast majority are just too naive to get their own understanding. The same thing has happened with yoga that is only sadly thought of as an exercise program to most people. Even people who think they know yoga and have read some philosophy or did a teacher training are still pretty lost. I have some experience with teachers of profound depth in this – not some dude at a “yoga” studio that thinks he is progressing spiritually because he practices asana and pranayama for 3 hours a day ( which I once was and have since been humbled). Just as yoga is not only asana, Ayurveda is not just Vatta-Pitta-Kapha, and astrology and is not just your Sun sign. There is so much complexity to the above that it literally blows your mind. Which is kind of the point.
      Spiritual and health disciplines are not free from commercial interests in this country just like anything else. In fact alternative health almost has to be sold to a skeptical audience. Ayurveda and all the vedic disciplines are in its infancy in this country and a lot of people are terribly up-selling or even completely falsifying what they are teaching as you can see from my experience. There may be a few Vaidyas worth their salt floating around the states, and I can accept people doing lifestyle consultations ( if they had a real training).But there’s always that upsell that most of these people do since they are bent on making it a profession and pretending to know more than they do instead of taking the time to do it right. Assembly line culture. Plain and simple. I do feel Ayurveda is a valid science and is worth being looked into, but to be careful in what you come across. We are so out of balance in this country that any energetic shift is often seen as a good one and perhaps why a lot of naive students are going down a bad path paved with good intentions.
      I have written this without the intention of harm but as an honest testimony to the facts of my experience. I hope this will help people stop harming others and wasting peoples time out of their own or others ignorance. May I be forgiven any transgressions in this account and your path be smoother than mine. Om śāntih śāntih śāntih

  15. Pingback: Dantadhavana: Brushing of the teeth | trueayurveda

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