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April 11, 2018
By Yogalife

Oil Pulling – An Ayurveda Perspective

Award winning doctor and acclaimed Ayurveda Medical Practitioner, Dr Shyam VL, explains the ancient practice of Oil pulling / swishing believed to be derived from Ayurveda.

During the twentieth century, the practice of a branch of ‘Physical Yoga’ – Asana & Pranayama has become a worldwide phenomenon rather than getting popularity of Yoga as a whole philosophy. Ayurveda is undergoing a similar process of modernization and globalization similar to that which took place earlier with Yoga. As a result certain protocols like Siro Dhara, Oil Pulling (Gandoosha & Kabala), Body type (Prakruthi) analysis etc. are getting propagated. When the world has shrunk in time and space, all types of knowledge spreads to various parts of the globe. But there has to be a correct interchange of ideas and exchange of facts, to derive the full benefits of Ayurveda.

Our Mouth is the Gateway to Your Body and there are interrelationships between oral and general health is evidenced by association of dental & gum disease with diabetes, psoriasis, heart diseases. Among the measures to keep oral health, Oil pulling is of added importance. However, highlighting oil pulling as a magic healer for a whole list of systemic diseases sounds indigestible. In “Gandoosha Oil pulling”, the oil is held mouthful until there is lacrimation and nasal discharge. While, in “Kabala Oil pulling”, the mouth is . filled with the medicated fluid; the fluid is swished in the mouth for a specific time and then spit out. Gandoosha is more effective in Vata & Pitta disorders, while Kabala is more effective in Vata & Kapha disorders. There are several recipes with herbs of various tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent) and potency of (hot or cold) are used with different vehicles (oil, ghee, honey, vinegar, meat soup, alcohol, milk, urine) indicated for Gandoosha/ Kabala. Scientific studies show that oil pulling with sesame oil reduces susceptibility to dental caries; it results in significant reduction of plaque and gingivitis.

Mouth wash with Sesame oil can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health. Mouth wash with sesame oil causes no staining, has no lingering aftertaste, and causes no allergic reactions. It may also be cost-effective than the commercially available mouthwashes. Gargle daily with a tablespoon of sesame oil after brushing the teeth.


Apply medicated oil or sesame oil on the scalp, face and neck & shoulders (ideal to take a face steam / fomentation with a cloth soaked in warm water for 5 minutes). Select the herb paste (thriphala or trikatu or dasamoola paste) mixed with ghee / oil / vinegar / water / honey / meat soup or decoctions according to the dosha imbalance. Healthy person can use sesame oil. Seated comfortably in a chair; the medicine or oil is held in the mouth, or swished, till mucous collects in mouth or there is lacrimation and spit out. Follow a gentle self-massage and light fomentation at neck, face, cheeks, shoulders and head. Oil swishing therapy with sesame oil has been extensively used as a traditional Indian remedy for strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws and to prevent tooth decay,


• Daily mouthwash: Sesame oil

• Sensitive teeth: Sesame seed paste mixed with water

• Mouth Ulcers: Water boiled with Thriphala / Licorice (G lyzerhizza glabra) OR Ghee or Honey

• Toothache: Gargle with Arimedadi thaila m or with M ustard oil

• Mouth odour: Mouth wash with Dhanyaml


He is the first approved and licensed Ayurveda practitioner by the Ministry of Health, United Arab Emirates, in 2003 and first approved and licensed Ayurveda practitioner by Department of Health, AbuDhabi in 2017. He is Middle East’s only Ayurveda Doctor with MD in Ayurveda Surgery. Dr Shyam is a gold medallist in Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from the Mahatma Gandhi University, India and obtained his Masters – MD (Ayu) in Salyathantra (Surgery) from Kerala University.

He has also completed his MPhil with distinction in Business Management from BITS Pilani and went on to do a fully certified Spa Management course from Cleopatara & Steiner Institute. Teaching has always been a passion with the practicing doctor and he started his first assignment teaching Ayurveda to conventional doctors. In the year 2001, he moved to UAE and in the course of his successful practice has garnered a clientele that comprises celebrities, politicians and country heads. He has since been featured in BBC, Star News, Nippon TV and writes a weekly column in a Magazine from a leading newspaper in the UAE – `Friday’ Magazine from `Gulf News’. Dr Shyam won the prestigious Health Excellence Award – UAE as Distinguished Physician (2017) Besides his flourishing practice Dr Shyam also puts to good use his professional experience in setting up and operating Ayurvedic Centres and Spas. He has helped leaders in the hospitality industry, Kempinski, Le Meridian and Hilton Group across Europe, Africa and Middle East set up some of the best run Ayurvedic Spas.

Dr. Shyam was recently appointed as the Chief Ayurveda Physician with Burjeel Hospital, Abudhabi, and he practices in Dr Shyam’s Ayurveda Clinics in Dubai Health Care City, Jumeirah, Karama and Al Nahda, UAE. Besides, he also holds the prestigious position of being on the Interview Panel of the Ministry of Health, UAE.


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