Evolution of a holistic system of medicine known as Ayurveda took place some 3000 to 5000 years before in Indian sub-continent. Some Ayurvedic healthcare practices have been adopted worldwide as an alternative or complementary medicine. It was the Vedic period in the history of sub-continent that marks the appearance of the initial literature on Indian healthcare practices such as SuśrutaSamhitā and the CharakaSamhitā. Several surgical procedures and therapeutic preparations have been developed by the Ayurvedic practitioners. Despite dentistry not being a branch of its surgery system known as Shalakya Tantra, it was still included in it. Ancient India experienced the management and cure of cavity deformities, plaque, and other oral infections through Ayurveda.
Dental Care in Ayurveda
In Sanskrit, dental health is known as ‘dantaswasthya,’ which is quite individualistic in Ayurveda. The nature of cure depends upon the constitution of the person (pakriti) and the climatic changes (kala-parinama). The provision of Ayurvedic healthcare, including dental care, to any person used to be determined by the dominance of one or more doshas, which are vata, pitta and kapha, in both individual and the nature. These doshas determined the overall health of and cure for an individual.
Oil Pulling in Ayurveda
Oil pulling is a renowned Ayurvedic practice known as Kavala or Gandusha in ancient text Charaka Samhita. It provides cure for not only oral healthcare issues but also around thirty systemic diseases including, but not limited to, asthma, hormonal imbalances, headache, diabetes, and congestion. An extensively used traditional folk medication in India, oil pulling is believed to prevent oral malodor, cracked lips, decay, dry throat, weakening gums and jaw, and tooth decay. For oil pulling therapy, you can use sunflower, coconut, or sesame oil.
Oral Cleansing Techniques
The oral cleansing techniques, Gandusha and Kavala Graha, are different from each other. The former doesn’t allow gargling by filling the mouth entirely with liquid. It is held in the mouth for a couple of minutes before release. The later recommends the liquid intake to be such an amount that gives room for gargling. These rejuvenating treatments benefit in case of dull senses, loss of taste, kapha related imbalances, bad breath, exhaustion, impaired vision, dry face, sore throat, and anorexia.
Oil Pulling Today
Oil pulling now prevails as an effective detoxification method and has become very popular in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). It is both preventive and curative procedure that can help to avoid medication or surgery. Ayurveda contends that system purification can be done via oil pulling because of the connection of various organs with different sections of the tongue such as liver, stomach, kidneys, spine, heart, colon, and lungs.
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