Oil pulling is part of ancient Ayurvedic medicine and is known as Kavala Graham. Although commonly recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners, no scientific studies support the efficacy of oil pulling to treat any condition. Oil pulling is used to treat acute diseases, chronic diseases and may help relieve a variety of problems affecting the teeth.


Oil pulling consists of swishing sesame or sunflower oil–the recommended oils–around in the mouth and through the teeth for 15 to 20 minutes. This will activate the enzymes in the mouth and draw toxins out of the blood. Oil pulling is best done before breakfast and should always be done on an empty stomach.


In chronic cases, Ayurvedic practitioners say there may be a reaction caused by the body regaining its normal healthy state from a diseased condition. This is similar to what is known as the “healing crisis” in homeopathy and naturopathy–when the body rapidly releases toxins. However, practitioners claim this is a sign that the body is healing.


Oil pulling should be done in a slow and relaxed manner. If done too quickly, it may cause sneezing and coughing. The need to urinate or move the bowels may also occur. This is normal and can be avoided by answering nature’s call before oil pulling.