'Sneha' in sanskrit means love and affection.
'Snehana' in Sanskrit is the process of oleation of the body with the usage of medicated oils and ghee externally and for consumption.
‘So oiling our body becomes a process of loving oneself.’
In fact, when we begin our day with a self-care ritual like oil
gargling- it sets the mind to continue the rest of the day making choices that are self -loving and self -affirming.
Ideally, as you wake up you can rinse your mouth with water, then take anything from 1 tea sp to 1 tbsp oil in your mouth and swish it around till the viscous oil in your mouth begins to feel watery. Then, spit it out. You can follow this up with freshwater mouth rinse and brushing. What a fresh feeling in the mouth!!
You can use either coconut oil or sesame oil. You will know which oil is working for you. Adding about 5 crushed cloves to about 250ml of oil will enhance the ability of the oil to do its job.
The reason why the oil turns watery is because the bacteria stick to the oil and with the support of the digestive enzymes in the mouth the oil transforms in nature.
Also, once coconut oil is partially digested in the mouth by the enzymes present in the mouth, it becomes more effective in attacking the bacteria that cause a cavity.
Oil pulling should be performed daily.
The health of our mouth and that of our body is completely related. Our mouth is the first line of defense against undesirable bacteria. At the same time the mouth hosts the beneficial bacteria that manufacture the digestive enzyme to initiate digestion.
Let us look at some of the benefits of oil pulling.
Swishing of oil creates lymphatic flow in the gums and activates blood supply in the mouth. This supports healthy gums. Gums are an important barrier against bacterial exposure to the bloodstream.
Oil pulling mitigates the presence of bad bacteria and initiates the presence of healthy bacteria in the mouth. In this process a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria is created in our mouth. This in turn helps negate the presence of bad breath caused by sulphur producing bacteria.
Microbes such as Streptococcus mutants (bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay ) and the harmful yeast Candida albicans thrive on the presence of starch and sugar in the mouth. These could lead to health concerns in our hearts, arteries and brains. Oil pulling targets all of these little monsters.
Oil is known to strengthen our bones. Teeth are the product of bones.
All this makes oil pulling quite non- negotiable as a morning kriya. Which oil we gargle with and how long we do it for is unique to each one of us. Whether it is stepping the quantity of oil to 1 tbsp or the time up to 10 to 15 minutes, it should be a gradual process.
‘Remember it’s not a chore. It’s an art of self -love and self- care.’
Although any new practice may kickstart with an effort and a push but eventually you will find yourself buying leak-proof bottles at stores to carry your mouth gargling oil everywhere you travel.
That is a promise!