Oil Pulling & 3 More Awesome Ayurvedic Rituals

After a few comments from you my loveley readers and students about having to google some of the Ayurvedic techniques I mention that I use to stay healthy – I thought I better get my ass in gear and explain myself. Here ya go lovlies!

Oil Pulling

 I first discovered oil pulling last year when fantabulous blogger and health crusader Jessica Ainscough posted about it on her blog. I was intrigued by the suggested benefits, and I already had heaps of coconut oil laying around – so I thought why not give it a try! Even though oil pulling has only become ‘popular’ in the last few years, it is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual and has been around for centuries. The idea is, as you swish the oil around in your mouth it ‘pulls’ out bacteria, toxins or  ‘ama’ – accumulated toxins from diet, lifestyle and the environment.

How To – Take about a teaspoon of cold pressed organic oil (sesame, coconut etc) into your mouth and swish it around like you would mouthwash (without gargling) for up to 20 minutes. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning before you have anything to eat or drink for maximum benefits. I have my little routine set up so I go grab a spoonful of oil, lock myself in the bathroom, use my dry brush for a few minutes and then hop in the shower. I keep swishing the oil around until I’m finished in the shower then I spit it out, and rinse out my mouth.  It’s really important not to swallow the oil because by the end of your pulling sesh it will be full of toxins, and you want those out of your body – not in! Oil pulling works by expelling these disease causing toxings, thus allowing the body to naturally heal itself.

Oil pulling is said to have the following benefits:

  • Increases overall health of teeth and gums
  • Whiter, brighter teeth
  • Reduces bad breath
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Improves Sleep
  • Reduce inflammation & symptoms of arthritis
  • Reduces symptoms of allergies
  • Reduces eczema

If you want to read more about oil pulling check out this article.

Dry Brushing

 Dry body brushing has been a long time favourite of mine. It was recommend to me by my bestie when she was training to become a holistic nutritionist a few years ago. Dry brushing helps to stimulate your lymphatic system – which acts like the bodies filtration system. Basically, the lymph nodes act as filters to help rid our bodies of toxins and harmful organisms.  Unlike the blood system that uses the heart as a pump, the lymph system relies on external stimulation (like muscular contraction) or dry brushing to work effectively.

How To – Get yourself a natural soft bristle brush, I got mine at ‘about life’ in Sydney for  4 bucks, but you should be able to get one at any health food store. Strip down and start with the soles of your feet. Make gentle strokes moving towards the heart. Work your way up your legs, then your arms, then your back and torso. I do this in the morning before I have a shower…often while I am oil pulling at the same time.

Dry brushing is said to have the following benefits:

  • Stimulates the lymphatic system
  • Aids in detoxification through the skin
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces cellulite

Abhyanga / Self Massage

 Oh how I love Abhyanga! To me, it is the ultimate act of self love. Abhyanaga is a form of Ayurvedic self massage using oil, and it is an absolutely beautiful way to nurture yourself. Abhyanga allows you to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of healing touch on a regular basis. I think of dry brushing and self massage as the foundation of my self love + health regime.

How To – Find some cold pressed organic oil,  I use coconut oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil. I use quite a lot, about 3-5 heaped tablespoons and put into a small dish, container or squeeze bottle. Fill your sink with enough warm water to submerge your oil container and let the oil warm up. Get naked and get massaging. Start with the soles of your feet and pay special attention to your joints. Use circular movements on your joints, toes, ankles, knees, elbows etc and long strokes on your limbs. Work you way up your entire body, and just like dry brushing always massage towards your heart. 

Abhyanga is said to have the following benefits:

  • Alleviates pain and muscle soreness
  • Calms & relaxes the mind & body
  • Improves digestion
  • Releases toxins
  • Improves circulation
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system
  • Pacifies Vata dosha
  • Alleviates insomnia

Tongue Scraping

 I am a newbie to the world of tongue scraping, but I am excited to start seeing some benefits. According to Ayurveda, toxins or ama accumulate in the mouth and tongue as we sleep. By scraping these toxins off the tongue in the morning, we avoid them being reabsorbed when we eat, drink or swallow. One of the benefits that I am most excited about is, that supposedly when you clear the tongue of ama you clear and  open up the taste buds so that we crave the foods that are naturally most balancing for us. Yay!

How ToFor now, I am just using a spoon, but you can get a U-shaped tool, specifically made for the job for under 10 bucks. When I find one, I will let you know where I get it. First thing in the morning, before you have anything to eat or drink stick your tongue out and gently scrape from the base of your tongue to the tip and rinse the spoon or scraper off, then repeat until you have covered the entire surface of your tongue. You can continue for a few more rounds, or until you feel satisfied.

Tongue scraping is said to have the following benefits:

  • Reduces bad breath
  • Clears & balances taste buds
  • Clears toxins & bacteria from the tongue
  • Improves overall oral hygiene

So there ya go! Now you can spend even longer in the bathroom and get healthy while your at it!

I would love to hear about your experiences with any of these techniques, if you have tried them and gotten or not gotten results – let me know in the comments below!



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Excellent instructions Cora. I do all of the above on a mostly regular basis. One question though as I have seen differences of opinion, do you do the self massage with oil before or after your shower.?Obviously if done before you would be washing a lot of it off but done after I always feel a little too oily.

December 10, 2013 (07:26) - Reply
Cora Geroux

Hey Victoria! So sorry for the delay in my response – The Spam robots have been bogging down my comments section. But, I digress – I totally do my self massage before a shower. I do the massage with heaps of oil, then jump in a warm shower just to rinse off. I don’t use any soap, and that way there is still enough oil that my skin feels really moisturised.. but my white sheets still say white! xo

January 28, 2014 (07:44) - Reply

I tend to think a similar concept about the subject but now I viewed your most recent blog post on it and it atlered my impressions completely.

January 15, 2014 (12:01) - Reply

Hi! I scrape my tongue every morning – can’t imagine not doing it! I’ve just started oil pulling now too, and I was wondering if you oil pull and then scrape after, or vice versa?

March 8, 2014 (06:17) - Reply
Cora Geroux

Hey Alex! How good is it?! Here is what I do – oil pulling, brush my teeth, floss, tounge scrape, rinse with water! This is just the way I like to do it, as it seems like a logical order for my mouth! 🙂

March 10, 2014 (17:33) - Reply
Mrs. Knight

I’ve been tounge scraping did years, I get my scrapers from Big Lots Stores for about $1. It’s crazy. .. They’re like the only place that I see them carried. I’m going to start oil pulling as soon as I get my hand on some oil

October 22, 2014 (14:47) - Reply

hi! I’m a health coaching and yoga teacher and loved what your site is all about!

July 16, 2015 (21:49) - Reply

Hey nice post I didn’t know about the 3 other remedies than Oil Pulling, thanks! The girl swishing oil (I presume?) is really pretty 🙂

August 1, 2015 (10:56) - Reply

Can you dry brush, then do an oil massage, and then shower?

October 11, 2016 (20:48) - Reply
Cora Geroux

Totally! Sounds like a great night in to me. xx

October 14, 2016 (19:14) - Reply

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