Kavala grah is an ancient Ayurvedic cleanse for the oral cavity.

It is said to be beneficial for the senses, the strength of the teeth & gums and much more. 

 In Ayurveda there are 2 oil gargles. Gandusha uses more oil (up to 150mls or a full mouthful) and Kavalagraha uses less oil (10mls). This article will focus on Kavalagraha as it is easier for beginners.

Method for Kavalagraha

Take one tablespoon of oil in your mouth. (Use organic cold pressed Black Sesame seed oil or Sunflower oil for best results)
Slowly move the oil between your teeth, swish, pull and suck the oil through your teeth.Ideally continue this process for as long as 10 to 20 minutes.You will notice the color of the oil change to white.Spit the oil in the trash rather than swallowing or even pouring down the sink.Rinse your mouth with water after completion.

  • Depending on what you choose to use, gargling can be done on its own, after nasya (nasal therapy), in the morning, during the day or before bed. Gargling with herbal decoctions, teas or plain water is usually practiced after meals or drinks.
  • Ayurveda recommends the use of oil once or twice a day.
  • Gandusa & Kavalagrah with oil, or oil pulling, must be done on an empty stomach.
  • An ideal time to practice oil pulling is after brushing your teeth on an empty stomach.

Why it’s important? This practice is said to draw out toxins and reduce or destroy pathogenic microorganisms in the mouth, cleansing the oral cavity and strengthening the gums and teeth. It stimulates the body’s eliminatory system and increases metabolism. In the Ayurvedic classics,  oil-pulling improves the perception of all the senses, especially enhancing taste, which leads to improved health.

The tongue draws a map of your internal organs and is connected to all the organs and systems through the points of reflection and meridians. Therefore, practicing gandusa (larger quantity of oil) or Kavala grah  (oil pulling) is helpful in maintaining the health of the whole body.

Signs of an adequate cleanse are whiter and shinier teeth, more refreshed and relaxed waking, balanced appetite, regular elimination, sound sleep, reduction of dark circles around the eyes and increased energy throughout the day.

An excerpt from Charika Samhita on Kavala grah (oil pulling).
“Kavala grah provides strength in jaws and voice, development of face, maximum taste and relish in food. The person (practicing this) does not suffer from dryness of throat, there is no fear of lip cracking, teeth are not affected with caries, rather they become firm rooted. They (teeth) are not painful nor are the oversensitive on sour taking, they become able to chew even the hardest food items”. Charika Samhita Sutra Stahna (section on fundamentals). Chapter 5 Verse 75-80
Charaka Samhita is an early Ayurvedic encyclopedia on medicine. It is more than 2000 years old.

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