It is well known that using herbal oils in your food, on your hair and on your skin can help you look and feel better, perking you up on these cold winter days. But did you know they can also be used to boost your smile?

According to Geeta Vara, practitioner at Geeta Vara Ayurvada, using warm sesame oil inside your mouth can remove toxins and help keep your pearly whites dazzling.

’Oil pulling’, or gandusha as it is also known, is used in conjunction with teeth-brushing to improve oral health, and may have some additional benefits.

"Gandusha is holding warm sesame oil and retaining it in your mouth for anything from four to ten minutes depending on the person, to give health benefits to the gums and teeth. It combats any conditions of the mouth, whether gingivitis, possibly halitosis and those sorts of conditions. It keeps those at bay by being part of a wider oral hygiene technique," Ms Vara commented.

She noted that it is important that the sesame oil used is organic and has already been treated to remove its "heaviness", making it "much more therapeutic and perfectly safe to use".

Once the oil has been ’pulled’ - or swished like mouthwash - through the teeth and around the mouth for a few minutes, users then spit it out rather than swallow it.

The ayurveda specialist advised people who are suffering from dental problems, particularly ulcers in their mouth caused by stress, to try the gandusha technique. "For anything local in the dental cavity I’d definitely recommend gandusha and also cleansing with the option of clove water as well - that’s really good for cleansing the oral cavity," she added. suggests that oil pulling is also good for improving the quality of our voice and could even promote taste sensations by cleaning the tongue of other substances.

Posted by Matilda Jones