Is Oil Pulling an effective remedy for Oral Health

oil pulling
Image Courtesy of The dabblist

Oil pulling seems to be gradually becoming a trend now for its health benefits to the teeth, but the process is quite ancient. It is been in existence for thousands of years as oral therapy in the Ayurveda form of medicine. Studies on oil pulling attest to the health benefits of the practice.

A study on “Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review”, says “mouth is considered as the mirror of the general health of the human body. Oral cavity harbors billions of microorganisms, some of these contribute to the development or progression of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, etc. Oral health and general health is interrelated. So it is very important to maintain oral health….”

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is nothing but swishing about one tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth for about 20 mins and then spitting it out. One can start out with 5-10 mins in the beginning. IT is all about gently pushing the oil through the teeth and swishing it around.
Studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque formation, and bad breath. This is because the cells of the microorganism in the mouth are covered with a fatty membrane and when the cells come into contact with the oil they stick to each other. For children older than five years of age, a teaspoon of oil will suffice.

According to the study, “the oil is ‘pulled’ and forced in between all the teeth by swishing it all around the mouth. At the end of this activity, if the procedure is done correctly, the viscous oil will become milky white and thinner. Then it is spit out and mouth is thoroughly washed with clean warm saline water or tap water and teeth are cleaned with fingers or routine tooth brushing is performed. If the jaw aches, then the procedure can be done just for 5–10 min….”

The study further states that “oil pulling should be ideally performed daily morning on empty stomach before brushing teeth and care should be taken that oil is not swallowed. Swallowing of oil should be avoided as the oil contains bacteria and toxins. Oil pulling is best practiced in a sitting position with chin up. It can be practiced thrice daily in empty stomach before meals to fasten the healing effects.”

Oil pulling is best done with coconut oil as it has lauric acid which is known for being anti-microbial.

Why oil pulling?

It is believed in Ayurveda, that the tongue is connected to various organs such as kidneys, heart, lungs, small intestine, spine, etc. Oil pulling is believed to help in the excretion of toxic heavy metals, chemical, bacterial and environmental toxins by saliva. Thus oil pulling detoxifies and purifies the entire human body.

Health Benefits of Oil Pulling

The study elucidates that “Oil pulling generates antioxidants which damage the cell wall of microorganisms and kill them. These oils will attract the lipid layer of bacterial cell membranes, and cause it to stick or get attracted, and pulled to the oil. During oil pulling, the oil gets emulsified and surface area of the oil gets increased. The process of emulsification of oil begins upon 5 min of oil pulling. This oil will coat the teeth and gingiva and inhibits bacterial co-aggregation and plaque formation. Thus plaque building bacteria responsible for dental caries, gingivitis, periodontitis and bad breath are removed from the oral cavity. Gums become pink, healthier and the problem of bleeding gums is solved. Oil pulling is also of help to resolve symptoms of dry mouth/throat and chapped lips. Also teeth become whiter; breath becomes fresher; oral cavity muscles and jaws become stronger with excellent achievement of oral hygiene.”

Oil pulling is not a substitute for brushing or flossing. It helps and supplements your regular dental care. The good news is that people also claim that it whitens their teeth as well.

Contraindications: The study says, “It is contraindicated for children below 5 years due to risk of aspiration. The practitioner should take care not to aspirate the oil while performing rigorous oil pulling.”

Shanbhag VK. Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;7(1):106–109. Published 2016 Jun 6. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004

The Power of Crystal Healing


Crystal healing is an alternative medicine technique (considered pseudoscience by the medical community), that employs stones and crystals to treat people. People who use this technique claim that these stones and crystals have healing powers. Even though scientific investigations have not validated the claims about chakras or energy grids, most practitioners believe and can feel the flow of energy, and there are many claims to their many healing qualities.

Crystals have been used in healing since ancient times. The Egyptians believed that the lapis lazuli inspired wisdom and brought about peace and calm. Reiki practitioners sometimes integrate crystal healing techniques to enhance the energy flowing through the person being healed. They believe that crystals can channel the energy in the right direction and thus enhance healing.

Crystals are usually categorized in three ways – according to their shape, kind and colour.


Crystals can be round, pointed, square, rectangular, spheres and shaped like a pyramid.

Round crystals give out all round flowing energy and are good for all purposes.

Pointed crystals are useful for drawing into or directing more powerful energies.

The square and rectangular ones are said to bring about stability to the place it is kept in and also absorb harmful energies.

Spheres energize and purify the place and attracts health, happiness and transforms negative energies into positive energies.

Pyramids are natural transmitters of healing and can bring about peaceful sleep, calmness and harmony at home and at work.

Kinds of Crystalskinds of crystals

There are various kinds of crystals found on earth. Some of them are quartz, jaspers, agates, fossils, volcanic stones like obsidian and geodes. Quartz is the most common mineral found on earth. Geodes are rocks in which tiny crystals are embedded. When split, they reveal two halves of matching crystals which heal all negative energies.

Colourscrystal colours and thier effects

Colour has had an influence upon human minds since ancient times. Natural crystals and minerals colours range from the the colours of the rainbow to gold, silver, black and white. The crystals could be clear and sparkling or of a cloudier hue. Red, orange and yellow are dynamic colours. Greens, blues and purples are softer and calmer. Given below are the prominent qualities of different coloured crystals.

The healing properties for every colour are different and can be used to heal various problems in the body. The crystals are used to balance the chakras and channel energy to the appropriate part of the body. Colours and gems are believed to help bring the chakras into balance.

What are Chakras 

Chakras are energy centres in the body or energy field. The Sanskrit word chakra literally means a ‘wheel’ or a ‘disk’. These are wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven of them that are important. These seven chakras are believed to align the spine, starting from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. The energy called ‘Prana’ is considered the vital life force, which keeps us alive and healthy. It is important that to keep the seven main chakras stay open and aligned. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow.

There are many ways to keep the chakras open and aligned. Colours and crystal healing is one such method.

The root chakra, called Mooladhara is the first chakra and is at the bottom of the spine. The colour is red and the gemstones related to it is garnet, red jasper, black tourmaline and bloodstone. When the root chakra is balanced, you feel grounded and safe, in both aspects – material and emotional.

The second is the Svadhisthana, also called the sacral chakra. The related colour is orange, and the gemstones are amber, calcite, orange carnelian or hematite. This chakra is located about two inches below the navel. When it is balanced and open, there is a feeling of wellness, joy and abundance.

The third chakra is Manipura or the solar plexus. The colour is yellow, and the gemstones are topaz, golden yellow labradorite, and tiger eye stones. This chakra is located around the area of the solar plexus, as the name suggests. When this chakra is healthy, you feel confident, have good self esteem and are self-motivated. It is the source of personal power.

The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, also called Anahata. The colour related to this chakra is emerald green and the healing gemstones for it are emerald, malachite, jade and rose quartz. When the heart chakra is open, it generates compassion, love, forgiveness and acceptance. It is at the centre and this is where the physical and the spiritual meet.

The throat chakra or Vishudhi is the fifth chakra. The healing colour is blue and the related gemstones are sapphire, blue topaz, lapis lazuli, aquamarine and turquoise. This chakra when open, helps you to be truthful to yourself and to others. It helps you verbalize and communicate.

The colour of the third eye chakra – Ajna is indigo. The gemstones used for this chakra is amethyst, lapis lazuli and azurite. This chakra lies between your eyebrows. It is the centre of your intuition. It helps you to know yourself.

The seventh energy centre is the crown chakra or the sahasrara, whose colour is violet or white. The gemstones for this chakra is amethyst, selenite and sugilite. This chakra helps towards enlightenment and connects to you to your higher self.

The proponents of crystal healing believe that human beings are receptive to the vibrations of the crystals. When crystals come into direct contact with the body, they have a powerful vibratory effect on it, and hence one of the ways to use these crystals is to wear them as jewelry. Crystals have been used for healing the body and spirit, developing intuition, protecting from negative vibrations, and balancing the chakras since ancient times. Despite the scientific community calling it a myth, as there is lack of evidence about its ability to heal, most practitioners insist that it has helped them in their spiritual growth.

Cassandra Eason, in her book ‘An Introduction To Crystal Healing’, recommends 12 stones that are a must, whether for healing, attracting good fortune, love, prosperity or for protecction. These are Clear Crystal Quartz, Moonstone, Red Jasper, Orange Carnelian, Yellow Citrine, Green Aventurine, Blue Sodalite, Purple Amethyst, Brown Tiger’s Eye, Pink Rose Quartz, Hematite and Black Onyx.

To know about the healing properties of these stones, please watch this Video.

Crystal Healing – Is it a myth?


crystal healingCrystals are naturally occurring arrangements of minerals forming unique, geometric shapes. The beauty of crystals have always fascinated people and has been associated with magical powers in many cultures. In recent years, knowledge about the healing powers of crystals have been reintroduced by the ‘New Age Healers’, who believe that crystals give out energies that exert subtle influences on the body and mind.

Crystal healing is an alternative medical technique in which crystals and stones are used to cure ailments and protect against disease. Crystal healing has seen an upsurge in popularity in recent years, but it is not popular with doctors and scientists who call it a pseudoscience, as there is no evidence that crystals can be used to cure diseases.

In fact, one recent study says that crystals have absolutely no healing power and that the placebo effect explains people’s healing experiences with them. reports that, “The researchers found that the effects reported by those who held fake crystals while meditating were no different than the effects reported by those who held real crystals during the study. Many participants in both groups reported feeling a warm sensation in the hand holding the crystal or fake crystal, as well as an increased feeling of overall well being. Those who had been primed to feel these effects reported stronger effects than those who had not been primed.”

The proponents of this technique however, believe that crystals act as channels for healing by allowing positive, healing energy to flow into the body, while negative energy is released. They believe that crystals are powerful psychic tools, which act as powerful amplifiers of positive energy, and have great healing powers. Crystals, they say, are known to enhance and protect the environment they are in – be it the workplace or home. People who heal with crystals say that crystals radiate joy and healing. They are also used to connect with higher beings and guides.

Most believers and practitioners consider crystals to be very powerful healing tools, which activate our self-healing powers. They can ease the side effects of a medical treatment, speed up recovery and give relief from pain and anxiety. Crystals are not only used to heal the body, but can also be used for higher purposes like meditation. The practitioners believe that crystals helps you to focus better while meditating and certain stones with higher vibrations are also used to develop psychic ability.

So coming back to crystal healing being a pseudoscience, the proponents try to defeat the skeptics who believe that it is nothing but the power of suggestion, by drawing attention to the fact that, silicon which is derived from silicon minerals and hence a crystal, is used in every computer and cell phone processor. They also refer to the report on how a clear quartz crystal can be used to store data for 300 million years. This they say, is proof that crystals can transmit energy into the body, just like a battery does.

The proponents also believe that, when the crystal comes into our electromagnetic field, the electromagnetic frequencies carried by the stone vibrates with related frequencies in our own energy field. Crystals are known to oscillate at their own frequencies, and even respond to the input of vibrations. The cells in the human body also vibrate at certain frequencies, so when we come into contact with a crystal, its vibration interacts with the vibration of the cells in our body.

Crystals are millions of years old, created during the early days of the formation of earth. The practitioners say that crystals are the most orderly structure that exists in nature, and are structured in a way to respond to the inputs of all different energies around them, leading them to oscillate and emit specific vibratory frequencies.

In spite of many detailed studies, scientists have not identified energies in crystals that could cause healing. They claim that the crystal healers use the term ‘energy’ to describe anything that cannot be explained. Some healers connect this healing energy to the Piezoelectric Effect, which is based on science.  Piezoelectric Effect is the ability of certain materials to generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. But science does not agree with these claims. This is because the Piezoelectric effect can be produced only under specific conditions, and the crystals that healers use cannot generate the said effect. Moreover, this effect is not a common property of crystals, which is the reason most of the crystals that the healers use, can’t generate a piezoelectric effect. Quartz and tourmaline are two gems that show this effect.

For most people who believe, they don’t care about the naysayers. They believe that crystals have healed and helped them in their spiritual growth. It is like energy healing. You don’t know how it works but it does work, as all the Reiki practitioners will tell you. It is ultimately a question of faith, and many believe that they may not cure, but they do support the body’s healing capacity. After all, faith and belief cannot be proved scientifically.

For those who believe in alternative methods of healing and would like to know more about crystal healing, please read The Power of Crystal Healing.

Aromatherapy – Health Benefits of Essential oils



AromatherapyAromatherapy is the use of essential oils for healing. Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes since ancient times. These oils are either inhaled or applied on the skin and is fast gaining importance as alternative treatment. The first evidence of its use comes from China where, in 4500 B.C., a medical book was written by an emperor named Kiwant Ti on the aromatic and healing properties of plants. Egypt developed a reputation for its use of essential oils for medicine, pharmaceuticals, perfumery and cosmetology. A French chemist named Rene Gatteffose` wrote his first thesis on “Aromatherapy” in 1928 and this became the cornerstone in the study and practice of the uses of essential oils.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the petals, stalks, gum, resins, roots, leaves, seeds, or flowers of plants. Some plants yield different oils from different parts of the plant. For example, the bitter orange tree gives neroli oil from its flower, orange oil from its fruit peel, and petitgrain from its leaves and twigs. These essences are believed to contain the soul of the plant, which provides each plant with its own energies and healing powers.

The molecular structure and healing qualities of these oils are such that they are said to penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream, within twenty to seventy minutes after treatment thus exerting its therapeutic effect in the different areas of our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.

Each oil contains its own unique mix of active ingredients, which determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing like swelling and fungal infections. Some are known for their emotional value – to enhance relaxation and calmness. Essential oils are volatile by nature, and hence must be kept in a dark glass bottle in order to preserve it.

There are a number of different ways to use essential oils in aromatherapy. These range from massages, through baths and inhalations, and to sprays and compresses for specific healing needs. As home remedies, aromatherapy can be used in various ways.

Health Benefits of some Essential oils

In general, essential oils seem to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. Essential oils like lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon and sandalwood, are believed to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. Evidence suggests that citrus oils may strengthen the immune system and that peppermint oil may help with digestion. Herbs like fennel, aniseed, and sage have estrogen like compounds, which may help relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause. Human studies are however lacking.

According to, “some studies have shown that aromatherapy might have health benefits, including: Relief from anxiety and depression, and improved quality of life, particularly for people with chronic health conditions. Smaller studies suggest that aromatherapy with lavender oil may help make needle sticks less painful for people receiving dialysis, improve sleep for people who are hospitalized, reduce pain for children undergoing tonsillectomy.”

For the immune system

Siberian ginseng is said to enhance resistances to diseases. Ginger oil burned in a room is a preventive that encourages immunity to colds, flu, bronchitis, blocked sinuses and headaches. Juniper oil strengthens the immune system.

For allergies

The essential oil of Patchouli is anti-inflammatory and may ease the symptoms.

For Coughs

Inhaling jasmine or pine, or burning the essential oil in a room may ease cough.

For common cold

Burning the essential oil of bay in the room or inhaling it from a bowl of steaming water will ease cold symptoms.


The essential oil of cajeput is excellent when inhaled. Eucalyptus, marjoram, and melissa are also useful.


Bay, when inhaled, acts as a pulmonary antiseptic. Inhaling eucalyptus may also be beneficial. Pine is a powerful antiseptic for lungs. Use as an inhalation in a bowl of steaming water. It can be burned in a vapourizer and placed in a baby’s or child’s room.


Clove oil massaged over the stomach is useful for dyspepsia. Mandarin essential oil aids digestion.


Essential oils with a calming effect include roman chamomile, lavender, neroli, and marjoram. Use in the bath, or during massage. Petitgrain is useful for those with panic attacks. Cedarwood burned in a room or used in a vaporizer, balances anxiety and nervous tension.


Frankincense is excellent for achieving calm and relaxation. It also aids meditation, as it slows and deepens breathing.


A massage with mandarin oil, or a few drops in the bath water, helps sleeplessness in children. Adults suffering from insomnia should try marjoram as a massage or bath oil. Lavender oil too is soothing. A few drops on the bedclothes or in a bath just before retiring will help get sleep.


Inhale basil oil for migrane. Melissa in the bath or as a massage oil is uplifting and calming both for migrane and other headaches.

Researchers are not very sure about how aromatherapy works. Some believe our sense of smell may play a role. The smell receptors in the nose communicate with parts of the brain that act as warehouses for emotions and memories. When we breathe in these essential oil molecules, they are believed to stimulate these parts of the brain and impact physical, emotional, and mental health. Some researchers believe that the molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.

Although essential oils have been around for centuries, there are very few studies that have studied the effectiveness of aromatherapy in people. Scientific evidence is lacking and more research is needed before aromatherapy is accepted as an alternative remedy. However, this is beginning to change as more scientific studies on aromatherapy are conducted around the world.

Further Reading