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  • What Is Gandush And Kaval? Ayurvedic Practices With A Dozen Oral Benefits

    What Is Gandush And Kaval? Ayurvedic Practices With A Dozen Oral Benefits

    The Ayurveda Experience September 26, 2023

    Due to lack of time and negligence, our oral health has taken a back seat. However, maintaining oral hygiene is very important as it is not just about having a bright smile; it's a crucial aspect of overall health. Rooted in ancient Ayurvedic traditions, gandusha and kavala offer natural solutions to modern-day oral health concerns. Gandusha and kavala (gargling or oil pulling), are traditional Ayurvedic practices that have gained attention as effective methods for maintaining oral hygiene. By incorporating them into your routine, you can potentially enjoy a range of benefits, from fresher breath to reduced oral bacteria. So, if you want to revitalize your oral health, explore gandusha and kavala! Ancient techniques for strong teeth and fresh breath. 

    Ayurveda and oral hygiene 

    Ayurveda emphasizes preventive aspects also known as swasthya samrakshana1, while promoting health. To do so, there is a specific daily regimen (dinacharya), recommended by Ayurveda. Maintaining oral hygiene is also a critical aspect of dincharya2 and is important for fresh and healthy mouth, healthy digestion, proper food passage, etc. Gandusha and kavala are among the two primary practices requiring the filling of liquids in the oral cavity. However, there is a difference3 between the two practices. 

    • Gandusha: Oil pulling or gandusha, is a practice of completely filling the mouth with oil or medicated water and holding it for a few minutes without moving it inside the oral cavity until  there  is discharge of secretions from eyes and nose. It is preferable to do it daily in the mornin.
    • KavalaKavala or gargling, on the other hand, is a process in which a person holds a certain amount of liquid in their mouth, moving briskly inside and spitting out. 

    Steps to perform gandusha4 

    As mentioned earlier, gandusha is a remarkable Ayurvedic technique for oral cleansing and overall wellness. Let us elaborate how gandusha can be easily performed at home: 

    1. The person performing the procedure must sit in a place that receives a good amount of sunlight but does not have a breeze blowing
    2. Their face, shoulder, face, and neck must preferably be massaged and fomented 
    3. Their face should be slightly lifted up
    4. They must hold the liquid in their mouth till the nose and eyes become secretory, and then must spit out the liquid

    Ayurveda divides gandusha into four  forms5 based on dosha vitiation and potential therapeutic benefits. These are: 1) Snigdha gandusha, (2) Shaman, (3) Shodhan, (4) Ropan. 

    Snaihika gandusha (Oleating): In this type of gandusha, the liquids are prepared by a combination of madhura rasa and amla rasa. Substances like oils, milk, ghee, sweet, sour, or salty ingredients with ushana (heat) properties are used. This type of gandusha is effective for imbalances of Vata Dosha in the form of dryness or roughness of the mouth. 

    Shamana gandusha (Palliative): Shamana gandush is a palliative approach to oil pulling. It is recommended for pacifying the doshas. In this type of gandusha, the liquids used are tikhta (bitter), kashaya (astringent), and madhura (sweet). This particular practice is suitable for balancing alleviated Pitta dosha, dealing with irritation, and reducing the burning sensation in the oral cavity. Shamana gandush has a relaxing effect and is beneficial for disorders characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth. 

    Shodhana gandusha (Purification): Shodhana gandusha is a purifying gandusha, and the liquid used in it is made from herbal ingredients with lavana (salty), katu (pungent), amla (sour), and ushana (heating) properties. This is ideal for Kapha Dosha and issues associated with it including excessive salivation, heaviness, and stickiness of mouth. 

    Ropana gandusha (Healing): Often after eating, sugar molecules may remain stuck in the oral cavity and may lead to the growth of oral bacteria which may lead to inflammation, tooth decay, and other oral diseases including gingivitis etc. Therefore, it is suggested by Ayurvedic experts to use ingredients with kashaya (astringent), tikta (bitter), and shita (cooling) properties. This form of gandusha is helpful when dealing with mouth ulcers due to the cooling property. 

    Benefits of oil pulling

    There are several benefits6 associated with regular gandusha

    1. It helps to strengthen the jaw and the mandible, improves motor function, and gives more power to the voice.
    2. It helps nourish the mouth and makes the face appear attractive and healthy by offering exercise to the facial muscles.
    3. It helps improve taste perc
    4. Reduces dryness of mouth and throat and cracking of lips.
    5. It offers strength to the teeth by giving support to the roots, nourishing nerves and nerve endings, toothaches, and dental hypersensitivity.

    What is kavala? 

    Kavala or gargling is an Ayurvedic technique revered for its potential to enhance oral health and promote overall well-being.  

    Steps to perform kavala7: 

    1. The person performing the procedure must sit in a place that has sunlight but does not have a breeze blowing.
    2. Their face, shoulder, face, and neck must preferably be massaged and fomented 
    3. Their face should be slightly lifted up. 
    4. They must fill their half of their mouth with the liquid, move it inside and spit it out.

    Just like gandusha, it is also of four types8, namely: 1. Snaihika, 2. Shamana, 3. Shodhana and 4. Ropana. 

    1. Snehika kavala

    For diseases associated with Vata imbalance like dryness and roughness in the mouth, oils, milk, ghee, and sweet, sour, or salty ingredients with ushana (heat) properties are used. These are suitable for pacifying aggravated Vata through kavala. 

    1. Shaman kavala

    The liquids used for shaman kaval are tikhta (bitter), kashaya (astringent), and madhura (sweet). It is done to soothe aggravated Pitta and oral issues like stomatitis or ulcers in the mouth and gums. 

    1. Shodhan kavala

    Herbal ingredients with lavana (salty), katu (pungent), amla (sour), and ushana (heating) properties are used for shodhan kaval. These ingredients can help tackle diseases associated with vitiated Kapha dosha which include excessive salivation and stickiness in the mouth. 

    1. Ropan kavala

    The roopan kavala should be done with ingredients with kashaya (astringent), tikta (bitter), composed, and ushan (heat) properties and should be done in cases of ulcers of the mouth.   

    There are several benefits9 associated with regular kavala

    1. Kavala is believed to potentially help with problems associated with excess salivation, throat, dryness of the mouth, nausea, etc.
    2. Kavla is also beneficial in addressing issues associated with tingling of the teeth and shaky teeth.
    3. Cracking and roughness of the lips, dryness of the mouth, and disorders of voice may also be addressed with the help of kavala.

    Gandusha and kavala vidhi are not just traditional oral hygiene practices; they are windows into an ancient understanding of holistic health. By incorporating these techniques into your daily routine, you can potentially enhance your oral hygiene, strengthen your teeth and jaw, improve your voice, throat, and mouth dryness, and much more. By embracing gandusha and kavala in our daily routine, we can successfully embark on a journey toward holistic wellness and nurture our oral health. 

    READ MORE: Will Oil Pulling Help Reduce Toothache?

    References

    1. https://jaims.in/jaims/article/view/1201/1227
    2. https://www.carakasamhitaonline.com/index.php?title=Dinacharya#Oral_hygiene
    3. http://jahm.co.in/index.php/jahm/article/view/303/284
    4. https://storage.googleapis.com/journal-uploads/wjpps/article_issue/1497689524.pdf
    5. https://jaims.in/jaims/article/view/2179/2723
    6. https://jaims.in/jaims/article/view/2179/2723
    7. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rakesh-Shukla-5/publication/332800401_Concept_of_Mukha_swasthya_oral_hygeine_with_special_reference_to_Kaval/links/5cca882a92851c8d2214076f/Concept-of-Mukha-swasthya-oral-hygeine-with-special-reference-to-Kaval.pdf
    8. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rakesh-Shukla-5/publication/332800401_Concept_of_Mukha_swasthya_oral_hygeine_with_special_reference_to_Kaval/links/5cca882a92851c8d2214076f/Concept-of-Mukha-swasthya-oral-hygeine-with-special-reference-to-Kaval.pdf
    9. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rakesh-Shukla-5/publication/332800401_Concept_of_Mukha_swasthya_oral_hygeine_with_special_reference_to_Kaval/links/5cca882a92851c8d2214076f/Concept-of-Mukha-swasthya-oral-hygeine-with-special-reference-to-Kaval.pdf

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