Your mouth is a ‘window’ to the rest of your body
Ayurveda in its meaning can be translated as the ‘science of life’, deriving from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). For thousands of years, this ancient method of healing has been practiced in India and is designed to bring the mind and body back into balance so that it can heal itself and create a greater state of health and well-being.
Many modern day health care professionals and dentists acknowledge the correlation between a healthy mouth and your overall well-being and that the problems in your mouth relate to deeper issues within the body.
‘A healthy mouth enables not only nutrition of the physical body, but also enhances social interaction and promotes self-esteem and feelings of well-being. The mouth serves as a “window” to the rest of the body, providing signals of general health disorders.’ –Dental Health Foundation
For thousands of years, Ayurveda has recognized that the mouth and body are integral to each other and there are some wonderful oral hygiene practices that not only cure many ailments occurring in the mouth but also improve your health and well-being overall. So let’s explore a couple of these ancient practices!
The tongue is known to mirror the rest of the organs in your body such as the liver, spleen, heart, lungs, kidneys and so on, so examining your tongue’s health is a good way of assessing the health of the rest of your body.
At a quick glance, if you notice a thick coating on the top layer of your tongue then this means you are accumulating toxicity and unwanted bacteria (known as ama) usually caused by poor diet, poor digestion or an imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract. A tongue scraper is an excellent way to remove this unwanted coating from your tongue and prevent bacteria from creating further problems for the rest of your bodily health.
BENEFITS OF USING A TONGUE SCRAPER:
- Enhances sense of taste
- Removes ama (toxins) and bacteria from your tongue
- Aids digestion
- Removes soft plaque that causes bad breath
- Gently stimulates the internal organs
- Aids overall health
- Boosts immunity
HOW TO USE A TONGUE SCRAPER
It is recommended that this is the first thing you do after you wake up. When you sleep your body detoxifies itself and leaves deposits of ama (toxins) on the surface of your tongue, hence where the term ‘morning breath’ comes from. This is why it’s important to scrape off the debris first thing in the morning.
With a firm but gentle grip, holding the scraper on both ends, scrape the surface of your tongue from the back of your tongue all the way to the front tip. Rinse the scraper after each scrape and keep going until the coating is clear (usually between 5 – 10 strokes). If your tongue feels a little sensitive at first then start with fewer and gentler strokes.
Oil pulling is another excellent practice for removing the build-up of toxins and bacteria in the mouth and transforming the health of your teeth and gums. Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil (usually coconut or sesame oil) in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. It works by detoxifying the oral cavity and literally sucks out the toxins from your mouth resulting in an improvement in your oral and overall health.
BENEFITS OF OIL PULLING:
- Removes ama (toxins) and bacteria from mouth and body
- Fights bad breath
- Balances mouth’s PH
- Whitens teeth
- Helps heal acne
- Reduces inflammation
- Heals bleeding gums
- Boosts immune system
- Supports body detoxification
HOW TO PRACTICE OIL PULLING
Swish about a tablespoon of your chosen oil (coconut or sesame) around your mouth making sure the oil is swished evenly over your teeth, gums and front and back of your mouth. Do this for up to 20 minutes or until the oil is thin and whitish in color and then spit out and rinse with warm water. It is recommended to practice oil pulling 3-5 times a week for maximum benefit.
A RECOMMENDED AYURVEDIC ORAL ROUTINE
First thing in the morning
- Drink up to a liter of warm water. This wakes up the digestive fires and hydrates the tissues after the overnight fast.
- Using your tongue scraper, scrape your tongue between 5-10 times removing all toxins that have deposited on your tongue while your body detoxified overnight.
- Swish about one tablespoon of either coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. Spit out and rinse.
- Brush your teeth. We recommend using our 100% natural tooth powder, which is packed full of vitamins and minerals and puts all the good nutrients back into your gums.
Last thing at night
Please note: It is not necessary to use a tongue scraper at night and may aggravate the delicate tongue tissues.
- Drink a warm and grounding cup of herbal tea which helps aid a restful night’s sleep and digestion support.
- Floss your teeth.
- Brush your teeth with our all natural tooth powder.
- Get an early night and a restful sleep.
Please note that these practices are an opportunity to explore some ancient techniques that have worked for thousands of years, however, are not to be swapped for what your dentist or doctor have prescribed.