Two weeks ago, I introduced Ayurveda on the blog. To refresh, Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system. The basic belief is that the mind, body, and spirit are connected, and the balance of all three promotes optimal health and wellness. During my Facebook LIVE session on May 19th, I also talk about/demonstrate the practices described below and share the products I use. Check it out.
A key component of Ayurveda is having a daily routine, called a Dinacharya. The previous blog post discussed Abhyanga or self-massage. This week we are going to learn about three other components of a Dinacharya: oil pulling, tongue scraping and rosewater eye rinse. There are more practices you can incorporate into your routine, but these are the ones that I have practiced successfully for many years. I start by brushing my teeth and then I do the following.
Oil pulling involves swishing sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth in the morning for optimal oral hygiene. I use sesame oil. According to Banyan Botanicals, a leading Ayurveda supply store, the benefits of this practice include “improving oral flora, preventing tooth decay, alleviating bad breath, and strengthening the tissue of teeth and gums.”
Supporting oral hygiene is beneficial to our overall health and wellness. I have been doing this for a long time and my dentist always compliments me when I go to my bi-annual appointments. I think a lot of that has to do with oil pulling because I am by no means a champion toothbrusher and I hardly ever floss. Thirty-seven years old and no cavities either. Most of that is thanks to my mom ensuring that my teeth were always cleaned well as a kid, but my mom has not brushed my teeth in many, many years…so oil pulling is likely helping me out.
You want to swish with about a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, so I usually do something else while I am practicing my oil pulling. You will likely need to build yourself up to this time-frame, so start with 5 minutes. You will feel the oil change consistency in your mouth. Then you want to spit it out in the trash so you do not cause any drain problems. Do not swallow the oil. Afterward, rinse your mouth out with water.
Along with oil pulling, you want to scrape your tongue. The thought behind this is while you are asleep, your body releases toxins and bacteria through our tongues, which results in a coating that you want to remove right away.
By gently scraping our tongues, we can remove this coating, thus promoting our oral hygiene. A stainless steel tongue scraper is best and be sure to rinse the scraper after each use to keep it clean. I do this following my oil pulling.
Rose Water Eye Rinse
Lastly, I cleanse my eyes by spraying them with Rosewater. Rosewater is a natural remedy for some common eye issues such as eye strain, allergies, dry eye, and more. Before spraying Rosewater in your eyes, you should test it on your skin to ensure you will not have an adverse reaction. It takes some getting used to spraying directly into your eyes, but it feels so refreshing. I top this off by taking Witch Hazel on a cotton ball and wiping my eyes and my face. Witch Hazel is a toner and helps keep my skin young and fresh. Not necessarily an Ayurveda practice, but something I do that helps promote my well-being in conjunction with the other Ayurveda practices.
Catch me LIVE on Facebook every Tuesday at 12PM for Talk-Back Tuesday at the Self-Care Cabaret!