How strong is your Oral Health routine?

Safeguard your Danta Swasthya with Kavala & Gandusha

Ayurveda gives special emphasis on practicing preventive measures to maintain a healthy and happy living. Danta swasthya (dental or oral health) is a part of dinacharya (daily routine), which is one of the several upastambha (basis) of preventive medicine as mentioned in Ayurveda classics.

Kavala Graha and Gandusha kriya, also known as oil pulling, are procedures that are an important part of the daily routines to maintain oral health.  As per the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita – Kavala refers to “gargle” and Gandusha is “mouthful of”.

The Ministry of Ayush has also recommended oil pulling in their advisory on various immunity-enhancing steps. Let’s understand more about these techniques in this article.


Both Kavala and Gandusha are similar techniques with tad of differences. They’re intended to benefit oral disorders by assisting the process of pulling out oral toxins. 

Just as the skin excretes body waste and toxins, the tongue eliminates toxins and harmful microbes from the body. The viscosity of used medicated oil inhibits bacterial adhesion and plaque.


Seal a mouthful of the medicated oil (approx. 2 tablespoons should suffice) and hold it in for 3-5 minutes. This helps pull out accumulated bacteria from the tongue. That’s Gandusha!

Then release some of the liquid out to hold in a comfortable amount. This will create some room for movement. Now you can shake the liquid inside your mouth and do gargling for at least 15 more minutes. This will be Kavala!

The whole process should be 20 minutes and not any longer. You can follow it up with regular brushing of teeth. Ayurveda documents four diverse kinds of Kavala based on the effects:

  • The one with lubricating after-effects namely Snaihika.
  • Weakening oral diseases namely Samana.
  • The process of purification of the mouth namely Sodhana.
  • The procedure of healing namely Ropana.


  • Helps prevent oral malodor, tooth decay, and throat dryness.
  • Reduces bleeding and inflammation in the gums and oral tissues, by strengthening the gums, teeth, and jaw.
  • Brings a glow to the face, improves lines and wrinkles, and tones the skin by improving blood circulation in the cheeks.

One can use cold-pressed oils like virgin coconut oil and sesame oil for this therapy. Sesame oil is considered to be the queen of oilseed crops because of its beneficial effects. Coconut oil is also known for its antioxidant release that can rupture the cell wall of microorganisms, thus destroying them. It yields great benefits especially if it is cold-pressed. You can use brands like Nutiva, ConsciousFoods, and Organic India which organically produce these medicated oils.

We hope you will benefit from this technique, do share your experiences or any tips for our readers in the comments section.

In case of seasonal ailments like cough and cold, do refer to some age-old Ayurvedic home remedies here.

Roopashree Sharma

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