Did you know?

As a preventative health strategy, Ayurveda prescribes a daily regimen for maintaining one’s good health; this routine includes general rules for personal hygiene (dinacharya).

One of these hygiene rituals is the rinsing of the mouth followed by a mouthwash ‘gandush’. This is to be performed after waking up in the morning, right after having gone to the toilet.

After a night’s sleep our tongue can tend to feel pasty and have a whitish or yellowish discolouration, which is due to the deposit of toxins ‘ama’. It is therefore recommendable to scrape the tongue with a special tongue scraper and to then rinse the mouth. Finally, the ‘gandush’ or mouthwash should be performed.

The mouthwash consists of putting a soup spoon’s worth of vegetable oil in the mouth (about 6-10ml ) and swishing it all around the mouth, back and forth between all of your teeth with a gentle sucking action. After having swished the oil for 15 to 20 minutes, spit out the oil and saliva mixture. This process induces the salivary glands to secrete saliva; this stimulatory effect is not only due to the oil itself, but is also caused by the circular rinsing action.

The oil you use must be of a good quality. This could be sesame oil (for those with a Vata constitution), sunflower oil (for those with a Pitta constitution) or even Aloe-vera gel (for those with a Kapha constitution).

This ritual of getting rid of one’s morning saliva, loaded with toxins, will enable the partial elimination of the toxins that were accumulated during the night.

Practising this process on a regular basis will help the body to detoxify, will strengthen the immunity, and will thereby increase the sensation of well-being.