Ayurvedic Self-care does not have to be complicated. Ayurveda means the Science of Life. It dates back to thousands of years and the knowledge is truly life-changing and when applied to our day to day life it is deeply healing. Ayurveda talks about 3 doshas that govern us and the imbalances of these doshas causes ailments. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
I will explain these to you in detail in another post but, the intention of this post is to ensure that you can quickly gain benefits from 3 Ayurvedic self-care practices without having to delve deep into this Ancient wisdom (which I actually recommend you all to do).
Oil pulling is the simple act of swishing oil in your mouth for a time period of 5 to 20 minutes and spitting it. So when can you do it? Early in the morning is the perfect time to do it. I normally use coconut oil and do oil pulling for about 10 minutes, spit it in the trash and then brush my teeth.
The benefits of oil pulling are:
- Reduces bad breathe
- Reduces gum inflammation
- Kills unwanted bacteria in the mouth
- Whitens the teeth over time
- Some claim it detoxifies your body and improves skin texture
What benefits have I personally noticed?
- Teeth look marginally brighter than before
- Reduced gum bleeding
- No more gum inflammation
Some dentists call it pseudoscience and some studies have found that coconut oil is an alternative to chlorhexidine found in mouthwashes. I would ask you to give it a try and start with 3 to 5 minutes and if you are comfortable increase your time from thereon.
It is a must for me in my self-care practice and when I skip my oil pulling for a few days owing to being away on a holiday or so I actually experience a decline in the overall quality of my breath. I have also noticed my teeth not looking as bright when I stop this practice.
Using a tongue scraper was natural in my Indian home and it was done after brushing the teeth. After moving out from my parents’ home, I tried different tongue cleaning tools and in all honesty, nothing could come anywhere near my trusty Indian tongue scrapper.
Benefits of Tongue Scrapping
- Removes the white coating on the tongue which is a toxin build-up
- Improves Oral hygiene
- Reduces bad breathe
- Balances Keratin on the tongue
- Improves the sense of taste
- Removes ‘Ama’ which is the toxic residue accumulated in the body and mind
What kind of tongue scraper to use?
I personally prefer the curved stainless steel tongue scrapers you can buy from Indian stores. They do not corrode and are very easy to clean.
How to do Tongue Scrapping?
If you are just starting out please keep safety in mind. The skin on our tongue is very delicate and hence you do not need to apply any pressure on your tongue scraper. Just hold it and scrap your tongue from back to front. I prefer to wash my tongue scraper between strokes. There are people who do 10 to 14 strokes. However, I am satisfied with my 7 strokes as my tongue feels thoroughly cleaned by then.
Tongue scraping in some people might trigger gagging so avoid doing it soon after a meal. I do it in the morning and night and recommend it to everyone who talks about any ailments as ancient knowledge stresses the importance of removing Ama from our physiology.
There are so many people who are into drinking cold water first thing in the morning for fat burning and some are into room temperature celery juice. Some go straight for their protein smoothies. Ayurveda says that when we wake up after a long sleep we are dehydrated and our ‘agni’ or digestive fire is very low. So the best thing to do is to drink a tall glass of warm water. It hydrates you and slowly awakens your digestive fire. By doing this you are gently waking up your mind and body without shocking it.
I have a tall mason jar of warm water in the morning and then have my usual Apple Cider Vinegar water. Kindly give it a try for a month and you will be amazed at how good you feel physically and mentally.
So in this easy to read article, we have learned how to remove Ama and wake our Agni. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. If Ayurveda excites you and you want to know more about your doshas and how to balance your doshas, click on this link.