Preventive Ayurveda Series Dinacharya – Live Ayurveda Daily: Part 3
A replica of Shri Madan Mohan Temple has been created at Govardhan Ecovillage and was inaugurated on
January 25, 2019 in the graceful presence of H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj and other dignitaries.
ood is the most important factor for the sustenance of life. And that makes teeth a very important part of our body. Healthy teeth throughout life are a big boon. Only people with tooth pain or bad teeth can truly appreciate the bliss of having good teeth. However, good teeth are not a divine blessing. They are a result of good oral health practices. Unfortunately, most of the traditional Ayurvedic oral health practices were killed by the multi-nationals and quacks looting money in the name of Ayurveda. Let us try to revive some of the precious and highly effective oral health practices, that are described as an essential part of “dinacharya”.
Dant Dhavan (Washing the teeth)
It is interesting that oral hygiene is described not in terms of teeth brushing but teeth washing. For proper cleaning, washing is the best mode. The steps to proper teeth washing are –
Datun is the traditional ayurvedic toothbrush. Datun is made of twigs from various trees with medicinal properties. Neem is the most important of them all. Now, this is a natural medicated brush that gives multiple benefits.
- It has live tender fibers that help to clean the teeth naturally.
- The datun has less tendency to hurt the teeth and the gums.
- It will definitely not trigger erosion of enamel due to over-brushing.
- Besides all, the current toothbrush is made of plastic, which is scientifically proven to be a cancer-causing agent. Therefore, it is definitely not advisable to put some carcinogenic substance inside your mouth.
- The most important benefit that no toothbrush in the world can compete with is that this natural toothbrush comes handy with the fresh “toothpaste”/mouthwash that contains no harmful chemicals at all.
How to use Datun?
Most of the people try Datun but they find it too hard for the gums. But the proper way to use Datun can help us overcome this problem. Charak Samhita advises datun to be kept dipped in mustard oil so that the bristles become softer and do not hurt the gums or other soft tissues of the mouth.
Charak Samhita advises cleaning your teeth at least twice a day. There is no reason why you should not try Datun at least one time in the day.
Datun is an important part of the Ayurvedic oral health regimen. However, there are other important things that ensure comprehensive oral and tooth care.
Jivha Nirlekhana (Tongue Scraping)
Ayurveda advises tongue scraping daily, esp in the morning. Tongue scraping helps to remove the layer of mucus that gets deposited on the tongue overnight. Regular removal of the excess mucus helps to relieve the oral cavity from excess Kapha Dosha. It also maintains a healthy environment inside the oral cavity and prevents rapid tooth decay.
Indians have been using Tongue scraper for ages now. It is a metal strip bend to facilitate ease of use. Ayurveda prescribes that the tongue scrapers should be made from gold, silver, copper, brass or bronze. Again, plastic tongue scrappers should not be used as they can break inside the mouth and cause severe hurt.
Gandush or mouth pulling is an extremely important part of Ayurvedic oral hygiene. Mouth pulling is a practice in which medicated liquid/ oil is kept in the mouth for some time and then spit out.
Method of Gandush (Mouth pulling)
The easiest method is to use the natural organic oils available in the market. Coconut oil is the safest for everyone who is trying Gandush (Mouth pulling) for the first time. Ideally, one should fill the mouth with a convenient amount of the oil and keep it in the mouth till water starts to ooze from the eyes and nose. this situation is the completion of Gandush (Mouth pulling). However, initially one can start with keeping the oil for 10-15 min and gradually increase the time.
Benefits of Gandush (Mouth pulling)
- Gandush (Mouth pulling) helps to maintain the moisture content in the oral cavity. A person practicing Gandush (Mouth pulling) on a daily basis never suffers from any kind of oral pain, mouth boils, thrush etc.
- Gandush (Mouth pulling) nourishes and strengthen the gums. It prevents early tooth fall and tooth decay.
- It helps to prevent dryness/chapping in lips.
- It prevents the damage to enamel caused by eating hard food. It can help to rejuvenate eroded enamel.
- It restores the calcium content of the teeth. It removes the spots and blemish from the teeth and makes them look brighter.
- It strengthens the roots of the teeth and enables them to easily chew extremely hard substances too.
- It eliminates the sensitivity of the teeth.
Mouth pulling helps all the parts of the oral cavity. This is the general method for daily mouth pulling.
For more details on medicated mouth pulling for any specific disorder, please consult your Ayurvedic physician.
Shir Sneha (Head/Hair Oiling)
A few decades back everyone would apply oil to their hair. A person would be considered poor or uncultured if his/her hair were frizzy and untidy. Unfortunately, because of excessive advertising about Shampoos and other hair care products, the old and healthy practice of oiling of the hair was belittled and made fun of. Everyone in their 30s would remember the ads ridiculed the oiled hair to look “chipkoo” and dumb. And we lost this extremely healthy practice as a society. As a result, now baldness is highly pervasive even in the females. Let us understand the benefits of head oiling and revive this dying health practice.
According to Charak Samhita, a person who oils his head daily –
- Never experiences a headache or any other kind of pain in the head region (ex. Migraine)
- Oiling head regularly prevents dryness in the scalp and thereby other disorders like dandruff, early hair fall, itching, inflammation of the scalp etc.
- Hair oil nourishes the scalp and the hair roots. Hair is stronger and shinier.
- It also prevents premature greying of the hair.
- Head oiling is one way to nourish and strengthen the sense organs.
- It also helps in better sleep quality.
Oiling can be done both before and after the bath. If you have very dry and frizzy hair, you should apply the oil before the bath, esp if you are going to use a shampoo. Shampoo or any type of cleansing agent has a drying effect on the hair. Therefore it is advisable to oil the hair before the bath.
Ideally, one should keep his head oiled throughout the day. This rule is not applicable only for people with hair. Even people without any hair (bald/clean shaven) should apply the oil on the head because it is important in order to protect the scalp.
Application of warm oil is especially beneficial for the dry hair and in the cold climate (winter season). Besides, different kinds of medicated oils can be used for different problems of the hair. Please consult your Ayurvedic physician for more information on the kind of hair oil most suitable for you.
Hope that this information makes your life better and brings lots of peace and happiness to you. In the next blog, we will be discussing more important of daily body massage, ear oiling, and many other interesting factors.