|| श्री दिग्विजयपठ्ठाभिरामो विजयते ||
|| श्री दिग्विजयपठ्ठाभिरामो विजयते ||
Greetings to all wellness-seekers.
Wellness tops the list of things on most people's mind. Yet, it remains one of the toughest goals to achieve for a lot of people, especially for those living busy lives in an urban setting. This blog attempts to help all those wellness enthusiasts in their quest for good health by offering time-tested Ayurvedic routines for daily life. After all, keeping all other factors constant, it is what we do on a daily basis that matters more than what we do occasionally. Like the saying goes, little drops of water make a mighty ocean. So without further ado, lets delve right into the daily routines that Ayurveda reckons. This is the first of the 5-part series of the blog covering the Ayurveda daily routines.
Kavala in Ayurveda refers to a technique of retaining liquids in mouth and swishing it around for a specific amount of time. Later, the liquid is spit out. Ayurveda details many types of liquids to use for Kavala such as various oils, milk, juice extracts, honey, fermented beverages, meat soup, herbal teas, etc. depending on the disorder to target.
Kavala is very effective in treating ailments related to head, neck, eyes, ear and mouth cavity. It detoxifies the oral cavity and throat. Traditionally, Kavala or Gandusha (a technique similar to Kavala that does not involve gargling) therapies are used to treat inflammation of throat, laryngitis, dryness of throat, tooth weakness, nausea, anorexia, neurological disorders, rhinitis etc. However, it is also a recommended daily practice in Ayurveda. It strengthens the voice, teeth, gums and sense organs including eyes and ears. It lubricates the oral cavity and gives relief from chapped lips.
It is very simple to follow. Here are the simplified instructions for those who are hard-pressed for time.
Kavala is best done first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
1. Take a tbsp. of warm sesame oil (or other suggested oil). Adjust the quantity based on your individual capacity. The idea is to take enough to fill the mouth with some space room left to gargle. If you are just starting out, it is best to start small so you are not gagging when you attempt to swish it around your mouth.
2. Sit comfortably in a warm area that receives adequate sunlight facing east. Sunlight brings out best results and aids detoxification.
3. Take the spoonful of oil in your mouth leaving enough room to gargle. While keeping the head slightly lifted up, retain the liquid in the oral cavity and swish it around the mouth, side to side and in circular motion. Repeat this for about 5 minutes. It may seem like a long time for those just starting out but it will get better with practice. You can start with 2 mins and then slowly build it up to 5 minutes in a few days. It is not unusual to notice the oil getting frothy and foamy as the time progresses. This is due to the secretions from nose and mouth, and it is a sign of detoxification. Spit out the contents of the mouth after the specified length of time. If you develop a strong urge to spit before the time is up, you can spit out and repeat the steps with another spoonful of oil.
After spitting the contents at the end of it, rinse your mouth and wash your face thoroughly with lukewarm water, and brush your teeth.
Sesame oil is an oil of choice for daily use. However, one may use neutral oils like olive oil, sweet almond oil as well. I do not recommend plain coconut oil for those living in cold regions like Canada, especially in winters.
Here is an herbal oil formulation that is suitable for most people.
Click on the link above to get the oil for your daily Kavala routine.
Now, ain't this something to smile about :-)
Go on, try it out. You have nothing to lose except a big, healthy grin!
Kavala may be contra-indicated in some cases of active flu, runny nose, sinusitis etc. Consult with a healthcare practitioner prior to starting Kavala if you have a pre-existing condition.
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