The mouth is the gateway to, and start of, the digestive system that extends for about 30 feet in adults. Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark reminds us that removing irritants from the digestive tract and replacing them with agents for digestive support helps promote a healthy “gut immune barrier”.1https://drgeetamakerclark.com/healthy-living/healthy-digestion (Our intestinal immune system resides in these 30 feet and encounters more antigens than any other part of the body2https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/%C3%B3rganos-y-tejidos/immunity-in-the-gut.) As an important start to our microbiome ‘balancing act’, oil pulling focuses on the mouth, which itself contains over 700 species of bacteria. And what a balancing act it should be! “Three out of 10 people over 65 have lost all their teeth. In the United States, half of all adults have either gum disease or tooth decay; cavities are the most common chronic disease of childhood, with a rate five times greater than that seen for the next most prevalent disease, asthma.” 3https://science.sciencemag.org/content/307/5717/1899
Using a carefully curated formula that includes 24 Ayurvedic botanicals, DrTung’s Oil Pulling Concentrate advances oil pulling to both a balancing and a cleansing formula. One of these special botanicals is the medicinal healing herb Indian Madder, also known as Manjistha or Rubia Cordifolia. Indian Madder is considered one of Ayurveda’s superheroes and today we offer some insight and information into its powerful properties and why it is included in our ancient Ayurvedic recipe.
The Wonders of Indian Madder
Indian Madder is actually a species of flowering plant in the coffee family Rubiaceae. Found throughout the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Korea, Russia, Mongolia, and Southeast Asia, it’s medicinal properties and traditional uses are well documented. The plant’s red roots have been used in Ayurvedic remedies since antiquity and Indian Madder is said to be a potent source of healing for ailments including blood disorders, skin irritations, kidney stones, and digestive issues, to name just a few.
What about Indian Madder makes it ideal for oil pulling?
It’s both what Indian Madder adds that makes it so ideal for oil pulling, and what it takes away. Although brushing and flossing are essential for removing debris, oil pulling does something more. It helps bind toxins and bacteria. How? Oil damages bacterial cell walls and then the oil sticks to the oil/lipid layer of the bacterial cell. The lipophilic effect of DrTung’s Oil Pulling Concentrate makes it a prime base for the drawing out and purifying qualities of a herb such as Indian Madder. It is also a potent antioxidant that contains anti-microbial properties.
Whole mouth benefits
Indian Madder works synergistically with other herbs to help balance the oral biome and disallow the build-up of unhealthy debris that may cause infection, inflammation and illness.
Tooth decay and plaque are caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, and if these plaque bacteria accumulate below the gum line, they become culprits behind the development of periodontal issues such as swelling and irritation of the gums (even tooth loss if left untreated). Indian Madder’s anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for helping prevent these gum conditions.
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates Indian Madder for a number of ailments, including the herpes virus (cold sores), and research confirms anti-bacterial effects against different kinds of bacteria, including Staphylococcus Aureus. Research indicates that the oral cavity should be considered as an important source of S aureus in terms of cross-infection and dissemination to other body sites.4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25564121
Indian Madder is also used traditionally as a hemostatic agent (to stop bleeding) — so in Oil Pulling Concentrate it helps with bleeding gums or at times when you have accidentally bitten your cheek or lip.
Ayurveda reminds us that health is a dynamic process of creating balance in mind, body and spirit. Creating and maintaining a healthy oral biome is important for the teeth and gums, but also for the whole digestive system and body. Including Dr. Tung’s Oil Pulling Concentrate in our practice of self care can be one of the mindful choices we make to our morning routine.