Oil Pulling With Nirgundi Oil in Bell’s Palsy

Bell ’s palsy is a neurological disorder that arises due to the trauma or inflammation of the facial nerve. Facial nerve is a 7th cranial nerve that travels through the Fallopian canal (facial canal) beneath the ear, supplies the impulses to the facial muscles and responsible for various functions like – blinking of eyes, facial expressions (smiling or frowning), transmits taste sensation from the tongue and also carries impulses to the lacrimal gland and stapes ( bone of middle ear), etc. When Bell’s palsy occurs it impairs the functions of facial nerves hence, the person suffers from facial muscle weakness and ends up with facial paralysis. It affects the half side of the face. According to Ayurveda, this disease is named as Ardita, a Vata vyadhi. In this disease, Vata dosha and kapha dosha are mainly involved.

Causes of Bell’s Palsy

  • Damage to the facial nerve that may occur due to external injury, inflammation and compression.
  • Disease history – Ear infection, hemiplegia, tumors, high blood pressure, etc.

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy

A disruption in the function of the facial nerve can lead to various problems. These symptoms vary from person to person, they are-  

  • Weakness of facial muscles
  • Deviation of the mouth
  • Radiating pain throughout the course of the facial nerve
  • Twitching
  • Drooling of saliva
  • Headache
  • Drooping of eyelids
  • Impaired speech or Dysarthria
  • Impaired taste
  • Pain around ear
  • Numbness
  • Discomfort  in the affected area.

Diagnostic Critera

  • MRI
  • CT- scan

Ayurvedic Treatment Principle of Ardita (Bell’s palsy or Facial palsy)

  • Vata management
  • Remove avarna of kapha dosha

For both the purposes the ushna virya (herbs that possess hot potency) medicines are helpful, these herbs help to reduce sheeta (cold) quality of Vata and kapha dosha simultaneously.

  • Panchakarma – The most potent branch of Ayurveda that helps to manage neurological disorders along with palliative care. One of the procedures mentioned is oil pulling i.e. in the means of gandusha and kavala, etc.

For all these procedures, Nirgundi oil is a choice of medicine because nirgundi is having Vata Shamaka property.

सिंदुवार …..केश्यो नेत्रहितो हन्ति शूल शोथ आम मरुतान ”

(Reference – Bhavaprakasha / Guduchiadi varga / Nirgundi / Shloka no. 114)

The meaning of this shloka goes as – Sinduwar (Nirgundi)

helps to pacify pain, swelling and vata, eliminates toxins from the body, beneficial for eyes and promotes hair growth.

Moreover, Nirgundi helps to pacify vata and kapha dosha simultaneously in our body. In Bell’s palsy, these two are the involved doshas. Along with this, it is also a balya and rasayan medicine (rejuvenates and strengthens the nerves) thus it’s a choice of medicine.

Oil Pulling or Gandusha or Kavala

(Ashtanga hrudyam / Sutrasthanam / Chapter no. 22 / Shloka no. 12)

The meaning of this shloka goes as –

  • Mukhe purna – Completely fill the mouth with the medicated liquid, to the full extent.
  • Asancharyo – That fluid shouldn’t move inside the mouth.
  • Hold it as long as a person bursts up with tears from the eyes.
  • Anyatha Kavala – Otherwise gargling is called as Kavala.

Moreover, gargling with medicated liquid is called as kavala. And holding the medicated liquids without moving inside the mouth is called as Gandusha.

Basically, Gandusha and Kavala or oil pulling procedures mean retention of fluids inside the oral cavity for a stipulated period of time. Oil pulling is one among the purification procedures.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

(Ashtanga hrudyam / Sutrasthanam / Chapter no. 22 / Shloka no. 12)

As per our Classics, benefits of gandusha are as follows –

  • Manya – Beneficial to treat diseases of the neck
  • Shira – Treats all the neurological disorders
  • Karna – mukha – akshi – kantha – Deals with all ear, face, eye and throat ailments
  • Praseka – vaktrashosha – Also helpful in excessive salivation and dryness of the oral cavity.

Benefits of Oil Pulling in Bell’s Palsy

  • As above said, these procedures are helpful in managing neurological disorders, Bell’s palsy is also one among them.
  • The symptoms of Bell’s palsy are related to eye, ear and face, hence beneficial.

Effects of Nirgundi Oil in Bell’s Palsy

  • Oil is considered as the best medicine to pacify Vata and Vata is the main factor that is responsible for the neurological deteriorations. Nirgundi is a vata and kapha pacifying herb. Thus, in Bell’s palsy ‘Nirgundi oil’ is a perfect choice.
  • Removes toxins from the mouth ( liquefies kapha dosha and aama)
  • Alleviates inflammation of the facial nerve.
  • Strengthens muscles of the face thus relives drooling of saliva, eye drooping and dysarthria.
  • Treats muscle wasting hence corrects the deviated mouth.
  • Helps to rejuvenate or reform the damaged neurons
  • In case of infection, it helps to perish the bacterial and viral flora.


  • Brush your teeth.
  • Bit lukewarm the oil but avoid giving direct heat to the oil.
  • In kavala swish the nirgundi oil inside the oral cavity. On contrast, in gandusha hold the oil until tears develop in your eyes. Then spit it out.
  • Afterwards, you can wash the oral cavity with lukewarm water.  

Time – Prefer in early morning.

Duration of Gandusha – It varies from person to person but approx 2 to 5 minutes (Depends upon individual’s retaining capacity)

Contraindications of Oil Pulling

  • Avoid in poisoning conditions.
  • In case of excessive bleeding from the mouth
  • In alcoholic conditions

Some Useful Tips

  • The patient is advised to avoid exposure to cold.
  • Avoid intake of heavy, spicy and sour foodstuffs.
  • Oil pulling is more effective if performed after massaging the neck and shoulder region.
  • Blow balloons along with oil pulling, it is also effective.
  • Oil should not be hot.
  • Do not swallow the medicated oil.
  • Even you can use nirguind oil in pharyngitis.

Running nose is common after oil pulling because it also eliminates the toxins that are accumulated in sinuses and in nasal cavities, so don’t panic.

“You can add ‘Oil Pulling’ in your daily regimen as it will help to strengthen your head and neck region”