I’ve wanted to do a post on oil pulling for a while now as I receive a lot of questions about it. I’m obsessed with exploring ancient methods of self-care so of course, I’ve tried oil pulling.What is Oil Pulling— Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method of practicing good oral hygiene and detoxification. It is literally the act of swishing some oil in your mouth to pull harmful bacteria out of the teeth, gums, tongue, and throat. Simple enough right?
How to Oil Pull Correctly
1. Oil pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Take 1 tsp of oil in your mouth.
2. Next, start swishing the oil around. Do not gargle.
3. Swish it around for 20 minutes. Why 20 minutes? Well, according to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, it takes about 20 minutes for the oil to break through plaque, bacteria, and toxins but not enough time for the toxins to be reabsorbed back into your system.
4. Spit into the trash. Do Not Swallow. The whole point is to remove the bacteria and toxins out and not to re-ingest it. Do not spit into the sink as it may clog the drain.
5. Rinse your mouth with warm water and brush teeth as normal.
What Kind of Oil to Use—Oil pulling works best with a high quality, raw (unpasteurized) coconut oil, sesame seed oil or red palm oil. I prefer the taste of coconut oil but others find sesame oil to be more detoxifying. To each their own…right?
What Benefits to Expect—Many natural health practitioners believe that oil pulling benefits go beyond detoxifying the mouth and may include: a migraine and allergy relief, reducing sinus congestion, hangover cure and helping to support healthy kidney function. I personally can’t say that I’ve experienced any of these added benefits and scientific research is still lacking… but I can tell you what I’ve experienced.
Benefits I’ve noticed from oil pulling... I know that 20 minutes seem like…um forever but I’m used to it. Since doing this, my teeth are much whiter because the oil pulls surface stains. My mouth feels much more moisturized. I suffer from dry mouth and oil pulling helps a lot! My lips also become softer afterward and my mouth feels cleaner. Also, after oil pulling my gums feel like they get a nice little massage and I have less jaw stiffness.
Verdict— Are these some crazy, amazing benefits and is oil pulling worth the effort? Well, I say if you suffer from dry mouth, jaw stiffness, want whiter teeth along with a natural oral regime… then try it out. Harmful toxins and bacteria in your mouth, if not taken care of can make their way into our bloodstream and truly wreak havoc… so why not add something safe and natural to your oral health routine.
Tip: If you don’t have 20 minutes to spare in the morning, try oil pulling while watching t.v. or reading a blog post…hint, hint.
Do you think the Ayurveda practice of oil pulling sounds crazy? Have you tried it?