Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. Natural substances are used to clean and detoxify teeth, whiten teeth, improve breath, and improve gum health by removing harmful bacteria.
Short aside: I have always been bad about flossing so my gums had become less healthy than they could be. Last year I went to a new holistic dentist and after only oil pulling for a couple of weeks she commented on how healthy my gums look. This really does work, people!
So how do you do it?
1. Put 1+ tablespoon of oil into your mouth.
2. Swish for 10-20 minutes each day (ideally 20).
In ancient Ayurvedic medicine 20 minutes is recommended, but sometimes it is necessary to start shorter and work your way up. Also, it is better to do it at all than to decide that is too long and skip it altogether. While swishing, push it through your teeth like a strainer to get it in every crack you can. Through this process it cuts through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.
3. Spit it out in a garbage can.
4. Rinse your mouth with warm water to get the remaining oil out of your mouth.
5. Brush your teeth
Preferably with a natural, glycerin free toothpaste.
When do you do it?
Oil pulling is best done first thing after getting up in the morning- before eating and brushing teeth. I like to do it while I shower and get ready. Then I rinse, brush my teeth and eat breakfast.
What oil do you use?
In my research, the most effective oil pulling is done by scooping a tablespoon of cold pressed organic sesame oil in the mouth and swishing. Other oils such as extra virgin cold pressed coconut, sunflower, and olive oil can also be used although sesame is the traditional oil and is considered the best. If possible, it is a great idea to alternate oils as well.
Tip: You may find it more palatable to start with coconut oil or sunflower oil to get used to the process before moving on to oils with stronger flavors. If you jump for the big guns right away it can get your gag reflex going if you’re not used to it!
What are the benefits?
Looking into this topic I have read many personal testimonials online from people who experienced benefits with all sorts of chronic conditions- asthma, headaches, arthritis, skin conditions, liver problems, etc. Since bacteria and infection can enter the blood via the mouth, it is clearly a practice with a lot of potential benefits. As bacteria is removed from the system, the gut flora is better allowed to flourish, resulting in more immunity, better digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall well-being. At the very least, it doesn’t take much time or resources and has no negative side effects.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried oil pulling? What benefits have you noticed?