April 3, 2014
Everyone is currently raving about the latest all-natural fad, oil pulling. What is oil pulling you ask? It is an ancient Ayurvedic method that involves swishing oil around in your mouth to “pull” harmful bacteria out of your teeth and gums and essentially give you amazing health benefits. Some are declaring it all a bunch of Hollywood hype, while others claim to have seen real results. I decided to try it for myself.
Oil pulling began in India thousands of years ago and was introduced to the western world in the 90’s. The idea behind oil pulling is that the lipids in the oil grab all the bad stuff in your mouth (like bacteria and fungus) and gets rid of it. Instead of all that gunk staying in your mouth (or worse swallowing it) it all goes into the trash can when you spit it out.
The range of benefits that people have claimed is pretty impressive…which is why I said, well why not?
Most Common Benefits Oil Puller Users Have Claimed:
Fresh breath-relief of halitosis
Stronger and healthier teeth and gums
Hydrated Lips and Skin
Other Health Effects Reported:
Migraine headache relief
Aids with sinus problems
Reduction of eczema
Helps with gastro-enteritis
Helps correct hormone imbalances
Helps improve symptoms of asthma
General pain relief
Helps rid the body of infections
So after reading all about these reported benefits, I was more than curious. Here are my directions:
Choose your Oil:
I of course chose coconut oil because I’m obsessed but you can also use olive oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil as well. MAKE SURE you use a high quality oil…extra virgin, organic, you get the picture. This is really important! I have only used coconut oil but supposedly it can be beneficial to switch it up from week to week or from day to day. I have found that coconut oil has a good, mild consistency and doesn’t have much flavor-which in this case is good!
Put about 2 teaspoons (possibly a little less when you first start) in your mouth and start to swish. You don’t have to go overboard, just lightly swish. You will want to do this for twenty minutes. It can be difficult at first to swallow your own saliva so try to put the oil to the front of your mouth when you want to swallow your own spit (I know-I don’t know how to say it any other way). I have found the best time to swish is when you wake up because your mouth is full of germs.
This EXTREMELY important! You DO NOT want to swallow the oil that contains all the bacteria from your mouth, I don’t think I need to explain why, right? Also, make sure you don’t spit into your sink or you will eventually clog your drain. Spit into a garbage can.
Rinse your mouth with warm water to get rid of any excess oil.
Keep in mind that I have only been doing this a little over a week so I think it will take time to see more benefits. The biggest benefit I have noticed is whiter teeth. They are noticeably whiter; it is as if I have used whitening strips! I feel like my breath has improved as well. I have also noticed that my face and lips feel more hydrated-which is great because my lips are usually pretty dry. I have also noticed that my overall energy has increased.
Let us know if you try oil pulling and what benefits surface for you!
Photo Credit: Flickr/Phú Thinh Co, Veganbaking.net