I’ve been oil pulling for almost a year now and it has become an essential part of my morning routine. Oil pulling is one of those weird rituals that may seem really odd at first, but trust me, it’s a wonderful practice to incorporate into your life. And the more you do it, the more you become addicted to it.
You may have heard of oil pulling, as it is becoming more and more popular. It is a growing trend, but it is actually far from new. Oil pulling is an ancient dental and health practice that comes from Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine that is more than 5000 years old.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling basically involves taking a teaspoon or a tablespoon of oil (coconut, sesame or olive) and swishing it into your mouth, around your teeth and gums for 5 to 20 minutes. The plaque and bacteria in your mouth binds to the oil and is then disposed out of your body when you spit it out, leaving your mouth purified of harmful toxins.
The benefits of oil pulling
Oil pulling is mainly beneficial for the health of teeth, gums, mouth and throat. It leaves the mouth fresh and clean, strengthens the gums, whitens the teeth, reduces plaque, and prevents teeth decay, bad breath, dryness of throat and cracked lips. Ayurveda also states that oil pulling may purify the entire system as it believes that each section of the tongue is connected to a specific organ of the body such as the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine. Some also state that it could relieve migraine and allergies, reduce sinus congestion, relieve insomnia, clear the mind, increase energy and help prevent a variety of illnesses.
Personally, I practice oil pulling for the health of my teeth and for the detoxifying and vivifying effect it has on me. After each session I instantly feel refreshed and reinvigorated. I’ve noticed that my teeth are whiter and that my immune system is stronger. I haven’t been sick since I started doing it in the fall. It was the very first winter in years that I didn’t get a cold or flu. And trust me, this season was a particularly bad one microbe-wise. Everyone got a cold around me and I’m the only one who managed to survive the season without catching anything. My stepfather has teeth issues and very sensitive gums. He started oil pulling and noticed a remarkable improvement in the health and strength of his gums and teeth after only a few weeks.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Take one teaspoon to one tablespoon of oil. I like to use organic cold-pressed coconut oil. While you can get benefits from pulling with other oils, coconut is particularly interesting because of its lauric acid content, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents. I’ve tried other oils and prefer the feeling coconut oil leaves on my teeth. I also love the taste. If coconut is not your thing, you can use refined (unflavored) coconut oil or other oils like sesame or olive oil.
2. Swish it into your mouth. Swish the oil into your teeth and gum for about 5-20 minutes (don’t swallow it and don’t gargle). I recommend starting with 5 minutes and building your way up to 20. Because toxins build up in your mouth overnight, oil pulling has to be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I find that the best way to do it is while getting ready for my day. Do it in the shower, while doing your make-up or while preparing breakfast. It may feel weird the first few days you do it but trust me, you’ll get used to it and it actually becomes enjoyable.
3. Spit it in the trash can. Don’t spit the oil in the sink as it can block your drain. The oil should be whitish and have a milky consistency.
4. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth. After spitting the oil, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water and brush your teeth.
Voilà! Give it a try and let me know how it is by leaving a comment below. If you’ve been doing it for a while and have seen benefits I’d love to hear them.
The greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.