You’re either thinking: what on earth is oil pulling? Or, do we really need another blog post on the internet telling us about the latest health trend? If you don’t know what it is or you want to learn a little more about it, I’d love to share my experience with you. I’ve waited until now to post about oil pulling because I wanted to try it for a substantial amount of time so I could really give you an idea of how it’s worked for me. It’s been six weeks and I’ve been oil pulling every single morning (minus a day or two).
Oil pulling has been around for many years as an Ayurvedic technique used to improve your oral and overall health. It involves swishing oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spitting the oil out. The idea behind this is simple: the bacteria in your mouth will loosen and stick to the oil over time (20 minutes) and will leave your body with the oil when you spit it out. This helps to draw out oral bacteria and toxins that lead to plaque build up, gingivitis, and bad breath. It is said to strengthen and whiten your teeth, prevent cavities, alleviate hangovers, calm skin irritations including acne, clear sinuses, and support general detoxification processes of the body. Here’s how to do it:
1. Pick your oil. I use organic coconut oil and I would highly recommend this as a first choice. Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, the taste is very soothing and I find other oils to be more potent and hard to hold in your mouth. If you don’t like the taste of coconut (we can’t be friends) there are other options. Any vegetable based oil can be used including organic sesame, sunflower, or olive oils. Yes, it is important to choose organic oils for this.
2. Put anywhere from one teaspoon to one tablespoon in your mouth first thing in the morning and swish around for 20 minutes. The oil will mix with spit in your mouth so start with a small amount and work your way up. Do this before you eat or drink anything (even a glass of water). The reason for this is to prevent the bacteria you are going to be pulling out of your body to be swallowed down into your stomach with the food or water. After you’ve finished and rinsed, go ahead and drink that tall glass of lemon water to start your day!
3. Stick with it for 20 minutes. This may seem like a lifetime at first, but try to multitask while you’re doing this. Jump in the shower, start on your emails for the day, do some yoga/stretches. Gently swish the oil over all areas in your mouth. Think rhythmic ocean waves, not the storming seas of mouthwash. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so I just scoop it right out of the jar with a tablespoon and let it liquify in my mouth. If the texture triggers your gag reflex then you can always melt it ahead of time.
4. Do not swallow the oil and do not spit it down the sink. The oil will solidify and clog your drains so always spit it into the garbage when you’re done. Give your mouth a little rinse and then floss/brush as your normally would. This may seem really awkward at first, but after only a couple of days I found it really relaxing and I actually look forward to it in the morning. If you have any other questions about the process, let me know!
I guess after all that you’re wondering if it’s worth it right? It is. It really is. After about one week I noticed that my teeth were whiter, and not the whiter that I’ve had in the past from things like white-strips. I always found I would get a thinning effect on my teeth (especially my front teeth) and almost a white/clear-blue tinge that made them look brittle. Oil pulling actually does the opposite for me, it gives me strong and sturdy pearly whites. I’m really happy with my teeth right now, and if nothing else I would continue oil pulling for this benefit alone. I’ve also noticed how clean my mouth feels. On the mornings when I didn’t have time to do this, I felt like brushing my teeth just wasn’t enough. I didn’t get that thoroughly deep-clean feeling for the day that oil pulling gives me.
What do you think? Will you try it? Have you ever done it before? Tell me your thoughts on this or leave comments from your experiences below.
Disclaimer: Of course you all know this (but just in case): I’m not guaranteeing any miracles, just passing along tips and tricks that I’ve learned from friends, the internet, and personal experience.