I recently discovered loads of hype about “oil pulling” while researching natural remedies and was quickly intrigued. Despite the complicated-sounding name, oil pulling is essentially the act of using oil as a mouthwash. And it’s been around for centuries.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil- traditionally sesame or sunflower- around the mouth to draw out bacteria. The bacteria gets dissolved in the oil as you swish, and when you spit it out you release those toxins. And as a mega bonus- it whitens teeth!
There is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of oil pulling, as some people claim it can pull toxins not just from the mouth but from the bloodstream as well. Lots of people even think of it as a spiritual activity. Either way, I figure there’s nothing to lose in trying. It’s like a completely natural (and cheap) mouth detox that improves oral health and whitens teeth. Although any vegetable oil can be used, many people prefer using coconut oil because of the taste and the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties I discussed in day one of coconut oil week!
I just started today and from what I have found, you need to give it about 4-10 times to see results. I don’t have poor oral health, but it’s not the best either, and I’d like to whiten up my teeth since my tea addiction is not doing them any favors. While I will admit it was strange at first, mainly because of the texture, you do get used to it pretty fast. Supposedly it’s best to do in the morning on an empty stomach, so I think in the future I will multitask by oil pulling while in the shower as many people suggest.
Have I convinced you to give it a go yet? I hope so. Here’s HOW you do it:
- Scoop 1/2 -1 tablespoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil. Swish it around your mouth, pulling through the teeth and around the gums (just as you would a mouthwash!) for 10-20 minutes.
- When you’re done, make sure NOT to swallow it. That oil is now filled with bacteria you want to get OUT of your body. It’s suggested not to spit into the sink but a trash can instead, as the oil can re-solidify and cause drain issues.
- Start with baby steps! You probably want to start first with just a 1/2 tablespoon of oil for just 5 minutes. The more you do it the less weird and more comfortable it gets, so keep building at your own pace.
I’ll keep you posted on my experience with it.
Give it a shot. Why not?