Oil Pulling: Why It’s Not Just a Health Craze

Oil Pulling: Why It’s Not Just a Health Craze

Chances are that by now you have heard of oil pulling, not just because it’s a 3,000 year-old ayurvedic medicine practice, but because there are literally millions of blogs about it on the internet.

At that volume, its pretty safe to say that oil pulling is a health craze, but it’s not just that.  It’s a remarkably, sometimes surprisingly, effective treatment for some of the most important health conditions affecting millions of Americans. 

So, at the risk of joining the millions of other of voices out there, here’s some of the best advice about this health habit that you should make part of your routine.

Get Your Swish On

Oil pulling is mentioned in the ancient medicinal text of India, the Charaka Samhita, but at that point it likely more closely resembled oil gargling.  It may have its origins in a deeper cleanse in the days before modern dentistry (and even toothbrushes).  Today’s oil pulling could also be called “oil swishing,” since the main action involves swishing oil around in your mouth.

Oil pulling can indeed improve oral health (those results are well-documented), but also so much more.  Oil pulling has been shown to:

  • Whiten teeth
  • Reduce oral inflammation
  • Diminish bad breath
  • Strengthen jaw and mouth (which can also improve facial and neck tightness and youthfulness)
  • Clear out sinuses and/or help reduce allergies
  • Assist with the detoxification that can improve such skin conditions as acne and eczema
  • Many other user reported benefits

While many people may swish for simple vanity reasons, such as more youthful skin and whiter teeth–which is totally fine!–the other health benefits may be an even bigger deal. 

Oral health is the gateway to many other health conditions.  Harvard Medical School has even reported that, “treating gum disease (also called periodontal disease) can lead to better health,” including lessening the burden of heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.

Considering that heart disease is still the number one killer in America, anything which might make a difference, particularly something as simple and inexpensive as swishing oil in one’s mouth, is certainly worth the effort.

What Oil to Use for Oil Pulling

So down to the nitty gritty, what do you do, for how long, and what to use, that sort of thing.  It’s really very simple (though, at first, takes some getting used to).

  1. Start with a clean vegetable oil (more on that part later).
  2. Put about a tablespoon in your mouth. If you get too much, just spit a little out in the trash can.
  3. Swish it around in your mouth, gently, pulling it between teeth and around your whole mouth.
  4. Start with about 5 min (to save your jaw from getting sore), but build up to 20 min 4-5 times per week.
  5. Spit it out in the trash can!  Oil can clog your sink or drains, so send it straight into the trash can.
  6. Don’t swallow!  That nasty oil has bacteria and other toxins in it that you don’t want in your body, so spit it out fully in the trash can.
  7. Continue your other dental health practices, such as brushing, flossing, and getting regular cleanings.

The best oils for pulling are organic and naturally antimicrobial, such as organic coconut oil or organic sunflower oil.  You don’t want the oil used for oil pulling to contain the kinds of toxins you are detoxifying!

Ready to Get Pulling?

As you can see, oil pulling is so simple and inexpensive, but it can make a tremendous difference in health.  Tell us your experiences with oil pulling in the comments below.


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