If you’re like me and you are spending a lot of time in natural health and beauty forums, you probably already heard of the term “Oil Pulling”.
Oil Pulling has been known in the ancient Ayurvedic medicine (practiced primarily in India) for centuries. And like with a lot of traditional remedies it took way too long until it finally found its way to the modern world.
So what is Oil Pulling?
Basically you take a teaspoon or two of oil, put it in your mouth and swish it around for about 20 minutes first thing in the morning (I know it sounds weird, but bare with me!).
I generally use cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil as I prefer the taste and it whitens my teeth, but a lot of people have had success with sesame oil or cold pressed sunflower oil as well. Just try and see what works for you! I’ll add detailed instructions of how to properly “pull” at the end of this post.
But why go through all the trouble of leaving oil in your mouth for 20 minutes?
Well oil pulling can have a great impact on your overall health (as I will explain to you in detail later)! Plus it’s 100% natural, and after you get used to it, it can be a very relaxing routine in the morning. When I first tried it my jaws hurt so much because I was swishing it around like a mouthwash! You can imagine how tiring that must be after 20 minutes! Now I take my time, gently swish it around in my mouth and enjoy a good book first thing in the morning instead of starting the day right away with important day-to-day tasks. Double win!
Health Benefits of Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil
So here they are, my top 9 reasons why you should try oil pulling, too, and how it can positively impact your health!
1. Whole Body Detox
Oil pulling can help to detox the whole body by preventing germs and toxins in your mouth of entering the bloodstream. Our mouth is full of toxins and bad bacteria that can have a negative impact on our overall health. Taking care of the bad stuff right at the root of the problem can prevent and help with various health conditions.
2. Boost Your Oral Health
Oil pulling (in particular when using coconut oil) can boost your oral health. Coconut oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Oil pulling is a gentle way of penetrating the gums and teeth. The oil helps to pull out toxins and helps to reduce stains from your teeth. Oil pulling with coconut oil is even said to prevent cavities.
- healthier, stronger and whiter teeth
- reduced plague
- healthier gums
- prevention of bad breath
Did you know that you can also make your own homemade and all natural toothpaste with coconut oil?
3. Increased Energy
By removing harmful bacteria and toxins from the body oil pulling can have a great impact on your everyday energy level! Try it! It took me only a few days of oil pulling to feel brighter, fresher and full of energy in the morning.
4. Clearer Skin
Detox for your body = detox for your skin! The skin is the largest organ of our body. When our body has to deal with a lot of bad things going on, our skin develops rashes, acne and other uncomfortable skin conditions. Unlike many topical treatments, oil pulling helps to clear your skin from the inside and can help you to get that youthful and healthy glow back. If you suffer from keratosis pilaris, oil pulling might be worth a shot! (Read my full post about how to treat keratosis pilaris with coconut oil).
5. Less Headaches
This was one of the effects I was particularly interested in. I suffer from mild migraine. The very first days when I tried oil pulling, my headaches actually got worse and I almost ditched the coconut oil. However, I read about other people having the same problem during the first attempts and it seems just to be the side effect of my body releasing all the toxins that have accumulated over a long time. If you suffer from headaches, give oil pulling a shot! Because after a week, or so, my migraine has drastically decreased.
6. Better Sleep
Oil pulling is said to help you sleep better. Some claim it even helped them with their insomnia. Like with everything else you have to try it yourself to see if it works for you!
7. Positive Effect On Menstrual Cycle
Imbalances in women’s menstrual cycles usually are a result of hormonal imbalances. Detoxification can help the body to naturally restore this hormonal imbalance. The result: reduced PMS symptoms, a regulated menstrual cycle and even other conditions that result from hormonal imbalances such as acne, for example, can be reduced.
8. Clear Sinuses
If you have a stuffy nose or if you suffer from allergies, you might want to give oil pulling a try. Your sinuses are directly connected with your mouth area. When swishing the oil around in your mouth you literally pull the bad stuff out right away!
9. Increased Concentration & Focus
A lot of “oil pullers” have reported that they feel clearer in their head when pulling regularly. While I’m not sure if it’s just because my headaches reduced or an additional effect, I can say for sure that either way oil pulling with coconut oil helps me to stay focused for longer periods of time.
How To Do Oil Pulling (With Coconut Oil Or Any Other Oil)
Now to the best part! How do you do it? Let me explain step by step.
- First thing in the morning, before eating or brushing your teeth, take one or two teaspoons of the oil of your choice and put it in your mouth. At first it will feel weird. If you use coconut oil it will most likely be solid at first, but it will melt in your mouth very quickly.
- Now swish! Gently “push” the oil around for around 20 min. I usually read a book during that time or get ready for the day. Important: Don’t gargle and don’t swallow the oil! You don’t want any of the yucky stuff to end up in your stomach.
- Spit the oil in the trash can (as coconut oil solidifies when it’s cold and might clog your drainage).
- Now brush your teeth just as usual to get rid of any residue and to make sure you “brush away” all the toxins that you pulled out with the oil. Some people like to gargle with water mixed with a little bit of sea salt beforehand.
- Enjoy your clean teeth! (I mean, really, enjoy that fresh feeling. Your teeth probably have never felt so clean, unless you just had them professionally cleaned by your dentist).
How is your experience with coconut oil? Have you tried it yet? I would love to hear about more opinions on this!
If you like this post, please don’t forget to share it with your friends and family 🙂
Abhinav Singh & Bharathi Purohit.
Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2(2): 64–68, 2011 Apr-Jun.
Asokan S., Rathan J., Muthu M. S., Rathna P. V., Emmadi P., Raghuraman, Chamundeswari.
Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1): 12–7, 2008 Mar.