Oil pulling! Have you heard of it? Would you like to try it? Have you tried it? I first heard of this seemingly strange practice about a year ago, and immediately I was intrigued. Pull toxins out of my system by swishing some oil around in my mouth?!! Welll.. enough reason to count me in.
So what exactly is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian practice that involves swishing oil around in the mouth for about 20 minutes on the premise that this will pull toxins out of the body.
Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional remedy where oil is swished or held in the mouth. Ayurvedic literature states oil pulling is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Oil pulling is known as “Kavala” or “Gandusha” in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita. Its promoters claim it works by “pulling out” “toxins”, and thereby reducing inflammation.
What are the benefits?
Studies show that oil pulling has excellent benefits for oral health. It can help strengthen the teeth, gums, and jaw; whiten teeth; prevent bad breath; prevent dryness of the mouth, lips, and throat; prevent mouth diseases like cavities and gingivitis; and treat soreness of the jaw. It’s also been thought that oil pulling has many benefits that extend way beyond oral health, although this has yet to be proven scientifically. Examples include reduced headaches, hangover relief, kidney function support, general pain relief, reduced insomnia, and general detoxification of the body, just to name a few.
Should you try it?
Try if you’re curious (or adventurous!)…
My frank feeling is Oil pulling doesn’t or can’t replace brushing and flossing. It’s a supplementary step to try. But remember, nothing holistic happens overnight. You have to adjust to it to make it a permanent habit before you start noticing anything remarkable.
How do you do it?
- Pick your oil. Cold pressed organic sesame oil is believed to be the best for this practice, but cold pressed coconut, olive, and sunflower oils are widely used, as well.
- In the morning, before you’ve eaten, drink a glass of water. Then, put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around, making sure to let it touch every single part of your mouth except the throat. Try not to swallow the oil, as this will reabsorb the toxins that have been pulled from your body.
- Swish the oil around in your mouth. You’ll feel the oil become foamy as it mixes with saliva. If there gets to be too much in your mouth, spit a little bit out, and continue. There is no right way or wrong way to swish and pull oil. Do it with very natural movement. Do this gently, not vigorously, in a relaxed way for about 20 minutes.
When you’re finished, spit the oil out. Supposedly, if the oil turns to a yellowish, it is thought to mean a substantial amount of toxins have been removed from your body.
Are there any negatives?
Umm…. nothing major that I’ve heard of! It’s obvious that some people might get a bit grossed out by the idea, feeling or taste of oil. I suggest, use coconut oil, chances are high that you will love the taste and flavor! The only other negative I could think of is the cost and availability of oil. Pure organic oil is neither cheap nor easily available.
How about you? Do you oil pull? Tell us about it!