You may have heard of the newest health craze of oil pulling and its benefits. I’ve seen it on Facebook several times, and never had any idea what it was.
It sounded like something you did for Exxon.
Turns out, oil pulling is actually something you do for the health of your mouth and teeth. I use coconut oil cleansing for my skin at night, and oil balances oil. So that same thought applies here, oil pulling goes through plaque and removes toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.
There are several studies on the benefits of oil pulling, as well as thoughts on how oil pulling works. People have made claims that oil pulling helps with skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems and more. I have no idea about most of this – but I do know since I started I’ve slept better, my breath is more manageable in the morning, and my teeth clenching (from stress) causes less pain on my jaws as well. I’ve also noticed the constant allergies I had lately are gone.
Also it whitens your teeth. So if that’s all it did, I’d be in. My teeth are SUPER sensitive to other whiteners. In college I tried the whitening strips and for a week I felt like someone had sawed my teeth to nubs and made me eat sandpaper.
So. There’s that.
Oils you can use include any high quality (you’d cook with it); sesame, coconut, sunflower. You can buy my kind of coconut oil at Target. If you’d like it whipped (great to use as a cleanser) Love Maegan has a guide on how to whip and store coconut oil.
Curious about oil pulling? Here’s one of the most popular ways to do it:
- Take about a tablespoon of unrefined, organic coconut oil and place in your mouth. I let it melt in my mouth before swishing it around, some people melt it beforehand. It has a sweet, nutty taste to it that I actually don’t mind at all. Also – if a tablespoon is too much (it does mix with spit) you can start with less.
- Swish/pull oil for 20 minutes. This might seem like forever, but if you have something to distract you (book, Facebook, Instagram) it goes by quickly. Also you can build up – 5 minutes, then 10, 15, 20 when you’re able to. Pulling it means pushing it through your teeth and then back.
- Spit it out into the trash or a plastic bag. Don’t use a drain! Oil turns back into a solid and can clog pipes. Don’t swallow as it’s full of bacteria and toxins the oil removed.
- Rinse with warm water. Just a little – swish it around and you’re done.
- Brush and Floss! Now – some people don’t. They get to a point that they’re totally comfortable not brushing anymore. I am not there (probably ever), but it’s up to you.
I do this at night, but I’ve had many people tell me it’s better to do in the mornings. I simply don’t have time to not talk for 20 minutes in the mornings so I’m starting at night for now.
There has been concern over fillings and oil pulling, so be sure to talk to your dentist if you have questions. If you are pregnant or nursing, talk with your practitioner, although many women do this safely during these times.
Here are some other readings on oil pulling:
Are any of you oil pulling? How long have you done it for? If you’re not, would you try it?
Is everyone just totally grossed out now? xoxo