If you regularly frequent any health blogs or websites, you’ve surely heard of oil pulling by now. And if you’re like us, you probably only have a few minutes to scan this type of article every now and then, so you may only have a vague idea of what this oil pulling business is all about.
Well, in a few words, it’s an ancient practice that has been brought back by holistic health practitioners to aid in improving oral hygiene. But how exactly does it help? And how is it done? Are there any negative impacts? Read on to find out…
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic technique that requires you to swish a mouthful of oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes. It is said that this practice helps to draw toxins from your body to improve oral health and overall health. Reported benefits include:
- Teeth whitening
- Improved breath
- Prevention of cavities and gingivitis
- Better sleep
- Alleviation of sinus issues, jaw soreness, headaches and hangovers
How Do You Do Oil Pulling?
- Start by choosing which kind of oil to use – the most common ones recommended are coconut oil and sesame oil.
- In the morning on an empty stomach, measure a tablespoon, put it in your mouth and begin gently swishing around – keep in mind that coconut oil is a solid at first but will liquefy quickly as it warms up in your mouth.
- Set a timer to 20 minutes and keep swishing without swallowing any of it (swallowing would just put the toxins back in your body). It may increase in size due to saliva and toxins being added in as you swish.
- Once 20 minutes have passed, spit out into the trash and not the sink or shower or the oil may clog your drain.
- Finish up by swishing around with a bit of warm salt water and then brush as you normally would.
Does it Actually Work?
If you look into the oil pulling experiences that many bloggers have shared online, you will see a variety of reported benefits. However, it’s important to know that this is not just a “one and done” fix; you may see more benefits by doing it every day (or almost every day) for a couple of weeks or more.
Are There Any Negative Effects?
Coconut oil is a natural and beneficial substance, so there’s really not much harm than can come from swishing it around in your mouth. Just be sure that if you do try it, you’re using totally organic oil with no additives.
If there are any drawbacks, they’re be more related to the challenges of actually sticking to this routine since swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes can be a bit uncomfortable and time consuming. Additionally, it would definitely be detrimental if you were to completely substitute standard brushing and flossing for oil pulling as it’s not sufficient on its own for optimum oral health.
For those looking for a way to improve their health in a natural way, oil pulling is a good practice to try. At best, it may improve your oral health and overall health and at worst, you’ll decide it’s not for you.
If you’ve tried oil pulling, let us know what you think!