Six months, A friend introduced me to oil pulling. She told me that swishing coconut or sesame oil around one’s mouth for 20 minutes pulls heavy metals out of the body and is healthy for the skin. Dr. Mercola wrote a great post about oil pulling earlier this mouth.
Ancient Ayurveda texts claim that oil pulling may cure about 30 systemic diseases and even today, it’s widely discussed as a tool for detoxification of your whole body. These uses are controversial and I can’t vouch for their validity. However, in your mouth,oil pulling does have significant cleansing and healing effects, which are backed up by science.
I did some research and found that many people I knew were beginning to oil pull.
Oil pulling involves “rinsing” your mouth with the oil, much like you would with a mouthwash (except you shouldn’t attempt to gargle with it). The oil is “worked” around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for a period of about 20 minutes. Oil pulling will work your jaw muscles as another benefit, but if yours become sore or tired you’re probably “swishing” the oil too vigorously. Just relax and focus on moving the oil with your tongue as well as your jaw muscles.
When you’re first starting out, you may want to try it for just five minutes at a time, or, if you have more time and want even better results, you can go for 30-45 minutes. This process allows the oil to “pull out” bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other debris from your mouth. Once the oil turns thin and milky white, you’ll know it’s time to spit it out. The best time to do oil pulling is in the morning before eating breakfast, but it can be done at any time. I try to do it twice a day if my schedule allows. When you’re done, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with water or a combination of water and baking soda. Avoid swallowing the oil as it will be loaded with bacteria and whatever potential toxins and debris it has pulled out.
I also found that some pretty reputable people think that at the very least, research shows that oil pulling with coconut oil has significant oral hygiene benefits.
- Oil pulling reduced counts of Streptococcus mutans bacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay – in the plaque and saliva of children.2 Researchers concluded, “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.”
- Oil pulling significantly reduced plaque, improved gum health and reduced aerobic microorganisms in plaque among adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis3
- Oil pulling is as effective as mouthwash at improving bad breath and reducing the microorganisms that may cause it4
- Oil pulling benefits your mouth, in part, via its mechanical cleaning action.5 Researchers noted, “The myth that the effect of oil-pulling therapy on oral health was just a placebo effect has been broken and there are clear indications of possible saponification and emulsification process, which enhances its mechanical cleaning action.”
I was not able to find evidence for reducing heavy metals, clearing the skin or not. I decided to give it a try as direct experience is the ultimate truth.
I oil pull with organic coconut oil and a dash of turmeric for 20-30 minutes in the morning, often when I am going through my email. Turneric has amazing benefits.
- Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
- Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
- Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body
- Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases
- Curcumin Leads to Various Improvements That Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer
- Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
- Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation
- Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression
- Curcumin May Help Delay Ageing and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases
I also sent an email to Mike Adams the Health Ranger at Natural News suggesting that he use his forensic food lab to investigate the heavy metals claim. I thought he could measure the heavy metals in the oils before and after oil pulling, but I did not get a response. I’m sure he is very busy with what he already has going on.
What I Learned
I like the experience of oil pulling. It feels grounding and like something is happening. I notice that it “pulls” a lot of mucous that probably would otherwise stay in my body. I enjoy the flavors of the coconut oil and the turmeric. My mouth feels good afterwards.
I also feel like my skin has been better than normal especially for winter and that my mouth has been feeling fresher.
Hence, oil pulling now anchors my morning routine. Right after I get up, I put in my mouth one teaspoon of Nutiva’s Organic Coconut Oil along with a dash of organic turmeric powder from the bulk section at Berkeley Bowl. I often am oil pulling when I do a first pass through my email and as I take my shower. After spitting out, I rinse my mouth with water.
I am happy to answer any questions.