Think swishing oil around in your mouth until your jaw hurts is crazy and pointless? Think again! Oil pulling is quickly becoming one of the biggest assets to have in your daily health regimen and for good reason.
Simply put, oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic technique of swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spitting it out. A variety of oils can be used, but coconut oil tends to top the list because of its natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties. Plus, some people just find it to be the most pleasant tasting oil to swish around, which totally helps. Sesame oil is another good option and has a plethora of benefits that you can read more about here.
Why is it important?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women and poor gum health is the primary contributing factor. Consistent oil pulling detoxes the mouth, as well as the entire body. It’s no surprise that we live in a toxic environment, which requires active cleansing and detoxification efforts. In fact, if you have acne or skin rashes, your body is screaming at you that it needs a detox and this is an easy and effective way to get the process going. The skin is your largest organ and is often the last to try and process impurities from the system. Supporting its efforts on a daily basis can and should be a priority.
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, in his book Coconut Cures:
“Oil pulling is incredibly effective in brightening teeth, healing gums, preventing bad breath, quenching inflammation and healing oral infections. It is also effective in treating many systemic conditions throughout the body.”
The benefits of daily oil pulling include:
- Dental health – whiter teeth, a reduction in cavities, better breath and healthier gums
- A clearer, brighter complexion
- Improvement in asthma, allergies and sinus issues
- Headache and migraine relief
- Oil pulling tonifies the blood by reducing the toxic load, thereby allowing the body to rest and heal on a deeper level
Note: Sometimes when people first begin oil pulling, it spikes the toxins being released and they can have a herxheimer reaction, or “detox crisis”, including cold/flu like symptoms, fatigue and skin breakouts; keep with it! This is a sign it’s working and the negative symptoms are temporary!
- Get some high quality, organic coconut or sesame oil
- Floss your teeth, or swish first thing in the morning when you wake up, before you’ve eaten or had anything to drink
- Put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth – remember the solid coconut oil will melt in your mouth (if that’s too much to begin with, start with 1 tsp. and work your way up to 1 Tbs.)
- Swish for 20 minutes – set a timer (if you need to start with 5 minutes, that okay but to reap the benefits completely, you’ll want to work your way up to the full 20 minutes) Insider tip: swish in the shower and your time will fly by!
- Spit the oil out in the garbage or toilet (spitting the oil in the sink can clog your drains)
- Rinse your mouth several times with warm water and be sure to spit it out (you don’t want to re-ingest those toxins you just worked so hard to free)
- Brush your teeth within 10 minutes (some people prefer to do this right away and others wait, do what feels right to you)
Other tips and tricks:
- Solid coconut oil works just fine and will melt quickly in your mouth.
- First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, is the ideal time to oil pull.
- Your mouth and jaw will get quite a workout! Don’t give up – try to make it at least 10 minutes and increase the time from there.
What if I miss a day?
Daily oil pulling is certainly ideal, however, occasionally is better than never. Commit to a week of oil pulling daily for 10+ minutes and chances are, you’ll begin forming a super healthy habit and continue.
The best way to oil pull is to add 3 drops of therapeutic grade essential oils. The top choices include: Cinnamon, Clove, Frankincense or the Protective Blend. Essential oils makes the oil pulling taste great and have the added power of supporting the immune system.
What was your experience? Do you see a difference in your oral health and how you feel? Any tips for newbies? Feel free to share your wisdom in the comments below!