What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing 1-2 teaspoons of oil in your mouth.
Oil pulling is a natural method of detoxification. Not only does it promote oral hygiene, it also cleanses the body and promotes good health in general. People have reported having whiter teeth and healthier pink gums after incorporating oil pulling into their daily routine. Some have even experienced greater health benefits such as reduction in joint pain, clearer skin, balancing hormones, and many more.
Oil pulling is best done on an empty stomach. Before brushing your teeth in the morning, simply swish 1-2 teaspoons full of your oil of choice as you would with a mouthwash, but do not gargle. Do this gently to prevent your jaw getting tired as you will be doing this for the next 10-20 minutes! It may seem like a long time, but meanwhile you can check your email, read the news, shower, prepare breakfast and go about your morning routine! After that, spit out the oil (just not in your drain or sink) and rinse your mouth with warm water. It should now look milky and watery, and your mouth should not feel oily. Brush your teeth as you would usually, and ideally scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper after, and you’re done!
In general, any vegetable oil will work! Sesame oil is commonly used in India, but many beginners find it aversive due to the strong taste. Instead, try starting off with coconut oil which is more fragrant and pleasant. As a bonus, the lauric acid in coconut oil helps to naturally whiten teeth! Other possible options are sunflower oil and olive oil. The key is to pick an unrefined, cold-pressed oil because these have more nutrients, allowing you to reap the most benefits.
- Do not swallow the oil! This would defeat the purpose of oil pulling, as it would be full of toxins and bacteria.
- Do not spit the oil into the sink, bath or toilet. Oils return to their solid state at lower temperatures, and can potentially clog your drains. Instead, spit it into the trash.
- Some nausea and even mild headaches during the initial process are normal! It may take several days to get used to the process. These symptoms indicate the effectiveness of the detox process. As you rid your body of the toxins, these symptoms will fade and you will even better than before. If you have persistent headaches, stop the practice, and consult a physician ASAP as they may be caused by another underlying ailment needing immediate attention altogether.
While oil pulling has been met with some skepticism, we believe the rapid results will speak for themselves. It might be hard to set aside the 10-20 minutes of your time but as with every habit, it gets easier each time you do it. Say goodbye to bad breath, and hello to a pearly white smile!