Whenever we can find a wellness protocol that has stood the test of time, we always pay special attention. Call us anti-aggressive marketers, skeptical of newfangled stuff or just plain old-fashioned—we simply have an affinity to those tools that folks have been using for many years.
Oil pulling is one of these customs.
We were first introduced to oil pulling several years ago as a simple way to create greater oral health and also detoxify the entire body.
Given that so much chronic disease we experience is due to lifestyle choices, oil pulling offers a simple solution to create greater oral health, as well as help restore overall health and wellness. Here’s everything you need to know:
What Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient cleansing and detoxifying technique from Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India. The process is simply to swish (or pull) unrefined oils throughout the mouth for several minutes. Similar to what oil does in a car engine, oil pulling gathers all sorts of debris like bacteria, fungi, and viruses (aka bad bugs) into the oil to be spit out.
There have been wide-ranging claims to the benefit of oil pulling. However, one can expect to experience:
- Cleaner and fresher breath
- Whiter teeth (Without the use of commercial whiteners that can damage teeth!)
- Reduced plaque on the teeth
- Overall increased oral health
But the benefits of oil pulling are not found in the mouth alone!
Your mouth is a safe haven for bad bugs that use it as a base to invade the entire body through the bloodstream. That means creating a healthier mouth environment is hugely important to creating greater overall wellbeing!
Just take this quote from Burton Goldberg, a respected voice in alternative cancer remedies:
“As much as 50% of the reversal of cancer is in the mouth.”
Additional Benefits Of Oil Pulling For Overall Wellbeing Include:
- A decreased risk of migraines
- Increased energy
- Greater mental awareness
- Decreased joint pain and stiffness
- Less nasal and sinus congestion, and a decreased tendency to snore
All of these system-wide benefits make sense given that oil pulling lowers the bad bug bacterial load in the mouth, which as a result lowers the body’s chronic inflammation response to a bacterial infection.
But What Does Science Say About Oil Pulling?
Let’s highlight the results of three clinical studies conducted to test the benefits of oil pulling:
1. One study tested to see if oil pulling lowered gingivitis. The test revealed that oil pulling substantially lowered the bacteria responsible for gingivitis (early gum disease). (1)
2. A second study tested to see if oil pulling actually lowered the amount of strep mutans, the main bacteria that causes tooth decay. The results found that oil pulling did, in fact, demonstrate substantial benefits in lowering the amount of strep mutans in the mouth. This is why oil pulling can help to reduce tooth decay. (Special note: the use of fluoride is not necessary to help reduce tooth decay. Introducing a toxin (fluoride) into the system is not the only way to stop tooth decay!) (2)
3. A third study looked to discover the mechanism that made oil pulling so effective. The results pointed to the swishing action of oil pulling over the 10-20 minute period in the mouth. This emulsified the oil in the mouth, which was responsible for making oil pulling an effective antibacterial. (3)
A Step-by-Step Guide To Oil Pulling
Traditionally, unrefined sesame oil was used for oil pulling. However, we prefer coconut oil. Not only does coconut oil have numerous health benefits on its own, we also just prefer the taste!
In theory, you could use any oil since you don’t swallow it on conclusion. However, we don’t encourage the use of any vegetable oil in the kitchen or the body. (We don’t even keep these toxic oils around our home.) Note that some of the oil will naturally be absorbed into the mouth.
One can oil pull anytime of the day. Traditionally it is suggested to pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. We also like to oil pull last thing before bed so we go to sleep with a squeaky-clean mouth and reduce any risk of bad bugs proliferating over the course of the night.
The Oil Pulling Process:
1. Take roughly one tablespoon of oil in the mouth
2. Swish the oil around the mouth and through the teeth, using all the muscles in the face and throat. This is also a great exercise to maintain a toned face!
3. Strive to swish for twenty minutes. It may take you a few times to work up to the full twenty minutes.
4. As the oil mixes with saliva, it will become very thin. This is normal and a good sign that you are able to oil pull for a longer period of time.
5. The oil is now full of all sorts of junk you want to get out of your body! Be very mindful not to swallow any of the oil–it takes focus!
6. Spit out the used oil into the toilet so that it doesn’t clog up your sinks over time.
7. Immediately swish the mouth with fresh water to remove oil residue. We like to follow with a quick brush and tongue scrape (another Ayurvedic technique!)
To Supercharge Your Oil Pulling
If you want to increase the antibacterial reach of oil pulling, try adding a few drops of OraWellness blend into the oil you use for pulling!
Our Experience With Oil Pulling
We use all the products we sell here at OraWellness. As such, we have excellent oral health and don’t really need the bacterial lowering benefit of oil pulling. However, we have noticed a natural whitening of our teeth from our regular oil pulling practice.
Download our FREE resource guide, “How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth (without destroying your enamel)”.
If you’re still not sure about what oil pulling can do for your oral wellness and overall well-being, there are heaps of resources online to help you continue your research. You can also leave your questions below and we’ll respond to each and every one!
Do you use oil pulling in your oral hygiene regimen? What benefits have you personally experienced?
As always, we love to hear your thoughts, questions, and stories in the comments section below!
If you liked this article, then you’ll love these related resources:
1. Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;20(1):47-51. PMID: 19336860
2. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. PMID: 18408265
3. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. PMID: 18408265