Oil what? This was my first response when I heard this term… you’re pulling my ‘you know what’ – surely!
On investigation though this is an incredible cleansing technique and one I’ve happily added to my morning routine.
If you haven’t come across it before, Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy. It involves swishing oil in the mouth for a few minutes first thing in the morning. It’s a simple practice, with remarkable results.
I’d first heard of it ages ago, but thought I’d get to it one day, then started reading more and hearing more about it, and knew it was time to give it a go.
Why do it?
- The process attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in our mouth or lymph system
- It can pull congestion and mucus from our throat and loosens up our sinuses
- Our saliva helps bind these undesirable particles to the oil, that’s ready to dispose them
- Pulling can help remineralise our teeth and strengthen our gums
- For whiter teeth and healthier pink gums
- our teeth feel soooo clean after the process!
Besides looking a bit strange for 10 – 15 minutes, this is what’s involved:
- Ideally do it first thing in the morning when you wake up and on an empty stomach
- Place about 1 tbsp of coconut oil in your mouth. If the oil is cold (hard) melt it a little first either in a pot or your mouth.
- Hold it in there and swish it around as you would a mouthwash from 5 – 20 mins.
- Pull it through your teeth and try to get it to touch every part of your mouth, except your throat. I usually do it anywhere between 10 – 15 minutes (before I really need to attend to family matters…). Try not to swallow the oil.
- Then spit the oil in the bin or the garden, (not down the sink as you may find your drains begin to clog through winter)!
- Rinse your mouth with water a couple of times straight away
- Then give your teeth a good brush.
The last steps are important. The practice of oil pulling potentially releases toxins and bacteria from the mouth, which we don’t want to consume.
Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic disease such as diabetes or asthma. Scientific evidence is yet to show this, some studies though have suggested it may reduce plaque, halitosis and gingivitis. (wikipedia)
Coconut oil is a great oil to use with its antimicrobial properties – traditionally sesame oil was used.
Now if you’re the slightest bit interested or intrigued, give oil pulling a go – it’s quick, harmless, relaxing and see what benefits you notice? Post your comments below, we’d love to hear from you.
References; Dr Bruce Fife, ‘Oil Pulling Therapy’ and www.naturalnews.com