For the past few months I have introduced oil pulling into my morning routine and I absolutely love it!
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It's a practice I had been wanting to try for so long but just kept putting it off! Truthfully, the entire processed sounded completely unappealing. BUT I could not ignore the health benefits experienced by other people that I knew who were oil pulling religiously.
The first thing I immediately noticed after introducing this practice was how white my teeth were getting! Giant perk!
What The Heck Is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy used for oral health and detoxification. The method is pretty simple!
Take about 1tbsp of oil (cold pressed organic sesame or extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil are best). Swish the oil around your mouth in the same way you would use mouthwash - ensuring the oil is moving in and around your teeth, gums and tongue. Do this for at least 15-20 minutes. Be sure not to swallow the oil as it will be loaded with toxins from all the swishing.
"The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris. It acts much like the oil you put in your car engine. The oil picks up dirt and grime. When you drain the oil, it pulls out the dirt and grime with it, leaving the engine relatively clean. Consequently, the engine runs smoother and lasts longer. Likewise, when we expel harmful substances from our bodies our health is improved and we run smoother and last longer." - Bruce Fife, Naturopathic Doctor
Tip from personal experience: My coconut oil is solid at room temperature and after attempting to oil pull with a solid oil I can tell you - you'll only make that mistake once! I find it to be a much more pleasant experience if I gently melt the oil on low heat before swishing.
The first couple of times I tried oil pulling my gag reflex kicked in but this gradually went away. If this does happen to you, I strongly encourage you to push through it and keep trying.
Try: Adding 1-2 drops of essential oils to your tablespoon of coconut oil. It ups the ante on the oral health benefits and in my opinion makes the process a little more tasty (depending on which oil you choose). My favourites: Peppermint, cinnamon or Eucalyptus (so great if you have any issues with your gums).
Oil pulling is best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach but the benefits are so vast, so I suggest if you can't manage it first thing in the morning that you still make a point of doing it during your day.
15-20 minutes sounds long - but it's not, I promise. I usually use that time to journal, meal plan, or catch up on my emails and it goes by very quickly.
As the oils swishes around the mouth and pulls toxins, you'll notice the consistency of the oil changes. It gets thicker and more viscous. Once you spit the oil out, you'll notice it's no longer the clear liquid you started with, it will be more white/grey.
Another tip from personal experience: Once I've spit the oil out, I like to rinse my mouth with warm water, sea salt & brush my teeth thoroughly. I also like to drink at least 2 cups of filtered water to help flush my system.
"As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems." - Bruce Fife, Naturopathic Doctor
Benefits of oil pulling
- prevention of gum disease & cavities
- strengthening of jaw, teeth & gums
- prevents bad breath
- useful for bleeding gums, dry lips, mouth & throat
- whiter teeth (I can attest to this!)
- headaches & migraines
- increased energy
- clearer mind
- alleviated allergies
- clearer skin
- reducing inflammation & arthritis
- regulated menstrual cycles
- improved PMS symptoms
- helps reduce sinus congestion
- can correct hormonal imbalances
- improved lymphatic system
- helps reduce insomnia & improve sleep
I would love to hear about your own personal experience with oil pulling!
For more information on oil pulling click here!