Oil pulling is an effective ancient therapy using a good quality oil to clean up and balance the microorganisms in the mouth, gums, tongue, oral tissue and teeth. Ayurvedic literature states “oil pulling is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. It works by “pulling out” toxins, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation. (Source)
When oil pulling with quality food grade oils, the antibacterial, antiparasitic and antifungal properties adhere to the tartar, bacteria, pathogenic microorganisms, biofilm (any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other on a surface) and plague inside the mouth.
When it comes to tooth decay and gum disease, streptococcus Mutans is one of the bacteria that is prominent in the mouth and it has been studied in it's role and relationship to decay and disease. Oil pulling has been shown to reduce the number of harmful Streptococcus Mutans bacteria in the mouth, especially when done with coconut oil. (Source)
Best Type of Oil For Pulling
Traditional cultures have used sunflower oil and sesame seed oil for oil pulling. I have tried both and personally I prefer coconut oil. Coconut is high in medium chain triglycerides (MTC) and lauric acid which is a proven to help kill harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites. (Source)
Since coconut oil has so many natural health and beauty uses and I use it every single day in many different ways, from deodorant, toothpaste to lip balm to cooking, it just makes perfect sense to use coconut oil. You can read all the different ways to use coconut oil here.
How to Oil Pull
Oil “pulling” could actually be called oil swishing because of the action you take to swish the oil around your mouth and teeth. It's called “pulling” because you are pulling pathogenic yeast, bacteria and other microorganisms out.
- You simply place about 1-2 teaspoons of good quality coconut oil in your mouth. I also add 1-2 drops of Oregano essential oil (which is naturally very antimicrobial) to my oil mix.
- Swish, and pull through the teeth and mouth for as long as you can, up to 20 minutes is best. It takes approximately 20 minutes to break through the plague, bacteria and other microbes. Many times as you first start, you have to work up to this amount of time, that's okay. As you swish, the coconut oil will take on a thicker consistency.
- Spit the oil into the trash can, do not swallow the oil (as it contains pathogenic microbes) and do not spit into the sink
- Rinse your mouth out with warm filtered water.
- Brush your teeth, tongue and gums well. I recommend using my homemade toothpaste to be sure any remaining microbes are mobilized and removed.
Where to Get Quality Coconut Oil for Pulling
- Tropical Traditions is committed to time-honored traditional practices that have produced healthy coconut oil for hundreds, if not thousands of years. They have learned how to pick out the best coconuts from each harvest that produce the best quality oil. Independent laboratory analysis shows this to be one of the highest quality coconut oils on the market, having the highest levels of antioxidants using a wet-milling process.
- I love Thrive's organic virgin and fair-trade coconut oil. Thrive market offers all their products at wholesale, very similar to Costco but all healthy products and on-line shopping. Their coconut oil is 40% off which is the best price I've seen anywhere, especially amazon. Thrive Market sells most of my favorite products at 30-50% off, and at lower prices than I find even on amazon.
- Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing, by Dr. Bruce Fife
- All of my natural beauty articles
What to Expect
Note: I would plan to be consistent with oil pulling for at least 10 days before noticing some changes.
- Detoxifies the body
- Whiter teeth
- Fresher breath
- Cleaner tongue
- Less cavities
- Less plaque
- Less tartar
- Less swollen gums
- Less bleeding
- Improved digestion
- Clearer skin
- Helps with headaches
- Helps with general pain
- Helps with reduction of allergies
- Can help reduce sinus infections
- Can help improve mood
- Can help strengthen teeth, gums and jaw
- Helps create a feeling of well-being