Chances are you’ve heard someone talk about oil pulling — the act that involves putting a spoonful of oil into your mouth, swishing it around for upwards of 20 minutes, and then spitting it out into a trash bag. It may sound like a long time and a bit gross at first, but once you learn the many health benefits of oil pulling you may just want to try it yourself.
While oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual that dates back over 3,000 years, it wasn’t too popular in the United States until just a few years ago. Now, as researchers begin to conduct more studies on how it impacts the human body, a lot of people are waking up to a spoon full of oil.
The Health Benefits
Oil pulling is one of the best ways to remove bad bacteria and plaque in the mouth, promoting healthy teeth and gums. Here’s how it works — as you swish the coconut oil around your mouth, it literally “pulls” the toxins out. Once you’ve swished for about 10-20 minutes, you spit out the toxin-filled oil. It’s easy to do and researchers claim it’s extremely effective.
In one study, researchers selected 20 young boys with plaque-induced gingivitis. They separated the boys into two groups – one group oil pulled every day in the morning before brushing. The other group was given chlorhexidine mouthwash every morning. At the end of the study, both groups experienced a reduction in plaque and bacteria.
Another study where both young boys and girls oil pulled with coconut oil for 30 days found there was a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis after just seven days. So you don’t have to oil pull for a long time before noticing a clear difference!
How To Oil Pull
1) The best time to oil pull is first thing in the morning before you eat, drink, or brush your teeth.
2) Gently swish one tablespoon of organic, extra virgin coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. When you first start oil pulling, you will probably only last for about 5-10 minutes. That’s fine! The longer you do it, the more used to it you get.
NOTE: One of the biggest complaints I hear about coconut oil pulling from people who have never tried it before is the time it takes. While 20 minutes sounds like a long time, I promise the time goes by fast if you do other things at the same time. Do some light yoga stretches, take a shower, or pack a lunch. Before you know it the 20 minutes will be over.
3) Spit the oil into a trash bag. Do not swallow the oil since it will be full of toxins and ingesting those toxins would just defeat the purpose. Also, don’t spit the oil into your sink or down your shower drain so it doesn’t clog.
4) Rinse your mouth with warm water.
5) Brush your teeth like normal.
Repeat this every morning!
Why Use Coconut Oil?
Technically, you don’t have to use coconut oil to oil pull. Some other options are olive, sesame, or sunflower oils. However, coconut oil is perhaps the best option since it:
- Has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties
- Can help improve digestion
- Kills candida
- Balances hormones
- Burns fat
- Lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol
- Benefits brain health
- Helps balance blood sugar levels
- Moisturizes skin
Happy coconut oil pulling!