Whenever we can find a wellness protocol that has stood the test of time, it always gets more attention from us. Call us ‘anti aggressive marketing’, skeptical of newfangled stuff or just old-fashioned, we simply have an affinity to those tools that folks have been using for many years.
We were introduced to oil pulling several years ago. It is a simple way to not only create greater oral health, but to help detoxify the whole body in the process. Given that so much chronic disease we experience as a culture is lifestyle related, oil pulling offers a simple way to help restore greater overall health and wellness, as well as create greater oral health.
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient cleansing and detoxifying technique from Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine from 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.
The benefits people claim range widely. In the mouth, one can expect to experience:
- cleaner, fresher breath
- whiter teeth (without the use of commercial whiteners that can damage teeth!)
- reduced plaque on the teeth
- overall increased oral health
However, the benefits of oil pulling are not just found in the mouth alone!
Given that the mouth is the safe haven for bad bugs that use the mouth as a base to invade the whole body through the bloodstream, creating a healthier mouth environment is hugely important to creating greater whole being health! We appreciate a recent quote from Burton Goldberg, a respected voice in alternative cancer remedies, “As much as 50% of the reversal of cancer is in the mouth.”
Oil pulling can definitely support the creation of greater oral health as well as increased whole body wellness.
Many people report the following benefits:
- decreased migraine risk
- increased energy
- greater mental awareness
- decreased joint pain and stiffness
- less nasal and sinus congestion, decrease tendency to snore
All these system wide benefits make sense given that oil pulling lowers the bad bug bacterial load in the mouth, so lowers the body’s chronic inflammation response to a chronic bacterial infection.
What does science say about oil pulling?
We would like to highlight the results of three clinical studies conducted testing the benefits of oil pulling.
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). (Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;20(1):47-51. PMID: 19336860)
The second study tested to see if oil pulling lowered the amount of strep mutans, the main bacteria that causes tooth decay. Oil pulling demonstrated substantial benefit in lowering the amount of strep mutans in the mouth. This is why oil pulling can help to reduce tooth decay. (Special note: use of fluoride is not necessary to help reduce tooth decay. This means that introducing a toxin (fluoride) into the system is not the only way to stop tooth decay!) (J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. PMID: 18408265)
The third study looked to find what was the mechanism that made oil pulling effective. What was found pointed to the swishing action of oil pulling over the 10-20 minutes in the mouth which emulsified the oil in the mouth was responsible for making oil pulling an effective antibacterial. (Indian J Dent Res. 2011 Jan-Feb;22(1):34-7. PMID: 21525674)
How to oil pull?
Here is an easy step by step walk through to oil pulling.
Traditionally, unrefined sesame oil was used for oil pulling. We prefer coconut oil not only because coconut oil has so many health benefits of its own, but also because we just prefer the flavor!
In theory, you could use any oil since you don’t swallow the oil. However, since we don’t encourage the use of any vegetable oil in the kitchen, we don’t even have those toxic oils around our home. Even so, we discourage using vegetable oils since we know that some of the oil will be reabsorbed.
One can oil pull anytime of the day. Traditionally, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is suggested. We also like to oil pull last thing before bed so we go to bed with a squeaky clean mouth and reduce any risk of bad bugs proliferating over the course of the night.
- Take roughly one tablespoon of oil in the mouth
- Swish the oil around the mouth, through the teeth using all the muscles in the face and throat. BTW, great exercise to help maintain a tone face! :)
- Strive to swish for 20 minutes. It may take you a few times to work up to 20 minutes.
- As the oil mixes with saliva, it will get very thin. This is normal and a good sign that you are oil pulling for longer.
- This oil is now full of all sorts of junk you want to get out of your body! So be very mindful to not swallow any of the oil. (takes focus!)
- After 20 minutes, spit out the used oil (into the toilet so it doesn’t clog up sinks over time)
- Immediately swish the mouth with fresh water to remove oil residue. We like to follow with a quick brush and tongue scraping (another Ayurvedic technique!)
To supercharge your oil pulling…
If you want to increase the antibacterial reach of oil pulling, try adding 1 or 2 drops of OraWellness blend to the oil you use for oil pulling.
Our personal 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. The main benefit we have noticed is the natural whitening of our teeth from regular oil pulling.
There are plenty of people talking about oil pulling these days. Just google oil pulling to find other resources of information on this effective wellness protocol!
To your health!