Oil pulling is a technique that has existed in the Ayurvedic world for centuries. As of 2013, it has slowly started to make its presence known in the west as well.
Just as the name suggests, it refers to using oil as a mouthwash. The technique itself is simple. Fill your mouth with an oil of your choice, preferably coconut or sunflower oil. Swish it around your mouth and through your teeth for 20 minutes each day. This technique is supposed to “pull” out the toxins from your body, which you will then spit out onto a trash can or the toilet.
According to Ayurvedic experts, oil pulling is supposed to help with 25 systematic diseases, including headaches, bronchitis and asthma. Also, it can do wonders for your oral health. It prevents tooth decay, halitosis and makes your gums and teeth stronger.
How does the oil pull the toxin out?
Coconut, sesame and sunflower oil- the 3 most commonly used oil for this technique- consists of essential fatty acids. Most toxins in our body are lipophilic, which means that they don’t like water but do like/dissolve in fat. When you squish your mouth with oil, the lipophilic toxins gets dissolved in the oil.
This is an excellent method to remove plaque from your teeth, which is a thin layer of “biofilm” that bacteria produce to adhere themselves onto the teeth.
What does the research say?
- Keeps your oral health in shape- 20 male participants of the same age were randomly divided into a control group or oil pulling group. The control group used chlorhexidine as a mouthwash every day for 10 minutes. The second group engaged in oil pulling with sesame oil. Results showed that oil pulling reduced the amount of Streptococcus Mutans in their mouth in just 2 weeks. Maybe not as effective as chlorhexidine, oil pulling is definitely much more healthier and a cheaper alternative to chemical mouthwash.
- Fights Gingivitis– In one study, 20 male participants with gingivitis were randomly divided into a control group or oil pulling group. The first group was treated with Chlorhexidine and the second group practiced oil pulling with sesame oil each morning before brushing. The plaque levels were tested after 10 days. It was concluded that the oil pulling group showed reduction in plaque levels and plaque induced gingivitis.
- Shields against Halitosis- In a study, 20 adolescents suffering from Halitosis where given chlorhexidine or sesame oil for oil pulling, every morning for 14 days. Results showed that oil pulling was equally effective as chlorhexidine in fighting against halitosis and killing organisms that cause bad breathe. In fact, with sesame oil, there was no staining or any after taste. It was also much more cost effective than chlorhexidine.
Important tips to remember while oil pulling
- Keep the oil in your mouth for twenty minutes. This is very important because it gives the oil enough time break the plaque. Keeping it for too long can cause your body to reabsorb the toxins. Shorter than 20 minutes and this technique will fail to get the bacteria out.
- Once the 20 minutes pass, what you will be left with is a thick, whitish residue. This is the mixture of coconut oil, saliva and the bacteria. Do not spit into a sink because it might clog. Rather use the toilet or your trash can.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any residue, and then brush your teeth to kill of the remaining bacteria.
- It is good to do this on an empty stomach.
- For the best results, oil pulling should be done once a day, every day.
- Always used cold pressed oil
If you want to give your oral health an even bigger boost, along with oil pulling, clean your tongue using a scraping motion. This is an Ayurvedic technique that removes the bacterial coating covering the tongue.
Oil pulling does require getting a little used to because you are ingesting and holding spoonful of oil in your mouth. Coconut oil is very good for this purpose because it has hyaluronic acid which has excellent antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It also has many other amazing health benefits. Plus, it has a milder taste than many other oils and it doesn’t stain your teeth because it is practically colorless.
Consistent oil pulling should leave your mouth feeling clean. It should make your teeth appear whiter and lower gum inflammation.
By taking care of your oral health, you will be surprised how it can also improve your physical health drastically.
In the comments below, please share: have you ever heard of oil pulling before?