Health benefits of oil pulling
Date Posted:2 April 2017
You may have heard of oil pulling, but what is it really and what does it do?
Over the years it has become a popular trend in the detox world, as it was thought to literally ‘pull’ toxins from the body, which you then spit out. After much internet scouring, I have come to this conclusion: Oil pulling is great for oral health and to significantly reduce the risk of dental carries and reduce gingivitis. It is not a method of detoxifying your cells, although improving your oral health has significant benefit to all body systems due to the presence of bacteria and how this balance can influence the development of chronic disease. Oil swishing can assist with clearer skin, because it puts the brakes on the growth of toxic bacteria in your mouth that would otherwise travel down into your body where it contributes to your toxic load that can show up on your skin.
How to do it?
Oil pulling is best done first thing in the morning, upon rising and before eating or drinking anything. Swill 1 tablespoon of oil in the mouth for 20 minutes. This amount of time is enough to let the oil sink into the places where brushing and flossing cannot reach, and remove undesirable bacteria that can lead to ill health and bad breath. The easiest way to do this is to put the oil into your mouth as soon as you get up, then jump in the shower and continue to swill while you get dressed. This is usually about 20 minuets (depending on your morning routine). Once you have swished the oil around, making sure to pull it through the teeth and around the cheeks, spit it out into the toilet bowl (oil down the sink can clog the drains), then brush your teeth (no need for paste) and scrap your tongue to remove the coating. The best oil to use is coconut oil, due to its amazing antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, however you can also use sesame and sunflower oil if that’s what you happen to have in the house. We also love Dr Tung's Ayurvedic Oil Pulling Concentrate, formulated with 24 plants and herbs. If you are time poor and prefer to do your oil pulling on the go, we suggest you try Keeko Morning Mint Oil Pulling Sachets, which will last you for 14 days.
Can oil pulling whitening your teeth?
Oil pulling won't whiten tooth enamel, but it will remove plaque build up, resulting in whiter, brighter looking teeth.
How does oil pulling improve your health?
By removing bacteria that is lodged in places where your toothbrush can’t reach, you are improving the micro-biome (the balance of beneficial bacteria). Much like how your digestive tract has an ecosystem of beneficial bacteria, so to does your mouth. If your mouth is over grown with pathogenic bacteria, this can lay the foundation for an unbalanced gut micro-flora. Oil pulling is more effective than mouth wash at removing bad bacteria, due to the nature of oil being able to seep into nooks and crannies, and the lengthy time, being able to more effectively remove plaque. Don’t forgot also, common mouth wash is far to harsh and kills of all of your good bacteria along with the bad, which is definitely not what you want (the same way you feel an upset tummy after using antibiotics). The digestive tract starts in the mouth, and your health starts with your gut. Hence, health really starts in the mouth! Want some evidence? You can read this study 'Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis — A preliminary report'