Oil Pulling is a wonderful practice for well-being and oral care. It’s actually an ancient Ayurvedic action to help with detox and oral health.
What is Oil Pulling?
It is the simple act of swishing about a Tablespoon of a pure organic oil (such as our Sesame Oil) in your mouth for at least 10 minutes (or for as long as 20 minutes), then spitting it out.
Swishing the oil in your mouth “pulls” toxins and bacteria out and into the oil (bacteria and toxins, which have an oily or lipid skin, adhere to the oil.) Oral health is essential as bacteria in the mouth can spread to and affect organs and get in the bloodstream; the toxins can hurt your teeth and gum health, and can impact your overall wellness.
Oil Pulling is an inexpensive and easy therapy with big potential benefits.
What Else Can Oil Pulling Do?
- Strengthen the lymphatic system
- Can help support normal kidney function
- Help reduce plaque
- Help whiten teeth
- Can reduce bad breath
- Can prevent dryness
- Help reduce overall inflammation
- Help cleans the oral environment with increased saponification
- Help keep bacteria from sticking to the oral cavity
- Help prevent cavities
- Help gum health and strengthens jaws, teeth and gums. It could be a possible aid in the treatment of TMJ or sore jaw area.
- May help with sinus issues, as the mouth is connected to the sinuses.
Those with poor oral hygiene have a higher incidence of heart attacks, pneumonia and other serious issues – and this is linked to bacteria and toxins making their way from the mouth to the body.
What Happens During Oil Pulling?
Most microorganisms in the mouth are single cells covered with a fatty membrane (the cell’s skin). When such cells come into contact with an oil, they adhere to it naturally – like fireflies being drawn to light.
The oils mix with your saliva, which eventually turns a different consistency and white. The oil pulls toxins from the saliva and your mouth – there is nowhere to hide! Oil is swished in crevices, pores, around your gums, between your teeth and in those hiding places of your mouth!
As you keep swishing the oil in your mouth, the oil pulls those bacteria and toxins from the tongue, teeth, gums and everywhere in your mouth, and the oil becomes more viscous.
You actually feel the change occurring, after a certain amount of time. Spit out the oil at this point (usually after 20 minutes but even 10 minutes can be beneficial) – we recommend ALWAYS into a waste can and not into the drain.
Reduce the bacteria, fungi, viruses and toxins in your mouth – the gateway to the rest of your body! With a healthier mouth, you have less body inflammation, more energy and feel better (your body is fighting less bacteria and there is less stress on you and your lymphatic system.)
What Oil Do You Recommend and Why?
There are several oils that are traditionally used for oil pulling (Sesame, Coconut & Sunflower), but we recommend the most traditional, Sesame Oil. This is what the Ayurvedic tradition has used, and this is the oil that many experts have recommended over time. There are even studies of Oil Pulling specifically with Sesame Oil.
Sesame has natural anti-bacteria qualities. Sesame was even found, in one study, to help reduce the effect of Streptococcus mutans in the mouth.
Sesame is high in antioxidants and holds a high concentration of Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids, exactly what you want!
Our USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC SESAME OIL was developed for Oil Pulling available on Amazon (read the reviews!) or here in our store.
LET’S GET MORE DETAILED
How Long Should I Swish the Oil, How Often Should I Do It, and How Much Oil Should I Use?
Don’t put too much in your mouth – a common mistake the first time. You could feel like gagging, or not have the ability to swish the oils around. About a heaping tablespoon is a good amount.
It is best to swish about 10 to 20 minutes, with recommended maximum at 20 minutes. Every person is a little different (chemistry) and in the beginning you may only have the ability to do 10 minutes. Note that the change of the oil to a viscous, whiter fluid will help you know when you should stop.
Dr. Bruce Fife, in his book “Oil Pulling Therapy”, recommends that 20 minutes is best, because this is long enough to break through the plaque and bacteria.
Daily practice (recommended in the morning) is ideal, but you will get some benefits even if you Oil Pull only 3 or 4 times per week. We actually Oil Pull a second time per day: every evening before bed for about 10 minutes while taking off makeup, taking off contacts and going through the evening ritual.
What if I Can’t Do a Full 20 Minutes?
It’s OK – even 10 minutes will help, and at first it may be hard to do the full amount of time. Studies have shown you get some benefits even with shorter time periods, so go for it! But do try to work up to 20 minutes! Combine it with your morning routine and multi-task if time is an issue.
Absolutely! Brush after oil pulling, and when you normally do.
After spitting out the oil, rinse with water (spit it out as well, don’t swallow it) and then brush your teeth. This can help make sure any remaining bacteria is removed.
To be REALLY natural, try an organic toothpaste!
REMEMBER: Oil Pulling does not replace your normal oral care – it enhances it!
Yes. Here are just a few. A study in 2008 found a “remarkable reduction in the total count of bacteria” in the mouth, and less susceptibility to cavities.
A study, Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis, was published in the Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry in 2007 by HV Amith, Anil V Ankola and L Nagesh.
Another paper was published in the Asia Journal of Public Health (May 2011) called Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models by S Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin and B Thaweboon.
Effects of Oil Pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in Plaque and Saliva appeared in the Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry, March 2008 by S Asokan J Rathan MS Muthu PV Rathna P Emmadi and Raghuraman Chamundeswari.
Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study by Asokan S1, Emmadi P, Chamundeswari R was published January 2009 in the Indian Society for Dental Research.
Tooth Brushing, Oil Pulling and Tissue Regeneration: A Review of Holistic Approaches to Oral Health was published in April 2011 in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine by Sing and Purohit.
And there are lots more!
Are There Any Other Benefits than Oral Health to Oil Pulling?
Because oils can help pull toxins out of the system, it helps support or decrease some of the work the lymphatic system does. In other words, since you are pulling out some of the harmful toxins from your mouth, they will not enter the system to be dealt with and processed by the lymphatic system.
Some believe that Oil Pulling can be a PREVENTIVE measure for yet other conditions, such as migraine relief, headache and hangover relief, reducing inflammation, reducing eczema, supporting kidney function, helping with sinus congestion and throat problems, reducing allergy symptoms and more.
Are There Any Adverse Reactions?
It is reported that a few people may experience a Detox Reaction for a few days when starting Oil Pulling, which would include mild congestion, some drainage or headache. Most people don’t experience this, though.
Does This Replace Other Oral Care?
No! As we wrote earlier, Oil Pulling enhances your oral care and does that extra special for you – pulling out toxins that you can’t get otherwise.
Oil Pulling compliments your flossing, brushing and regular visits to the dentist. It is a preventative measure for oral health and overall body wellness!