Benefits of Oil Pulling: Reviving an Ancient Remedy

oil pulling using coconut oil

There are a lot of crazy mythical cures out there, and oil pulling sounds like one of them. But it does in fact have its merits and benefits. It is an ancient practice, ancient as in it was written about in Ayurvedic books thousands of years ago. So why are we only hearing about this now? And it seems everyone is doing it lately, including myself because if it is really as miraculous as they say and involves nothing invasive, then why not? The big benefit that really interested me is the teeth whitening because I have super sensitive teeth and cannot use any conventional whitening products (even those that claim they won’t cause sensitivity make me cringe with every inhaled breath).

After only a week of doing this, not only are my teeth noticeably whiter, but the side benefits are almost better – it gets rid of all the plaque, my teeth are smooth like after a cleaning and polishing, it has anti-inflammatory benefits on the gums, and it gives you good breath. And one major life saver (I am not going to lie, I needed this badly last weekend) – it gets rid of hangovers!! Okay, it doesn’t make you feel like you can go run a marathon, but it definitely takes the edge off so you can function like a normal person. That was HUGE! I didn’t think it could possibly help me, but the basic concept of oil pulling is that it is a detox. The oils adhere to everything, including all the topical toxins in your mouth (plaque, stains, bad breath), but also pull toxins from your system, thereby adding to a list of benefits I am including at the end of the post.

The process sounds kind of awful, so I was not looking forward to doing it. But the reality is not at all that bad. You take organic coconut oil – about one tablespoon worth – and put it in your mouth. Depending on the brand you use, the strength of the coconut flavor will vary. Spectrum has little to no flavor. Now, if you ever use coconut oil, you will know that it solidifies at a very high temperature, so at room temperature it is solid. The first time I put that straight in my mouth, it was gross – like chewing on fat. That gave me the total heebie jeebies.

The next time I knew to melt it in the microwave for five seconds. DO NOT MAKE IT TOO HOT OR IT WILL BURN YOUR MOUTH. Depending on your microwave, five seconds may or may not be enough, but I would rather it be too cold, and if you use a spoon and stir it around, it will continue to melt. As long as it is not chunky, your mouth will quickly melt it down to where it won’t gross you out. Then you swish it around your mouth getting it in between your teeth, and keep it in your mouth for 20 minutes. That sounds like a lot, but you will be surprised how quickly that goes by when checking FaceBook and playing Candy Crush. But of course, I recommend reading all the latest stories on Snob Essentials ;-) I do have a problem accumulating a lot of spit during this process, but it isn’t bad enough to make me gag or feel like spitting it out. The time really does go by fast, and you want to keep it in for the full 20 minutes. When the timer beeps, make sure to spit it in a bag and throw it away in your trash, NOT down the drain. It will clog your plumbing and cause serious problems. You will see how quickly it solidifies after spitting it out.

I promise, you will immediately see and feel the difference in your mouth. I have only been doing it for a week but from everything I’ve read, it is supposed to help with issues listed below. I will update this post with additional benefits I have found, but trust me, you will be thanking me for the teeth whitening right away (and not that anyone should be drinking, but the hangover is a big one).

Benefits of oil pulling:

• Migraine and TMJ headache
• Arthritis
• Gastrointestinal issues
• Eczema, acne, psoriasis
• Kidney function
• Detox of the entire body
• Insomnia
• Allergies
• Sensitive teeth
• Cavities and Gingivitis
• Sinus

10 thoughts on “Benefits of Oil Pulling: Reviving an Ancient Remedy

  1. which coconut oil do you recommend. I ask because ever since people have started to rave about it, more and more jars of it are showing up from different companies.

  2. Kelly Cook on said:

    Make sure to use organic 100% coconut oil. I like the Spectrum because it has the least taste and is easily found.

  3. Luke Connor on said:

    How often do you do this?

  4. I use the organic from Trader Joe’s…recommended on some blog. I’ve put it on my hair as a deep conditioner for an hour then wash. Started using as a makeup remover and its really good nondrying then wash my face. I’m looking for a good coconut oil soap. I’m going to try on my teeth this morning thanks for the tip.

  5. Kathi Jobson on said:

    I would not heat in the microwave as that destroys the healing components of organic coconut oil. I don’t microwave anything.

  6. There is no such thing as a “detox,” stop spreading this lie. It’s so irresponsible! Oil pulling works the same way swishing anything wofks : you mechanically move things around, dislodging plaque. That’s it. Don’t attribute any magical properties to it, that’s dangerous. http://skeptoid.com/blog/tag/oil-pulling-debunked/

  7. But it does in fact have it’s merits and benefits. Its, not it’s.

  8. Camille on said:

    Just want to note the importance of swishing or “pulling” the oil from front to back. Also, the quality of the oil makes a difference. Even if your oil is organic, if it is expelled pressed or refined you may not be getting the full benefit of the oil. Cold-pressed, unrefined oils have a higher nutrient value and are not treated with hexane. I personally love coco oil and use if in many different forms, but for those women who are afraid of the fat/calories, get the best quality oil and make those calories count. :) FYI, I use Nutiva. Here’s a guide a friend shared with me a few years ago http://www.evolvingwellness.com/essay/how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil-comparing-best-and-worst-brands

    • Tina Craig on said:

      Thank you, will try this. I did pull from front of teeth to back and vice versa. How can you tell if the oil is refined? Am slightly confused. I bought organic from Wholefoods. xx Tina

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