What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that cures a wide variety of ailments. Basically, you hold some oil in your mouth for twenty minutes, swishing it all around and between your teeth.
When I first read about it, I was skeptical. How can swishing a mouthful of oil for 20 minutes cure anything? Let me explain in detail what to do, and some theories on why it works so well.
Oil pulling instructions
When you get up in the morning, do this very first thing, before brushing your teeth (if you brush in the morning), eating or drinking anything. First, spit out anything in your mouth. Then take 1 tablespoon of oil and hold it in your mouth, tilt your chin up and slowly swish it around, pulling it through your teeth. Lifting your head up gets the oil to your back molars. Get it all round your mouth and tongue. Do this for at least 10 minutes but preferably 20 minutes. The oil should be a thin white foam when you finally spit it out. If it is still clear or yellow, you haven't done it long enough. After spitting it out, rinse your mouth well. Complete the procedure by drinking 1 - 2 glasses of lukewarm water.
- Do not swallow the oil. It contains bacteria and toxins.
- Do not gargle in the throat. The oil should be swished in the mouth only.
- Do it slowly.
If you want to detox faster, you can oil pull up to three times per day. Make sure you do it on an empty stomach - wait 4 hours after eating, or an hour after drinking.
If your ailment's symptoms get worse when you start oil pulling, it is an indication that the cure is working. Do not stop oil pulling if this happens for a few days - it is a sign that your body is healing.
It is highly unlikely that oil pulling will cause your dental fillings to fall out unless there was pre-existing damage or loose fillings.
The traditional Ayurvedic instructions say that sesame or sunflower oil should be used. Coconut oil is my favourite. However, I have had good results with walnut, macadamia, olive and Udo's oil. It also seems that after a couple of months of using one type of oil, changing to different oil renews its potency.
How does oil pulling work?
I don't think oil pulling "pulls" anything out of your body. Instead, it seems to infuse your body with essential fatty acids (EFAs) sublingually (under your tongue). These EFAs enter the bloodstream, bypassing the gastric juices in your stomach. It is a fast and effective way to get some of the components of healthy oils (omega-3 and omega-9 acids, for example) straight into your blood. This explains why many skin conditions clear up with oil pulling.
The oil dissolves plaque and even tartar. This explains why your teeth look so white after you start oil pulling. (Much whiter than with toothpaste and conventional cleaning).
Bacteria in the mouth are attracted into the oil. Normally bacteria continually grow in your mouth, and you continually swallow them. Some of these bacteria are beneficial, and you need them for good health. But many ailments occur when harmful bacteria proliferate and get out of control. If harmful bacteria proliferate in the mouth, they can provide a source of infection for organs all around the body. For example, there is research showing that heart attacks can occur after a dental procedure like a root canal provides an ongoing source of harmful bacteria. When you practice oil pulling, it provides a control over the bad bacteria and their ability to produce an infection. You are no longer continually swallowing them.
Mucus is soluble in the oil.
Oil pulling is very gentle. If you need to increase its antibiotic potency for a short period, add one drop of oregano oil to the tablespoon of the other oil. Oregano oil is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. However, it tastes terrible and makes the procedure potent. If you add oregano oil, you may not feel well as your healing and detox go into overdrive. I suggest you do not do this for more than one week in every couple of months.
Oil pulling is a natural traditional remedy for these ailments
- Arterial diseases.
- Bad breath. Oil pulling is an excellent mouth rinse that removes bacteria. Bad breath caused by mouth bacteria rapidly disappears..
- Cancers (various).
- Chronic infections.
- Gum diseases, gingivitis, receding gums.
- Heart disease.
- Kidney diseases.
- Lung diseases.
- Sinus problems.
- Skin complaints (various).
- Stiff joints.
- Tartar (calculus).
- Tooth decay. Oil pulling helps to prevent tooth decay, but does not repair decay that has already occurred. However, eating a mineral-rich diet and avoiding sugar and grains (phytic acid) will actually repair decayed teeth. (1) Interesting that most dentists don't know about this - or more likely, their dental associations don't want them to know, because it would drastically reduce the profits of the dental industry.
- Varicose veins.
1. May Mellanby, C. Lee Pattison.
Remarks on the influence of a cereal-free diet rich in vitamin d and calcium on dental caries in children.
Br Med J. 1932 Mar 19; 1(3715): 507-510. PMCID: PMC2520490.