What the heck is oil pulling!? Well, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which one simply rinses their mouth will oil by methodically swishing it around, like you would with mouthwash. Supposedly, it can relieve your body of numerous ailments including: gingivitis, periodontal diseases, dry mouth and throat, bad breath, sinusitis, migraines and numerous other diseases listed here. I want to preface this post by saying I’m somewhat skeptical and can’t really see how swishing some oil around my mouth could heal any of these issues, but I want to give it a try personally.
That being said, I figured that such a simple technique thousands of years old can’t hurt, can it? I decided I’d give it a try as part of my Kreative Koncoctions experimentation and see what happens. I’ve been reading a lot about it and hope it helps keep my mouth a little cleaner. Now, according to Sharath Asokan, who wrote “Oil Pulling Therapy”, oil pulling should be done as follows:
…A tablespoon (teaspoon for young children) of sesame oil is taken in the mouth, sipped, sucked, and pulled between the teeth for 10-15 min. The viscous oil turns thin and milky white. It is claimed that the swishing activates enzymes and draws toxins out of the blood. The oil should not be swallowed as it contains bacteria and toxins. Oil pulling therapy should be followed by tooth brushing and rinsing of the mouth. It is preferably done on an empty stomach in the morning.1
Asokan says to use sesame oil, but I’ve also heard you can use olive, coconut or various other kinds of oil (just not frying oil). Do your own research and see what different oils do for different ailments and find what may work best for you.
I’ve been doing the oil pulling for about two weeks now, although I did miss a day or two during the first week. I have been using coconut oil, just because I’ve heard so many great things about the stuff and had it around the house. I do as the directions above say: first thing in the morning, before I eat or drink anything. I usually do it while I’m washing my face and getting ready and then once I discard the oil, I follow it with flossing and a good old-fashioned toothbrush. I do feel like my mouth is cleaner than when I just floss and brush and maybe my teeth are getting a little whiter?
I have also noticed that my breath isn’t a dragonly as it normally is upon waking in the morning and it seems like right after I spit the oil out, I have a surge of mucous that needs to be spit out as well. (I know it’s kinda gross but, hey you want the nitty-gritty details, don’t you?) I’m not sure if this coincides with the oil pulling but my sinuses have been draining like crazy lately. I did read that sometimes your symptoms can get worse before they get better, so I’m going to keep persevering and hope that some of my allergy/sinus issues get cured or at least calm down a bit. The only other thing that has really ever helped with my seasonal issues is acupuncture and using the neti pot (and I hate the neti pot, even though it’s like a miraculous tool for me).
So, that’s been my experience so far. The oil pulling is like a detox for your mouth/body and I don’t want to give up too early on it. So far, no negative side effects, other than what I mentioned above. I really like the idea of going natural and finding healing remedies that are older than ‘modern medicine’ which has only been around a couple hundred years. (At some point, I’ll do a post on my opinions on Western Medicine and how it’s primarily driven by corporate America. That will be another rant:).)
One last thing I must confess…I’m finding it’s much easier to give up my old products for my hair, skin, beauty, etc., but I’m having a hard time going natural with what my body takes in. I’ve gotten better at eating healthier–trying to bring in more fruits, veggies and whole grains, but I have a long way to go. I know I’m at least on the right track and that’s what matters. Baby steps.
Watch out for my next post on my no ‘poo progress!
1 Cited: Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2008 [cited 2012 Apr 20];19:169. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2008/19/2/169/40476
For more information on an Oil Pulling study, see also: http://www.oilpullingsecrets.com/OilPullingStudy1.pdf