Health Benefits of Oil Pulling
What is it
Although Oil Pulling seems to be a new trend and still many of us haven’t heard the term before, “Oil Pulling or Swishing Oil in your Mouth” is an ancient Indian system of Ayuverdic Medicine that is dating back over 3000 years. Used primarily in Ayuverdic medicine oil pulling is the practice of regularly swishing a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes weekly.
You may have seen celebrities and social media public figures promoting different brands for oil pulling claiming that helps them whiten their teeth, but oil pulling has way more health benefits than this and not all oils are working the same. Yes it can help whiten your teeth because it acts as a natural antibiotic, antiseptic factor cleaning the oral cavity of your mouth by pulling out toxins that regular flossing can’t do and creates a clean oral environment that allows regular flow of natural dental liquid which helps to prevent cavities and other oral diseases.
But according to ancient Ayuverdic medicine oil pulling helps to purify the whole system as the tongue/mouth is connected to different organs such kidneys, lungs, heart and mainly the digestive and immune system.
Having a weekly Oil pulling practice has a range of benefits from whiter teeth to increased energy and healthier skin. Its deep detoxification effects are beyond oral health. The mouth is the home of millions toxins, viruses and bacteria, oil pulling helps to cleanse, pull out toxins and bacteria from the mouth before they spread out in the rest of the body. That helps to lighten up the immune system. When the immune system is in balance the whole body is in balance.
Improves digestions and supports digestive system. Although when we think of digestive most of us think our belly area, digestive starts from the mouth. Digestive system consists of different organs; the first digestive tract organ is our mouth then salivary glands, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, large and small intestine and lastly appendix and rectum anus. Wow now knowing that you can benefit all those vital organs and more would you try and add oil pulling to your morning ritual and contribute to your health with this natural remedy?
Why I do oil pulling
For sure not for whiter teeth. Don’t get me wrong who doesn’t love whiter teeth? For me though that wasn’t the case that had me to finally commit to weekly oil pulling. I knew through my studies in yoga therapy and ayuverda that oil pulling is beneficial for our health and gave it a try couple years ago but I couldn’t commit to it. Twenty minutes swishing oil around my mouth felt a lot, I couldn’t keep the oil in my mouth more than 5 minutes plus it felt weird. So I quit. Fast forward, you know how we inherit different things from our families, some we love some we hate? Well my brother and sister have perfect teeth and I have cavities since I was ten years old. Thanks grandpa. (He lived though up to 100 years)
I woke up one day having pain in my teeth and gums even speaking and smiling was painful. I was horrified, I was scared as I knew I couldn’t afford health insurance and dental work. I prayed and I asked for guidance what natural way I could use to heal it. Then oil pulling came to my mind. I start oil pulling every morning with coconut oil for one month first 10-15 minutes then 20 minutes came easily. Believe it or not the pain was gone in couple days but I was so scared that I kept doing it for one straight month every morning. That’s my personal experience and up to this date I do it weekly 3-5 times in a week. Of course one of the main reasons I practice oil pulling is for my oral health plus my digestive has improved with more frequent bowl movements, easier digestion and my energy has improved with less sick days during winter as oil pulling supports our immune system.
It is recommended to do your oil pulling practice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, right after you get out of bed before you brush your teeth or drink anything. I personally do it right after I use the tongue scraper removing toxins from tongue called “ama” in Ayuverda, then I wash my mouth with warm water and then I start the oil pulling.
Put 1-2 tablespoons of high quality extra virgin, coconut, olive or sesame oil (preferably organic) in your mouth and swish for 20 minutes. You can start with 5-10 minutes.
While oil pulling, I prepare my morning drink (lemon water, ginger tea or matcha tea), I prepare breakfast, I make my bed. You don’t have to sit down and wait for the oil pulling to be over, use this time to prepare for your day. I tried couple times to meditate while oil pulling or putting make up on it didn’t work. So I just use this time to prepare breakfast and before you know it its over.
Be careful not to swallow, that oil is full of the toxins you are trying to cleanse.
After you’re done, spit the oil into a trashcan, not the sink or toilet where the oil might solidify and create a blockage. Then rinse your mouth out with warm water, brush as normal, and that’s it! Oil pulling is most effective when done 3–5 times per week.
I would recommend if you are starting out do it everyday for 10-14 days then after that you can do it 3-5 times per week.
What oils can you use
When I first started I was using organic coconut oil, there were times I wasn’t able to afford it but I didn’t want to interrupt this healthy ritual. I start asking around in local health stores and friends that they were already using it and they said just use any oil.
Attending the ayuverda module of my teacher training I learnt a lot more about this ancient wisdom. I was then introduced to Daily Swish by Banyan Botanicals a brand that I love and trust for years. It is a combination of ayuverdic oils plus essential oils such as spearmint to help freshen up the breath. I loved the product but when it was over I realized I had to wait a while until I can order it again.
Then I looked around in my kitchen and my pure extra virgin olive oil from our farms in Greece was smiling at me. Why I haven’t though about it before? I was only using it for food. Extra virgin, olive oil is one of the best oils prescribed from ayuverdic doctors for oil pulling. This is what I use these days and I am so happy plus I gave it a flavor, it tastes even better and has more health benefits. I added therapeutic grade essential oils from Dottera in it. Peppermint, frankisence and citrus oils (wild orange or lemon or grapefruit).
Although any oil oil can do the jod ayuverdic doctors and specialists recommend high quality coconut, olive or sesame oil preferably organic. And it makes sense we are trying to expel toxins out of our mouth and system why to use an oil that is not clean.
You, too can make your own oil at home, in a jar bottle you can combine high quality oils such coconut, sesame olive oil with your favourite essential oils. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you and share it in the comments below.
All the good luck in our health,