First off, I want to apologize for taking so long to post. I’m hoping to be back posting every week, so be sure to subscribe to get notified when a new post is live. This week I’m talking about oil pulling. My teeth have never been great. They’ve always been small and yellowish. And now my friend has been concerned about the way my breath smells. I floss, brush my teeth, and even use mouthwash. I should not be having so many problems! Enter coconut oil and oil pulling.
What is Oil Pulling?
What is oil pulling? Oil pulling is around 3,000 years old(2). It is an ancient Ayurvedic practice known as gandusha(1,2,3). Oil pulling does not have a lot of research, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and everyone agrees that it is harmless. On wellnessmama.com, she explains “Oil pulling works on the principle “like dissolves like” and that “oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth(3).
How to Oil Pull
Oil pulling is extremely easy to do. It is important to oil pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I like to oil pull while I’m getting my shower. First, take a tablespoon of oil (I use coconut oil). Chew it a little bit until it’s melted. Do NOT melt in the microwave! Then swish for about 20 minutes. You’ll want to be sure to be gentle while swishing, you don’t want to tire your jaw. When time is up, spit it into a trashcan. It’s important not to spit into a drain, as the coconut oil can clog it. Also, be sure not to swallow the oil. Oil pulling is a detoxing process and you do not want to reingest the toxins. You could even add essential oils, such as orange, lemon, peppermint, clove or cinnamon while oil pulling (1).
Potential Benefits of Oil Pulling
According to Dr. Axe (, oil pulling has been used as a traditional Indian remedy (1) for
heart disease prevention
soothe throat dryness
healing cracked lips
boosting the immune system
strengthen gums and jaws
The Department of Pediatric Dentistry in Tamil Nadu, India, found that oil pulling reduces Streptococcus mutans bacteria. It may also help eliminate plaque and gingivitis. It can also be used as a mouth wash and can help with bad breath(1,3).
Even though oil pulling has not been studied much, most agree that it is perfectly harmless. Be sure not to swallow the oil and don’t spit it down any drains. Coconut oil is the best oil to use for oil pulling(2). If you feel uncomfortable or if a tablespoon is too much, don’t be afraid to cut the time short or use less oil and build up.