Oil pulling, a practice that originated in India, is the act of swishing oils from plants in your mouth. The holistic practice is believed to help naturally whiten teeth, kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, reduce bad breath, prevent cavities, and reduce gum inflammation. It’s also said that oil pulling can help with overall health benefits because you’re removing extra toxins from your body.
Coconut oil is a highly recommended oil to use when pulling because of its known health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and fighting harmful bacteria. Other common oils used for oil pulling are sunflower, olive, and palm oils. Because coconut oil becomes a solid when stored below 75 degrees, it can be weird trying to swish it around in your mouth at first. I have found biting on it and trying to move it around my mouth helps it quickly turn to liquid, allowing you to start oil pulling.
I first learned about oil pulling while reading the book The Happy Hormone Guide by Shannon Leparski. Eager to try the health practices described in the book, I immediately bought organic coconut oil, a tongue scrapper, and started oil pulling. Only less than a week in, it’s difficult to say if I’ve noticed the added benefits of oil pulling just yet. However, it’s not as bad as I thought.
It’s suggested that you swish the oil for 15-20 minutes, and at first that seemed like a long time. However, as soon as I start pulling, I make my bed, jump in the shower, and before I know it the time is up! Before you spit out the oil, it’s important to not spit it down your drain. Once the oil dries, it will harden and could ruin your pipes. Instead, spit it out into a trashcan. After you’re done oil pulling, floss and brush your teeth. In the research I’ve done, I have found many experts weighing in to say that oil pulling should not replace teeth brushing. Rather, it should be used to enhance your current oral health routine.
Have you ever noticed a white film or coating on your tongue? This is caused from debris, bacteria, and dead cells. Gross, right? A great way to round out your morning teeth brushing routine and keep that white film off your tongue is to use a tongue scraper. I found this one on Amazon and it’s under $10!
It’s also important that you’re cautious not to swallow any oil while pulling. Since the practice is believed to pull toxins from your mouth, swallowing those toxins could be harmful.
There are so many holistic things we can integrate into our daily routine to help us live healthier lives. Oil pulling is the latest thing I’m trying. What new health practices have you taken up recently? If you’ve tried oil pulling, did you like it? Tell me in the comments below!