What is "Oil Pulling"?
The history of oil pulling dates back over 3000 years. Before modern medicine,
elders in India developed Ayurveda, a form of mind-body health system.
The basic tenet of Ayurveda is that when balanced, your body has amazing
powers to heal itself.
One of the practices of Ayurveda is oil pulling. Oil pulling is swishing
and rinsing your mouth with oil. It has been used in traditional Indian
folk remedies to prevent tooth decay, bad breath, bleeding gums and to
strengthen your teeth and gums. Some believe oil pulling may have more
extensive benefits to your health, but most claims are unsupported.
How to Oil Pull
If you’d like to try oil pulling, it is currently recommended to
use 1 TBSP of coconut oil and swish the oil around your mouth, using your
tongue and cheeks to pull the oil through the teeth for up to 20 minutes
once or twice per day. Try to relax the jaw muscles to avoid muscle fatigue.
Although you'll want to use it as if it were mouthwash, you don't
want to gargle it or swallow the oil you've been pulling. If you feel
the urge to swallow, it's important you spit it out and start again.
When you are finished, spit the oil into a garbage can rather than the sink.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
As you swish the oil around your mouth, it breaks down the bacteria, and
coconut oil protects against yeast infections (thrush) in the mouth. Oil
pulling is an effective mechanical method of cleansing your teeth and
the smallest crevices along your molars that the bristles of your brush
What we do know about oil pulling is that it can’t hurt; but it can
be quite stressful on the muscles of your face and jaw if you are predisposed
to facial pain or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).