Oil Pulling


Have you tried oil pulling?  I've been doing it almost everyday for a month and really like it.  It's now part of my daily routine.  I swish about a tablespoon of coconut oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes first thing every morning before flossing/brushing.  

Oil pulling is rooted in Ayurveda, a centuries old holistic practice which promotes natural self-healing. Oil is used a often in Ayurveda for calming, healing and detoxifying.  The oil pulling we're talking about here is derived from traditional Ayurvedic oral care with sesame oil gently swished from one side of the mouth to the other for 3 minutes, spit it out and massage any residual oil into gums with index fingers.  

Famous herbalist and healer, KP Khalsa recommends extended daily oil pulling to reduce potential inflammation in the system.  Author and Doctor, Bruce Fife has a great book on oil pulling with documented scientific studies that show positive results in overall health from good oral care.  He connects daily oil pulling will decrease bad breath, gingivitis, gum recession, cavity risk and inflammation.  

In the last month, I've noticed slightly whiter teeth and a much cleaner feeling mouth.  My teeth feel smoother - like when I leave a teeth cleaning.  You'll notice this especially after the first time you do it.  That's what got me opening the jar of oil again on the second day.  It's an amazing feeling. 

I'm still unsure if this is related to the pulling but I've experienced a huge increase in energy, both physically and mentally.  Serious mental clarity over here. 

Sounds good, doesn't it?  Here's how to:

  1. Choose oil.  It's up to you but I suggest coconut oil.  You can start with it solid or warm it up to a liquid state,  depending on textural preference.  Sesame oil is more traditional. 
  2. Get oil in mouth and gently swish for no more than 20 minutes.
  3. Don't swallow it.  It's full of toxins and icky stuff.  Spit it out into a garbage bin - not the sink.  It's bad for drains, pipes and plumbing.  
  4. Floss and brush.

Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Find an oil you like the taste of. I really like coconut oil so that's what I use. I also like the texture change from solid to liquid during the pull.  
  • Getting started is all about building up.  You don't have to start with a full tablespoon for 20 minutes on your first try.  Start with a teaspoon of oil.  Start with 5 minutes.  The next day, add 5 more and so on, until you're at 20.  Or maybe 12 minute daily pulls are your thing.  It's up to you. 
  • I prefer to this in the morning before tea or tooth brushing.  I do it first thing after getting out of bed.  Actually, I do my oil pull while I walk my dog, Chibi.  Yes, I walk around Brooklyn in my yoga pants, cheeks puffed, swishing oil every morning.  My point is, you can be efficient about this or you can let this be a little quiet time for you.  Consider taking these 20 minutes every morning to read the news, check out pinterest, knit, meditate, choose your clothing for the day, write a friendly email to someone, prepare breakfast... whatever.  It's your silent time. Enjoy it.

Anyone tried it?  Leave a comment - I'd love to hear how it went!