Oil pulling is a technique that has recently been popularised by celebrities and social media users, with claims of whiter teeth, healthier gums and even a reduction in allergies being attributed to oil pulling. Unlike with many health fads and complementary therapies, there is an increasing amount of scientific evidence showing the benefits of using oil pulling. If you’re looking for a safe way to improve your health and dental hygiene, oil pulling could be the answer.
The practice of oil pulling is rooted in Ayurvedic medicine and has been used for thousands of years to treat and prevent a wide range of health problems. Oil pulling works on the principle that some oils can draw harmful bacteria and toxins from the mouth, preventing them from entering the bloodstream and causing health problems. Traditionally, sesame oil was used for oil pulling, but sunflower, olive and coconut oils can also be used, providing they are of a high quality and unrefined.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
Oil pulling cuts through plaque and removes bacteria from the mouth, helping to reduce bad breath (halitosis), improve gum disease, prevent tooth decay and whiten teeth. Oil pulling is also reported to improve a range of health complaints, including asthma, sinus congestion, ear infections, chronic headaches, allergies, recurring chest infections and hormone imbalances. While more research is needed into the benefits of oil pulling, a recent study showed a significant reduction in levels of dental plaque and gum disease after just one week of daily oil pulling.
Oil Pulling Method
The oil pulling method involves gently swishing one or two teaspoons of oil around the mouth for twenty minutes each day, preferably first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking. Avoid swallowing the oil, as it will be full of toxins and bacteria. Spit the oil into a jar or other container, rather than spitting into a sink or toilet, as the oil may harden and clog the drains, particularly if using coconut oil. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm water to dissolve traces of oil, then brush teeth as normal to remove any remaining bacteria.
Oil pulling is considered safe for most people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. Oil pulling is also safe for children, although younger children should be supervised to prevent swallowing of oil. When using oil pulling for the first time, some people notice symptoms similar to detoxification, such as headaches, nausea and coughing, but these symptoms will disappear within a few days.