Have you ever heard of Oil Pulling? Chances are that you haven’t, but it is a really cool healing technique that I want to discuss today.
I’ll get right to it: Oil pulling involves swishing up to a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth for twenty minutes, at least once a day.
I know it sounds weird, and pointless, and gross, but it’s awesome, I swear! I’m actually doing it right now. It is safe, simple, and helps your body to heal from a variety of diseases and conditions.
I’d heard about Oil Pulling a couple of years ago. I heard that it was a great way to cleanse and detoxify your whole body from a wide range of ailments, and since the words cleanse and detox always catch my attention, I though I would give it a try.
I did pulling on and off for a while, and I loved how clean it made my teeth feel, but I couldn’t find any information on what it was actually doing for me. I think I kind of imagined that the oil in my mouth was magically attracting and drawing out all of the toxins from my body, but since I didn’t really have an explanation, I lost interest. To just be told that it was somehow doing something good for me wasn’t enough to keep me trying it.
Also, there was a lot of conflicting information out there, and since I didn’t understand how the therapy worked, I couldn’t determine which advice was right and which wasn’t. Some sources said to always use coconut oil, some said to never use it. Some said this had to be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, others said it could be done at any time.
Then recently, I found Dr. Bruce Fife’s book Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing. His book explains exactly what the oil is doing and why it works, rather than just saying to do it. Once I understood the science behind it, I was so much more willing to include it in my daily routine.
Dr. Fife explains that almost all diseases begin in the mouth. Our mouths are teeming with bacteria and harmful microorganisms, which make their way into our bodies, creating diseases and burdening our immune systems. Our current dental care practices are mainly focused on the teeth (brushing and flossing), while largely ignoring the gums, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and all of the little crevices where toxins and disease causing microorganisms like to hide. In contrast, oil pulling cleans the entire mouth.
Here’s what he has to say about how it works:
“Most of the microorganisms that inhabit the mouth consist of a single cell. These cells are covered with a lipid or fatty membrane, which is basically the cell’s skin…When you add two oils together, what happens? The combine…When you put oil into your mouth, the fatty membranes of the microorganisms are attracted to it…bacteria hiding under crevices in the gums and in pores and tubules within the teeth are sucked out of their hiding places and held firmly in the solution. After 20 minutes the solution is filled with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms.” (pg. 117)
So now that you understand why oil pulling works, I’ll tell you how to do it. One of the most important things to know is not to swallow the oil after you have pulled. As mentioned above, the oil is full of the very things you are trying to remove, so you want to spit the solution out. Goodbye toxins!
- It’s best to start on an empty stomach (not necessary, but pulling on a full stomach can make people feel nauseous. It is advised to have a glass of water first though).
- Place 2-3 teaspoons of oil in your mouth (any type will work, and it makes no difference whether it is organic, cold-pressed, etc. I use no name sunflower oil)
- Swish the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes, making sure to pull it between your teeth and all around your mouth.
- Spit the oil into the trash can (apparently it is hard on the plumbing if you spit it into the sink- oops)
- Rinse your mouth well with water
- Repeat at least once a day, and preferably more if you have health problems.
Twenty minutes seems like a long time, but I do this while I’m getting my breakfast ready in the morning. Just fit it into your routine!
One word of caution is that it may loosen fillings if they have been put in improperly. So if your dentist has done your fillings correctly, you will have no problem. If your filling is already loose, the pulling may cause it to come out or loosen further.
Oh and one last thing: Oil Pulling is not considered an alternative to brushing and flossing, but rather a companion.
I hope you give Oil Pulling a try! It’s an easy, and simple way to enhance your health and take care of your whole body!