In this blog, I will be discussing the health benefits of the ancient Ayurvedic practice of Oil Pulling, a practical and inexpensive way to keep your mouth and whole body healthy. Your mouth is the gateway to your body. You eat and breathe through your mouth, as it is the entrance to your digestive and respiratory systems. In addition, the blood supply to your gums has connections to your overall circulation with the big picture being that bacteria from inflammatory gum diseases such as gingivitis or more advanced periodontitis can be a risk factor in heart health. In the opposite direction, toxins in the body have an exit path through the gums. As you will see, the method of oil pulling is one easy practice that can -through the mouth- help to keep you healthier.
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil Pulling is an Ancient Ayurvedic practice that has been around for thousands of years. It involves swishing (like a mouthwash) with an organic oil such as Coconut, untoasted Sesame, or extra-virgin Olive Oil for a 10-to-20-minute period.
The purpose of this holistic practice is to attract, trap, and remove the harmful microorganisms in the mouth and other toxins circulating in the body, thus positively impacting your oral and overall health and wellness.
How Does Oil Pulling Work?
We have millions and millions of bacteria in our mouth. Most are harmless and in fact, quite beneficial for our bodies. But certain bacteria can be harmful, such as those related to gum disease, cavities, or bad breath.
Anatomically, these bacteria are covered in a fat type membrane, or outer layer, which is attracted to the fats found in oil. When you swish the oils around your mouth and in between teeth, the fat in these oils will pull in these bacteria and other microorganisms like a magnet, trapping them in the oil mixture. Spitting out the oil will remove the micro-organisms and toxins from your mouth.
Health Benefits of Oil Pulling
- Helps reduce or eliminate gum disease by removal of harmful oral microorganisms that reduce inflammation and infections commonly found in gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Boosts the immune system, by not directing the immune responses to chronic mouth infections. Resources from the immune system are then freed up for other important health challenges.
- Freshens breath by eliminating certain types of bacteria commonly found in the mouth responsible for causing that bad breath odor. When these bacteria are removed, the foul smell is reduced.
- Improving gut health by stopping harmful bacteria from entering your digestive system through eating or swallowing. Since your gut is the center of your immune system, good gut health means a good Immune response.
How to Do Oil Pulling
- Take 2 tsp of organic oils of either Coconut, Sesame, Olive or Sunflower Oil.
- Mix in 2 -3 drops of high-quality essential oil, which can add to the antimicrobial action. Examples are Frankincense, Lavender, Tea Tree, or Peppermint oil.
- Place it in your mouth. Note that if you use Coconut oil, it comes as a solid and it will take a few seconds to dissolve into a liquid.
- Actively Swish for 10-20 minutes. Make sure to get in between teeth.
- It’s IMPORTANT not to swallow the oil!
- At the end, spit out the combination of oil, bacteria and saliva into a disposable cup. DO NOT PUT IN THE SINK OR TOILET. IT MAY CLOG THE DRAINS.
- Immediately rinse with water or, even better, salt water, if you can. Then brush your teeth as you normally would.
When is Best Time for Oil Pulling?
The best time to do the pulling is when you wake up and on an empty stomach. Your mouth has the most bacteria at that time. And because of the amount of time it takes, it’s easier to incorporate oil pulling into your daily routine during your shower or making the bed.
20 minutes is long, and when you first start, your mouth may get tired, or your jaw may ache. Don’t get discouraged. Start with a shorter amount of time until you feel more comfortable and add a little more time each day. Any time you spend will have its benefits.
So, there you have it. I hope you’ve learned a little more about oil pulling, how it works and what kind of benefits you may expect when you incorporate it into your daily practice. Watch the below video for more information on the many health benefits of Oil Pulling.
As holistic dentists, we've recommended products and services that supported our patients’ health for decades. In experiencing our own health challenges from mercury toxicity, we worked closely with many natural, alternative, and integrative health practitioners who aided our recovery as well as our patients’. We built this site to provide you with a simple-to-use, comprehensive, informational, and functional resource for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health & well-being.