In the traditional Indian practice of Ayurveda, oil pulling is a method of oral hygiene. It is said to be detoxifying, cleansing and a way to prevent illness. If you believe that overall good health begins in the mouth, this age-old remedy might be worth a try.
The process oil pulling is quite simple. Begin with one tablespoon of organic, extra virgin cold pressed coconut, sesame or sunflower oil. Place the oil in your mouth and push it around with your tongue over your teeth, being careful not to swallow. (Many multi-tasking health seekers say they start their oil pulling sessions as they step in the shower.) Begin by swishing for five minutes, ultimately working up to 15-20 minutes for each session. Spit the oil out and then brush your teeth. Do not swallow the used oil, as the toxin-filled mixture could make you sick. Release your used oil into a container and place into the trash. Do not spit oil into the drain, as it might solidify and clog the pipes. While not a replacement to brushing and flossing, oil pulling can be a worthwhile addition to your daily routine. It’s also safe and easy enough that a young child can do it.
Proponents of oil pulling claim that among its many benefits are:
- Helps halitosis
- Cleans and brightens teeth
- Dissolves harmful bacteria in the mouth
- Reduces plaque and gingivitis
- Reduces and even reverses cavities
- Acts as a general body detox
- Can help clear and clarify the skin
That’s a mouthful
Oil pulling is one way to improve oral health. Think of your mouth as the pearly gates to the rest of your body. When the mouth is super clean, the body can focus on other functions to help you feel better. The oil works as it flows over the teeth and gums by removing bacteria that brushing and flossing can’t reach, leaving a smooth, fresh, clean surface in its wake. A healthy mouth can ultimately mean less inflammation in the body, which also means improved overall well-being. This could lead to better skin, more energy, improved moods and a decrease in other chronic aches, pains, or illnesses. To fairly evaluate the benefits provided by oil pulling, you’ll want to commit to a daily practice for at least one month.
If you’ve never tried oil pulling, it’s worth a shot. Maybe you can use your oil pulling time to watch my 10 minute segments on KCWI channel 23! The time will fly by, your health will be enhanced and you will have caught up on your reading. That should bring a smile to your face!