I get “geeked” about discovering natural healing remedies that work, especially when they’re really simple, which is what’s led me to post this blog about oil pulling. I’d never even heard of “oil pulling” before, until I developed a toothache the other day. Being the rootsy, backyard medicine enthusiast I am, instead of making a dentist’s appointment, I decided to Google for information about holistic dental care, which is how I stumbled across this ancient Ayurvedic folk remedy.
Oil Pulling originated in India and is said to be a ritual that’s used not just for dental hygiene, but to purify the body as a whole. Basically, you take about a tablespoon of sesame seed or coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, first thing in the morning (and on an empty stomach) without swallowing it, then spit it out.
So I decided to try it, since I had virgin coconut oil on hand. After swishing and sloshing the oil about in my mouth, I noticed my teeth felt polished, not oily, but plaque-free. When I spit it out, even before I rinsed my mouth I could feel an innate freshness in my mouth that surpassed the clean-mouth feeling I get after brushing my teeth in the morning. To top it off, when I pushed my tongue against my tooth, it no longer ached! I had to really apply pressure on it to feel any remnant of the ache I felt before. Prior to the oil-pull, even the slightest pressure on my back tooth would invoke a dull ache. So I’m sold! Here’s the mechanism of action.
The oils are said to mix with saliva, and apparently the action of “swishing” it in your mouth like mouthwash activates the enzymes, causing them to draw toxins out of the blood. Oh yeah, whenever you try this, do not gargle or swallow the oil because it becomes toxic. As you continue, pull the oil through your teeth and the oil should become viscous or sticky and turn white. It’s supposed to take up to 20 minutes for the enzymes from the fat in the oils to pull toxins from not just your mouth, but your entire body. Once you’ve finished swishing, spit out the oil into a paper cup and discard it outside. Don’t spit it into the sink or the toilet or it could cause plumbing issues.
Now for the cool part… this simple procedure is believed to reverse gum disease, tighten loose teeth and heal a multitude of ills from toothaches, to female hormonal problems, heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis… and tons of others chronic ailments. Sounds like quackery, right? But it’s not. Oil Pulling has been researched and documented extensively in Indian medical journals, and the practice has been done for thousand of years. I’m going to incorporate this into my morning routine. If you have your own “oil pulling” success story, please add your comments below. I’d love to hear about it.