Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice that has been getting a lot of attention over the last several years, and for good reason! Oil pulling is an easy practice that incorporates the swishing of coconut oil around in your mouth first thing in the morning. This deep cleaning practice helps to draw out harmful toxins from your gums and bloodstream.
"Oil pulling is an ancient ritual and used primarily in India’s Ayurvedic medicine, also known as gandusha. They believe that it can purify the entire system as each section of the tongue is connected to different organs such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology." - Us + The Earth
Benefits of Oil Pulling
This ancient technique has been around for literally thousands of years, but there's now loads of medical and scientific evidence to support it! And, when practiced several times a week, it can help maintain oral, as well as fully body, health. Here's a few more reasons why you should be oil pulling regularly:
Reduces germs that lead to bad breath
Healthy gums and mouth
Fewer cavities and tooth decay
Health of the entire body
Lowered risk of heart disease
Prevents gingivitis and plaque
Blood sugar balance
Lowered risk of infection and illness
The reason this practice is so incredible is because gum health can often be linked to the health of your internal organs, and therefore the rest of your body. Research has shown strong evidence that gum disease is connected to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
According to WebMD “A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand in hand. Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease and perhaps even preserving your memory in your golden years. The phrase ‘healthy mouth, healthy you’ really is true -- and backed by growing scientific evidence.”
Our mouths are the gateway where bacteria and toxins often enter our body. It is believed that many chronic respiratory illnesses and digestive diseases can be reduced with proper oral hygiene. The more bacteria and toxins we can eliminate from our mouth, the less chances we have of accumulating harmful disease-causing bacteria in our body.
How to Oil Pull
You should oil pull first thing in the morning and before eating or drinking anything. Oil pulling should be done with a fatty oil, such as sunflower or olive oil. In traditional Ayurvedic practices, sesame oil was used for pulling, which is another great choice.
My personal preference is coconut oil because it doesn't have much of a taste and is easy to find at the local grocery store. It also has many antibacterial properties. When choosing a fatty oil, make sure that it's organic and unrefined - essentially, the less processed, the better.
Most of the germs found in the mouth and gums are covered in a fatty membrane. The fatty oil used in oil pulling acts like a magnet that attracts these fatty cells to the oil and "pulls" them out or your gums and body. It's important that you spit the oil out of your mouth after oil pulling and rinse your mouth well.
If you're new to oil pulling, you can follow these simple steps:
Combine a generous spoonful (about 1 tbsp.) of coconut oil and 1-2 drops of essential oil together.
Place the oil in your mouth and swish it for 10-20 minutes. Occasionally pull the oil through your teeth and be sure to swish it in all corners and crevices of the mouth and tongue.
Spit out the oil and thoroughly rinse your mouth with water or an all-natural mouth rinse. I love dōTERRA's On Guard Mouthwash.
Repeat 3-5 times per week.
Oil Pulling Tips for Beginners
I remember the first time I tried oil pulling... twenty minutes felt like a long time! But it is the magic number that most experts have agreed on to get the most benefits. You can oil pull while you're doing your other morning chores and routines - make the bed, journal, shower, get dressed, start the coffee brewer, put away the dishes, and pack-up or meal prep your lunches. Before you know it, it will be time to spit and rinse.
If this is your first-time oil pulling, start with 5 minutes, then slowly work your way up until you can complete the full 20 minute time frame. It might take you several weeks to get there, but just be patient and trust the process. Eventually, oil pulling will feel very normal and easy.
Also, the first time I oil pulled, I remember how sore and tired the muscles in my mouth felt. Swishing for 20 minutes is a lot of mouth movement. So, my advice for beginners is to remember that oil pulling is different than rinsing your mouth with mouthwash for 60-seconds. You don't have to swish as intensely or aggressively as you might be used to. In fact, this process is supposed to be gentle and stress-free. So, relax your muscles and go easy!
Finally, make sure you spit out the oil when you're done. Do not swallow it. Remember, that the used oil will be filled with loads of germs, toxins, and bacteria, and so it needs to be discarded properly. Some people don't like to spit oil down their sink because of its risk of clogging the drains. If you do spit it down the drain, run your sink with hot water for a few seconds to prevent clogging. Another option is to discard your oil into a napkin or trash can. Rinsing your mouth right after will help ensure you've eliminated all the toxins as well.
Essential Oils for Oil Pulling
I love adding 1-2 drops of essential oils to my fatty oil each morning that I oil pull. The essential oils add flavor to this process and have a lot of added benefits:
Lemon or Orange: These delicious and uplifting citrus oils can help to naturally whiten your teeth.
Peppermint or Spearmint: A great option if you prefer minty, fresh breath. Also good for digestive health.
Clove: A powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cavities. It also has a numbing effect on toothaches and pain.
Oregano: Used to support oral infections, sore throats, and canker sores.
Tea Tree: A powerful antiseptic and cleansing agent; another good option for canker and cold sores.
Cinnamon: Tastes delicious and is a powerful eliminator of hard-to-kill bacteria and infections. Try my personal favorite oil pulling combination = 1 drop cinnamon oil + 1 drop Madagascar vanilla oil.
You can shop my essential oil shop and receive 25% off all products: start shopping! Each purchase supports families like mine to gain financial freedom and spend more time doing what we love.