Oil pulling has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. This is a traditional Indian healing method that has a long history of success.
It’s believed that oil pulling helps keep your mouth healthy, and also helps your body to get rid of toxins. This, in turn, is supposed to help your overall health.
Of course, I have no way to measure it’s effects. I don’t have a home laboratory. Plus, no good tests exist that measure toxin removal.
But I do know that my teeth feel a lot cleaner when I swish coconut oil around in my mouth for as long as possible.
I first heard about oil pulling a number of years ago. It was around the time I changed my entire lifestyle. I started eating real food and using natural remedies. Whatever I did started to work. Chronic widespread body pain was ruining my life. Getting it under control (by reducing inflammation) gave me my life back.
Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits
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I can’t say how much of a role oil pulling played in my overall pain reduction. Partly because I was using so many other natural remedies at the same time.
One of the downsides (for me anyway) is that it was difficult to remember to do oil pulling every day. However, I’ve found an easy way to remember, since I now do it whenever I clean my teeth.
I usually brush my teeth with DIY toothpaste made with coconut oil and other ingredients. There’s enough coconut oil in the paste to do oil pulling before I spit my toothpaste out. This is what works for me.
What Is Oil Pulling?
If you’re not familiar with the concept of oil pulling, it’s pretty simple. You simply put about 3/4 of a teaspoon of an edible oil in your mouth and swish it around for as long as possible. Then you spit it out.
I’ve seen time recommendations that say to keep the oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. But I’ve never been able to do it for that long.
Olive oil, almond oil, sesame oil or another oil you have in the house can all work. But coconut oil is very popular for oil pulling. That’s the one my own holistic dentist told me to use. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a natural antibacterial agent.
Just so you know, the oil may look clear when you put it in your mouth. But it turns a milky white after “pulling.”
One word of caution if you use coconut oil. Make sure to discard the “pulled” oil in the trash, rather than in the sink. That’s because it WILL clog your drain if you pull and spit repeatedly. My dentist warned me this would happen. He was right.
Does Oil Pulling Work?
Mainstream medicine is based upon drugs. A lot of research involves bringing new drugs to market. But there are a handful of studies on the efficacy of oil pulling.
One study that ran in the Nigerian Medical Journal found that oil pulling was effective at reducing plaque. So maybe that really clean feeling I get in my mouth after oil pulling isn’t my imagination, after all. The study said results were noticed after seven days, and after that the mouth environment continued to improve.
A separate review published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine noted that oil pulling is traditionally believed to cure a wide range of separate diseases. However, we don’t have modern data to support this theory.
However, I’m not afraid to try something that’s safe and tested by time, even without studies. At this point we do know that oil pulling helps maintain oral health.
Oil pulling is easy to do. It’s also very affordable. A lot of people who battle chronic illness can’t spend the money to see an integrative physician or a naturopath. These experts are generally very expensive. Insurance usually doesn’t cover tests or office visits.
You should know that many holistic health experts recommend oil pulling. I’m trying to do it every day now, when I brush my teeth. However, people with chronic health conditions should check with their own doctor before they try oil pulling.
How To Make Oil Pulling Toothpaste
My DIY toothpaste recipe has a coconut oil base, which is oily enough for oil pulling. Practically speaking, this is the best way for me to remember to do it daily.
Oil pulling probably needs to be done consistently, in order to receive the benefits. Toothpaste helps keep me on track.
So here’s how to make coconut oil toothpaste. I added natural Bentonite clay as a gentle abrasive and for its minerals.
1/2 cup of organic coconut oil (It’s available here)
1 drop of peppermint essential oil (You can find it here)
1 drop of Liquid stevia (You can get it here). I didn’t use this ingredient in my own batch of toothpaste because I didn’t need it sweetened. But you can use more or less stevia in order to sweeten to taste.
Mix the above ingredients in a clean glass bowl. Make sure to mix well. You can add a little more coconut oil if you wish. The proportion in the recipe above reminds me of the consistency of a high priced tube of coconut/clay toothpaste I once purchased. Store your toothpaste in a clean glass jar with a lid.