Oil Pulling

If you’re looking to ramp up your health and hygiene practices, your focus may not go immediately to your teeth – but the mouth is an important gateway to many problems and many cures!

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice for clean teeth, healthy gums, and easy detoxification. It’s quite simple: before eating, drinking, or even brushing your teeth, you take one tablespoon of oil (specifically sesame oil, but more about that later), and swish it around your mouth for about fifteen to twenty minutes. You want the oil to reach every part of your mouth, so tilt your chin up slightly to get behind and around your molars. Use swishing, chomping, sucking and pulling motions to reach all the nooks and crannies between your teeth. After twenty minutes, the oil should be white and foamy in your mouth – if it’s still yellow, keep going! When you’re done, spit and rinse well. Finish up with drinking two or three glasses of water.

Making oil pulling a regular part of your morning routine has a ton of benefits. People have avoided fillings, root canals and other painful, costly and invasive dental procedures with just a few weeks of oil pulling. A 2008 study showed a 20% average reduction in gingivitis-causing bacteria after just 40 days of oil pulling. It’s been suggested oil pulling can even help things like migraines, TMJ, arthritis and congestion, among many other conditions. Plus it whitens your teeth, no bleach necessary!

How does a simple tablespoon of oil do this? I’m sure our readers are already aware of the many healing benefits of oil consumption. All those healthy fats found in high quality oil will collect bacteria as you swish it through your mouth, as well as increase saponification in the mouth, which makes it more difficult for new bacteria to grow. Oil also may help contribute to cell restructuring, supporting the lymph nodes and correcting hormonal imbalances. Sesame oil in particular has been shown to reduce the level of Streptococcus mutans, the main bacteria that contributes to tooth decay.

It’s been mentioned a couple times that sesame oil is not the only way to go when it comes to oil pulling. In fact, any oil can be used – they all have different benefits. Many of our clients choose to add Neem oil to the mix, which adds to the antibacterial property of the oil solution, or any essential oil that you wish to reap benefits from. For a more intensive treatment, we recommend a Neem oil and Neem bark paste, followed by oil pulling.

Check out the following resources for more information regarding different oil types for oil pulling:
The Institute of Complementary Therapies
Care2: Green Living