There have been a ton of articles written about oil pulling and almost everyone knows someone who has tried it. But does oil pulling really work? If you read anything by the “I hate all things natural health” enthusiasts, the answer is no. Green drinks don’t work, vegetables are bunk, essential oils are a joke, and the only thing swishing a bunch of oil around in your mouth will pull out are your brain cells.
You shouldn’t believe what you read on Snopes either because they don’t know what they’re talking about. Oil pulling is awesome. Did you know there are actually studies on it? I’m for real. There are some serious benefits to swishin’ some oil, but it has to be the right oil and used in the right way for you to see any benefit whatsoever, so let’s clear up all things oil pulling, shall we?
What is oil pulling?
Oil pulling isn’t some new fad thought up by people who had way too much time on their hands. It’s been around for at least 3,000 years and involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes – usually first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth, and before eating.
Because the micro-organisms in your mouth are typically single-celled and covered with a fatty membrane, these cells naturally adhere to the oil and when you spit out the oil, out go the germs – the same nasties that cause bad breath, gingivitis, and that grungy color on our teeth aint’ nobody find attractive. Makes sense, right?
So, why would you do it?
If you’re looking for some valid reasons to oil pull from the American Dental Association, don’t waste your time. They’re too busy promoting neurotoxic fluoride treatments and mercury fillings. It’s not their fault, they’re just trained to have an aversion to simple, effective, natural remedies in favor of neurotoxins and the industries that promote them.
So, we’ll have to look elsewhere:
In 1996, an Indian newspaper (Andhra Jyoti) conducted a survey to analyze the effectiveness of oil pulling. Out of 1041 people, 89% reported significant health benefits like better skin, circulation, and blood sugar, hormonal balance, improved joint pain, and better pooper function. Oil pulling has been found to be as effective as chlorhexidine in the treatment of bad breath, reduces strep bacteria in the mouth, and reduces plaque and lowers microorganisms in those with gingivitis. I could go on, but do I need to? Let’s face it, I had you at “bad breath.”
Some people claim that oil pulling could pull out toxins in the body? In theory, if those toxins are fat soluble and they’re floating around in your mouth, I guess it’s possible. Either way though, you have nothing to lose…unless you have mercury fillings which are constantly vaporizing, in which case, you should proceed with caution.
What type of oil should I use?
If you’re going to do oil pulling, you should either use raw coconut oil or sesame oil. You can’t just take a swig of something highly refined and expect it to do anything beneficial for your mouth. If you’re oil pulling for gum health, use raw coconut oil as the lauric acid (found in coconut oil) has proven anti inflammatory and anti microbial effects and could be effective at decreasing plaque and gingivitis.
If you’re wanting to re-mineralize or whiten your teeth, use raw coconut oil and add a little turmeric. It blows my mind that something super orange could whiten your teeth, but it does. If you’re oil pulling during a detox, use a high quality sesame oil.
Here are the brands of oil I use (because I know you’re going to ask!):
(Note, if you purchase off of Amazon from these links, I get a small commission, because hey, a girl’s gotta eat. These are the actual tried and true brands I use.)
Is oil pulling the end-all be-all of whatever it is that ails you? No. But it could freshen your breath, kill the nasties in your mouth, and whiten your teeth, so it’s bound to improve your make-out sessions. That in and of itself, makes oil pulling the best thing ever.