Oil Pulling: What Is It and How Do I Do It?

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Oil Pulling: Is It Effective? And How Do I Do It?

I had never heard of oil pulling until my boss brought it up to me at the office. I was talking about wanting whiter teeth in preparation for going off to college this Autumn, and she immediately suggested that I put plain coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around. Well, I have to say, that was a new concept for me. But she assured me she did it herself daily…and she does have very nice teeth…could there be something to this thing?

Upon some research, I discovered that the health world is absolutely booming about this “new” craze; turns out it has actually been around for several thousand years, in India where they have been oil pulling for centuries. But what exactly is oil pulling, and what does it do?

Oil pulling is quite simple, really; anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of coconut oil (sesame or sunflower is also sometimes used, but coconut is generally agreed to work and taste better than the others)  is placed in your mouth, and swished, or pulled, back and forth between your teeth for twenty minutes. The oil is then spit out into the trash or toilet, avoiding the sink because the oil can clog your pipes when hardened. Some people suggest rinsing with warm salt-water afterward, and brush your teeth as normal.

The best time is right when you get up, before the mouth has been introduced to any food or drink that day. Many people choose to do it while getting their morning showers; you -normally- don’t have to talk to anyone during that period of your day, and the measurable time frame helps to keep you from getting bored and spitting it out too soon.

What’s the Point of it All?

Here’s the confusing part. Sources all over the internet are trumpeting it’s praises to the highest vaults of heaven, when in truth some of the claims are kind of far fetched sounding, to put it kindly. Does it really work?

Well, from our experience, it definitely does work to help your teeth feel cleaner for longer throughout the day. It also has whitening properties, and, science tells us, it’s bacterial fighting power is indisputable. And from one of our own church friends, we’ve heard exciting news about her young son’s cavity…

We went for a regular dental checkup, they did the usual and found a cavity. I called Johnny to see if he wanted me to have them fill it, he said no, we’d wait and see what it looks like next visit.  I put Jacob on a strict diet: no sugars of any kind, no gluten, few carbs, lots of bone broth & raw butter, and the kicker was swishing with coconut oil at least 5 min. per day. Our next dental visit they found no cavity!!”

One of the purposes for oil pulling is it draw toxins out of the body through the mouth; this is part of the reason it whitens teeth. It pulls stains and other impurities through the tissue and into the oil, ready to be ejected when you spit and rinse. I was skeptical about this at first. How could that even work?

I tried it, however, and since my trashcan didn’t happen to have a bag in it at the moment, I spit the oil in a cup when I was finished with it, to be disposed of later. To my surprise, the coconut oil, which had been in it’s white solid state before, and clear when I was swishing it, was a sickly yellow when it set up afterwards. It was actually pretty disgusting, but it made me feel really good. All of that yuck had been in my mouth, and it wasn’t anymore! Oil pulling was doing it’s job, and that definitely was something that made me stay interested.

I don’t know if we can support all of the claims that oil pulling is a miracle cure that can banish all and any ills, but we do know that it works. It is an effective teeth-whitening, deep-cleaning tool, and it’s dental regeneration properties have been demonstrated in our own experiences. There are credited doctors that tell us the mouth is very much linked to the rest of the body.

As Dr. Karach, one of the biggest proponents of oil pulling says, “The Oil-therapy heals totally headaches, bronchitis, tooth pain, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers, intestinal diseases, heart and kidney diseases, encephalitis and woman’s diseases. Preventively the growth of malignant tumors is cut and healed. Chronic blood diseases, paralysis, diseases of nerves, stomach, lungs and liver and sleeplessness are cured.”1

I am not a licensed doctor, and I think more research would be required in order to positively claim these things. But from the effects that we have seen and experienced for ourselves, and from what we have seen it do for our friends, I definitely say that Oil Pulling is worth doing.

Have you any experience with Oil Pulling in the past? Are you intending to try it? Do you have any stories you’d like to share with us? Please let us know; we are exploring this exciting health practice alongside you.

1 Karach, F., MD. Pulling Oil — from a lecture given by Dr. Karach. Journal of World Teletherapy Association. APR — JUN 1992. <http://www.oilpulling.com/PULLING%20OIL_karacharticle.pdf>