Tag Archives: hindu

Health: Oil Pulling. I’m Swishing. It’s Bizarre.


I found this wonderful blog post last week about Oil Pulling written by the amazingly patient Erica Stolling.

What is oil pulling? In a nutshell it’s a multi-thousand-year cleansing ritual with Ayurvedic origins which combines the antibacterial properties of your own saliva and salivary glands with the antimicrobial, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory properties (and other benefits) of unrefined coconut oil to correct numerous health concerns.

Ayurvedic health is: – (ayurveda) (Sanskrit) an ancient medical treatise summarizing the Hindu art of healing and prolonging life; sometimes regarded as a 5th Veda.

Because many toxins posses oil-linking properties, they attach to the oil which is being swished in your mouth for just 20 minutes daily and are excreted when you spit out the oil. The claimed benefits associated with oil pulling are myriad:

  • whiter teeth
  • better sleep
  • healthier gums
  • healthier teeth
  • addresses hormonal imbalances
  • helps with pain
  • helps with psoriasis
  • reduces or eliminates pain from TMJ
  • helps with acne
  • reverses cavities
  • cures / aids a hangover (what?!)
  • aids with migraines
  • reduced allergies or better tolerance

Here’s another blog post about the benefits of oil pulling which does a better job of explaining the hows than I do. I can’t be bothered with details right now; I just want to try it:

What makes oil pulling effective? According to its advocates, swishing the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes eventually gets bacteria to cling to the oil. When the oil is spit out, so too are the toxins that are harmful to your body.

The reason I did it is because I wanted whiter teeth and healthier gums and let’s face it: I’m beginning my womanly eventide and if this can help balance out the hormones… I am IN.

Erica has entertained numerous repeated questions on her own blog and so I’m going to distill them down to the common denominators:

  • The best time to oil pull is in the morning with a clean palette.
  • DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL in your mouth. Spit it out.
  • Use between just about a teaspoon to a tablespoon. I’m using a teaspoon. What you put in will double in volume in your mouth because of your saliva.
  • You can use oils other than coconut due to allergies or taste preferences; suggested oils are sesame or almond and sunflower oils.
  • Unrefined coconut oil is the best to use; I bought mine at Costco months ago after my yoga retreat and have been using it for cooking and skin and hair care.
  • Coconut oil will melt to liquid when exposed to temperatures above 78˚f. If you have issues with texture, place it under your tongue and let it melt; I wouldn’t dare expose it to a microwave. You can also run the oil container under warm water to melt it; but I don’t know if that’s good for the oil that’s left over or if it would speed up its aging.
  • If you can’t do 20 minutes, try to do 10 minutes twice a day.
  • 20 minutes is the magic number.
  • RINSE!! Swish more with JUST plain water in your mouth for 10 seconds and spit. Three times, just to get all the residue out.  

Here is the tub of unrefined Coconut oil that I bought at Costco:

it's massive. i think it won't run out until 2020. but it expires in 2015. i better get a move on.

it’s massive. i think it won’t run out until 2020. but it expires in 2015. i better get a move on.

Remembering to swish is hard for me. Yesterday I worked harder to swish and my cheeks tired out; today was easier because I took it easier. Look, anything new and funky will throw you off a bit, so go into it all gradually.

I take a teaspoon. It’s all I can muster. The funny thing is, after the initial intake, it doesn’t feel oily; it’s rather fluid, almost watery.

I find myself fighting a gag reflex; I know I’m not swallowing the oil, but I have to calm myself down a little, center and count a smidge. I know it’s a matter of habituating the experience.

I do it after I have something to eat. Sorry. Maybe once I get more used to this I’ll do it first thing in the morning.

Today is day two. This is is a pic of my teeth today:

my teeth. look only at my teeth. ok... look at my bookshelf. it's like my intellectual medicine cabinet.

my teeth. look only at my teeth. ok… look at my bookshelf. it’s like my intellectual medicine cabinet.

I will also update this as I go along.

So far:

I slept beautifully last night.

My teeth were squeaky clean after I spat it out. I drink coffee or tea every day, so this is impressive already.

I spat it into a baggie. Then I trashed the baggie. To be more environmentally conscious, I will try to spit it directly into the trash next time… baby steps.

I didn’t have any yucky feeling or taste in my mouth afterward.

I hope it helps my teeth; my parents had teeth trouble, but a lot of that could be chalked up to lifestyle.

I’m in. I’ll update this every once in a while after the first week.

(Day 3: it’s getting less gross-seeming; it’s definitely a psychological hump to overcome.)

If you do this, tell me how you’re doing! Ask me any questions!

Thank you.

Ps — here’s a nice post about the benefits of coconut oil… on Dr. Oz’s website. 

Here’s another great post: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

Just in case you’re stuck in carpool and want to read 333 reasons why coconut oil is beneficial: http://www.endalldisease.com/333-uses-for-coconut-oil/

Here’s another post, The Edible Beauty Routine” written by the lovely and dazzling Lillian Connelly: http://www.makesfunofstuff.com/2012/10/coconut-oil-the-edible-beauty-routine/