What is Oil Pulling?

5 Aug

I’ve seen a lot of articles recently on oil pulling, so I decided to do a little research of my own and find out what all the fuss was about! If you’ve been as curious as I have, here is the low-down:

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What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action is said to draw out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health. Toxins and bacteria hiding under crevices in your gums and pores of your teeth get caught in the oil and eliminated from your body when you spit the oil out.

What are the benefits?

The reported benefits include whiter teeth, better breath, alleviation of sinus issues, cavity and gingivitis prevention, healthier gums, alleviation of headaches, hangovers, and skin problems.

What is the process?

The most popular oil to use is coconut oil as it tastes the best and has antibacterial properties, but you can apparently use an other type of oil if you prefer. For my experiment I used all-natural, organic coconut oil.

First, you are to oil pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You are supposed to use a tablespoon of oil, but I found it to be a lot so I just used a teaspoon. It was a funny feeling at first because of the texture, but once the oil softened it was OK. You are supposed to swish, pull, push, and work the oil gently around your mouth for 20 minutes, but I only lasted 10 before giving up. I recommend having a routine where you do emails, watch TV, read a book, etc. to make the time go faster!

Once 20 minutes has passed, spit the oil into the garbage (not the sink as it will harden and clog). Rinse your mouth with water and brush/floss teeth. Voila!

The verdict:

I asked my dental hygienist if she had heard of oil pulling or recommended it. She said she had, but that she would consider it just a really good natural mouthwash. Coconut oil contains lots of vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant, and also has antibacterial and antifungal properties thanks to the lauric acid and monolaurin. It also has many easily-digestible vitamins – A, D, and K which are great for your bones, teeth, and immune system. However, there is not a lot of formal research out there to know for sure how much it can actually benefit you. What we do know – it can’t hurt! Just be sure you don’t replace brushing and flossing with oil pulling…it is not a substitute!

Have you tried oil pulling? If not, would you try it? Let me know!

 

Source: http://authoritynutrition.com/oil-pulling-coconut-oil/

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2 Responses to “What is Oil Pulling?”

  1. weight2lose2013 August 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM #

    Sounds really interesting, but 20 minutes in the morning may conflict with getting to work on time. 🙂

    • erika August 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM #

      My thoughts too!

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