The Benefits of Oil Pulling

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

The Coconut Oil craze is still going strong and there is a new (really old) use of the wonder product, Oil Pulling.

What is Oil Pulling?

An old Ayurvedic practice, oil pulling involves swishing and pulling coconut oil through your teeth for up to 20 minutes. Fans of pulling cite benefits such as long-lasting fresh breath, healthier teeth and gums, and even relief from headaches and sinus problems.

How does it work?

It doesn’t need to be coconut oil, strictly speaking, since in essence, what pulling does is to use the fat in the oil to trap the bacteria in your mouth and between your teeth. You could use olive oil, although it’s recommended that you use as high a quality product as you can afford — you are swishing it in your mouth for 20 minutes, afterall. The headache and sinus relief, reasons for that are up for discussion, but it could have something to do with the increased blood flow to your face and head, caused by the constant movement of your mouth and face muscles.

What is Ayurvedic medicine?

Ayurvedic medicine is a South-Asian practice, which focuses on the use of herbal and plant sources to soothe both body and mind. It’s a practice that’s been around for 5,000 years, so like we said, oil pulling isn’t new.

The potential benefits of oil pulling:

  • Fresh breath
  • Whiter teeth
  • Healthy teeth and gums
  • Relief from headaches and sinus infections

How to pull oil:

  1. Place a teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil in your mouth and let it melt. Do this first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth.
  2. Swish the oil around your mouth like mouthwash, and pull it through your teeth in both directions.
  3. Repeat for a minimum of 10 minutes, up to 20 minutes.
  4. Spit out the oil, rinse with water, and brush your teeth.
  5. Do this 2-3 times a week.

A disclaimer: oil pulling is an old, old practice and is not really scientifically proven, but, its principles make sense, and it’s safe providing you don’t swallow the oil.

Sophie Angell

Sophie Angell

Writer and expert

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