Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. The Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of improving oral health and providing other health benefits. While no medical research can solidify these claims, the amount of information available online definitely supports it.
Here are a few of the numerous claimed benefits of oil pulling:
- Strengthening of teeth, gums, and jaw
- Whitening of teeth
- Prevention of bad breath
- Healthy kidney function support
- Increase in energy
- Clear skin
- Helps detoxify the body
- Helps with better sleep quality
Oil Pulling Instructions:
1. Choose an Oil
Coconut oil is very popular, because of its sweet, tolerable taste. However, lots of people suggest that sunflower and sesame have been shown to be the most effective. Make sure the oil is liquid; some people suggest putting solid coconut oil in your mouth and letting it melt, while I found it much easier to just begin with liquid. The recommendation is one tablespoon of oil. However, I suggest starting with a teaspoon and working your way up to a tablespoon.
2. Swish the Oil
Swish it around your mouth, through your teeth, aiming to reach all areas. One thing I found helpful was to floss my teeth beforehand. This will make it easier to “suck” the oil between teeth. You’ll find that this is quite a jaw/neck workout and not that easy at all. Swish for up to 20 minutes, but again, building up time is almost necessary. I found that I could only last for 3-5 minutes for the first few times I tried it.
It’s important that you spit the oil into the toilet or trash, as it can clog drains in the shower or sink. I like to spit mine into a small cup and dump it in the trash. I found it most comfortable to rinse my mouth out with warm water afterward, and then brush my teeth shortly after.
Oil Pulling Tips:
- Research suggests that oil pulling is done in the morning, on an empty stomach. This creates a more thorough detox.
- Some people suggest oil pulling while you’re in the shower. This is when I found it to be easiest, as it fits into my schedule. You could also do it while watching TV, making breakfast, or anytime you see fit.
- If the taste is what’s keeping you from oil pulling, try adding some mint extract to the oil. I put 2-3 drops of peppermint extract in a ½ tablespoon, and it was a much more pleasant experience.
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