Ever wondered what oil pulling is? What is it for? Why do people do it? It’s probably not what you think it is. Let’s explore and learn a little about the health benefits and uses for the coconut oil you may have in your kitchen right now.
When you Google what oil pulling is, you will see that Wikipedia defines it as: ‘Oil pulling or oil swishing is a folk remedy where oil is “swished” (kavala graha) or “held” (snigda gandoosha) in the mouth. The phrase “oil pulling” and usage in its current form was popularized in the early 1990s by one of the early adopters, Tummala Koteswara Rao in Bangalore, South India. Rao actively evangelized oil pulling as an ancient Ayurvedic practice.’ So again, what is this practice? How do I do it?
Now the other information you will see is the debate raised as to whether or not its folklore, or a true medicinal remedy. According to a few sites, there is not research or evidence that supports the use of oil pulling as a Ayurvedic medicinal remedy. Some dentist remain skeptical that edible oils can have such strong oral health benefits.
But I think it is worth a try, so here is what you do: To start you need to pick an oil, I think the most common is coconut oil due to its strong antibacterial properties. You then take a tablespoon of it and swish it round in your mouth for 20 minutes. That seems like a really long time to me! But if you can withstand the time consuming swishing practice, its reported that you will have whiter teeth, reduced cavities and gingivitis, better smelling breathe, reduced jaw pain if you are a sufferer of TMJ, improved skin reduction of acne and psoriasis) and here is a kicker…some report it alleviates headaches and can diminish a hangover!
Once you have swished for 20 minutes, the amount you have in your mouth ill seem to double. DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL. The increase in volume is reported to include the toxins the oil is pulling from your body. You will defeat the procedure if you swallow the oil. You will want to spit it out in the trash so it doesn’t harden and make a plumbing issue. Now brush and floss as you normally do.
While there is little clinical data, many swear this procedure works. If you can handle the swishing and the thought of having all those toxins removed from the body, you will most likely reap the benefits many report. Is it real results or a placebo effect? Well the true test could be in the whitening of the teeth. In my times of doing an oil pull, it has in fact removed coffee stains from my teeth and left my mouth feeling clean. A headache is sometimes felt, but I really think this is the detoxification process. As when I get a massage, you have to drink plenty of water to flush your body fully of these toxins.
We still don’t know if oil pulling is as good and effective as some people claim it is, but it is still practiced, so I think there has to be some truth to the results. At the very least, we know cleaning our mouths with coconut oil can’t hurt us, especially with all of the added benefits like the fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E, and K. These vitamins can help improve your skin at the very least. It has antibacterial properties that I find help cleanse my mouth, along with the stain removing. I think it may be time for some clinical research and trials to be done. We need some concrete evidence!