Oil Pulling – What is it and what can it do for me?
Oil pulling has some seriously old roots. Originating back in India thousands of years ago, it is one of the oldest health practices in the world, but it is still widely unknown in much of the modern world.
So what exactly is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an oral health care technique that involves using oil in the mouth in a similar way we use mouthwash. However, instead of using manufactured products that are full of harsh chemicals, using oil is a pure and gentle way of removing bacteria, plaque and toxins and improving our oral health.
What are the key benefits of oil pulling?
There are plenty of reasons why you may wish to swish and consider oil pulling as a natural alternative to oral hygiene. These include:
- It gently removes plaque and bacteria, making it ideal for sensitive teeth and gums.
- It can help with the prevention of mouth and gum diseases including cavities and gingivitis.
- It can prevent halitosis/bad breath.
- It whitens your teeth.
- It can improve dryness of the mouth, lips and throat.
- It can help to remedy bleeding gums.
- It promotes biological healing by stimulating the body’s eliminatory system and encouraging self-healing to take place.
This can improve conditions such as asthma, arthritis and skin conditions.
Doesn’t it taste foul?
One of the primary concerns that people have about starting oil pulling is the taste. We would be lying if we said it was the same as mouthwash – it really isn’t, but that is because it isn’t full of chemicals designed to produce a false taste!
The exact taste will vary depending on which type of oil you choose to use – for example, many people agree that coconut oil is much nicer for oil pulling than sesame oil or olive oil. It really does come down to personal taste. It is also worth remembering that you could also add a drop of Essential Oils to improve the flavor such as mint or lemon.
So how do I go about doing it?
There are two main oil pulling techniques. The Kavala technique involves putting a tablespoon of oil into your mouth, holding and swirling it around your mouth and spitting it out. Recommended times vary, but it typically suggests between one to two minutes of holding and anything up to twenty minutes of swishing. Some individuals choose to start off with smaller time periods and gradually increase them as they find they can hold the oil for longer.
The Gandusa technique involves simply holding the oil in your mouth, no swishing required. However, this technique suggests that the process is repeated two or even three times to ensure that all toxins have been flushed from the mouth.
What oils can I use?
There are a few possibilities when it comes to choosing an oil for pulling, and it is worth remembering that different types of oils may have different health properties associated with them.
Traditionally sesame oil or butter oil (ghee) were used in Ayurvedic times. However, now coconut oil is a popular choice as it can be used solid and allowed to melt in the mouth. Coconut oil is also the only oil that prevents against streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay.
Are we pulling your leg?
Absolutely not! There is plenty of evidence supporting the use of oil pulling as a positive and natural addition to your usual oral care routine. Used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, oil pulling can help ensure you have healthy teeth and gums for many years to come.