Wellness Tip: Oil Pulling

Wellness Tip: Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s far from a new idea. This technique can help detoxify the body and aid in digestion.

Oil pulling likely originated in India, as an ancient Ayurvedic medicinal practice. It’s another one of those folk remedies that can still benefit us today.

How to: Oil pulling

All you need is oil. Sesame oil is a good choice because it has additional antimicrobial properties, but you can also use coconut or safflower oil.

In the morning or the evening, swish 1 teaspoon of oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes.

That sounds like a long time to swish, but go easy, and relax — swish too aggressively and your jaw will ache. Just gentle swishing all around your teeth and gums.

When time’s up, spit out the oil into a wastebasket or paper towel — don’t spit it out in your sink, as the oil may create clogs in your drains. By the time you spit, the oil will have changed from clear/yellow to a milky white color. Don’t swallow!

After oil pulling, brush and floss normally. For the best benefit, repeat four times per week.

What are the benefits?

Your mouth is the gateway to your health. When it’s super clean, your whole body benefits. Oil pulling gets your mouth super clean, acting as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent. It’s especially helpful for those with receding gums or periodontal disease (though oil pulling is not a replacement for the dentist). One study has shown that oil pulling can reduce cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Because bacteria is absorbed by the oil, oil pulling may also be of benefit to those with sinus issues.

Oil pulling also helps stimulate digestive enzymes, which can help your body process nutrients efficiently. As soon as you smell or put food in your mouth, even if you don’t ingest it, enzymes in the gallbladder and liver are triggered to break down food and efficiently use it for fuel, rather than storing it as fat.

A clean and healthy mouth can also help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Oil pulling is also said to help improve bad breath.

Give it a try!