What is Oil Pulling?
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Oil Pulling or Oil Swishing has become very popular in recent years amongst natural health enthusiasts’. It is not uncommon these days for dentists to recommend oil pulling in a daily oral hygiene routine, so the practice is now becoming more mainstream. Oil Pulling is an age old technique in Ayurveda medicine that entails swishing oil, preferably, sesame, sunflower or coconut oil, around the mouth. This effectively draws/pulls out toxins that reside in the mouth and in turn, reduces inflammation. The term Oil Pulling is the new denomination for the practice made popular by a Doctor by the name Fedor Karach.
Dr Karach is a firm believer that Oil Pulling can help any condition. He believes it free’s up the immune system to tackle other needing areas of the body. He says, “The Oil-therapy can heal headaches, bronchitis, tooth pain, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers, intestinal diseases, heart and kidney diseases, encephalitis and woman’s diseases. Preventively, the growth of malignant tumors is reduced and healed. Chronic blood diseases, paralysis, diseases of nerves, stomach, lungs and liver and sleeplessness are also cured.”
It is no doubt, a bold claim. Online, there has been amazing testimonies from a number of people. There are claims that their conditions have been completely eradicated, chronic disease symptoms improving or even outright cured in some cases. It is hard to know how accurate these claims are but one thing anyone interested in the practice agrees on is there is no harm in doing it
There is not an extensive amount of scientific studies done on this holistic practice. In the mid 90’s, a survey conducted in India wrote in the local paper, asking if people had had any success with oil-pulling. The replies, both quality and quantity baffled them. Literally, thousands wrote in saying they experienced health benefits relating to heartburn, cancers, diabetes, migraines and so much more. The findings astonished the researchers. It has amassed a pretty impressive resume of testimonies, unfortunately, there is no scientific backing. So how is this possible?
How Does it Work?
First, we have to know that on average, every human mouth has over 500 different kinds of bacteria living in it. These bacteria are caused by decaying food, plaque build-up and the harmful chemicals we are exposed to in our urban environment. The issue for people is, that it is next to impossible to fully rid the mouth of bacteria and plaque with just brushing or even flossing. Between the gums and the teeth, forms little miniature crevasses where bacteria gets lodged and subsequently dies releasing exotoxins which are directly absorbed into the blood stream via the irritated gums. Consider it similar to an IV drip constantly feeding toxins to the blood. These will not kill you or seriously harm you as the body’s immune system can handle it, but it can most certainly contribute to the deterioration of an already present condition.
When the gums are easily irritated it is called gingivitis, which, if left untreated, will develop into a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontal disease. When the gums become inflamed and start to bleed, this contributes to the separation of the gum from the teeth. Between the area of the gum and tooth, bacteria build-up becomes rampant. All of this leads to extremely harmful health risks.
How does oil pulling help this?
When oil-pulling is added to a morning routine, it helps to draw these toxins from the mouth, by lubing up the mouth and getting down in places mouthwash cannot due to the oily nature of an oil. The oil binds to the excreted toxins, drawing them from the gums which you can see by the change of color in the oil. With this, toxins and bacteria are taken care of daily and the immune system is freed up so it can concentrate on other areas of the body where it will be needed.
Gum absorption is not the only way these toxins find their way into our system. Each and every time we swallow saliva it is contaminated with exotoxins and endotoxins which are by-products of decaying bacteria. This form of low-grade infection is absorbed into our bodies all day, every day. It becomes a mighty task for the immune system to deal with.
Be helpful to yourself and give oil pulling a try. It is a healthy and cheap alternative to help keep your mouth and body healthy, which will save you time and money that you have to spend at the dentist. It is still necessary to see your dentist regularly, it will mean that your check-ups are a lot easier and you won’t have to make as many follow-up appointments that you once had to. Try it for 7 weeks, you will only use a 230ml bottle of oil. Prevention really is the best treatment.
How to do it!
It is best done in the morning before you brush your teeth or use mouthwash. You should measure a teaspoon of sesame, sunflower or even coconut oil. I prefer to use coconut oil as it has amazing antifungal and anti-bacterial properties
Put the oil in your mouth and swish around gently or else your mouth may get tired or sore. This should be done for 20 minutes ideally but 10 minutes is better than no minutes at all.
Tip: do it whilst you’re in the shower getting ready before your day starts. Swish the oil back and forth and side-to-side. It helps to tilt the head slightly, but don’t swallow it.
Try to get it in every crevice and area of your mouth. This is where the toxins reside and flourish the most. It is very important not to swallow as the oil as it contains the toxins and bacteria you are trying to eliminate. When the oil becomes a thin, white solution, you can spit it out. If you have not reached this stage, you have not committed enough time. When this white color shows, spit it out in the toilet or bin. It is possible that it could solidify if spat in the sink so try to avoid this if possible.
Next, gargle some water and spit out it out. After this, brush your teeth and follow your usual mouth hygiene schedule. I have read online that people have been seeing better and faster results when adding some essential oils such as tea tree oil. I have not tried this yet so I do not personally know how effective it is.
What I have Noticed
I first came across the process of oil pulling a few years back but never gave it a go as I did not like the idea of having oil in my mouth. It was only last year, when I fully engrossed myself in research surrounding it, that I decided that there was no harm in trying! I have been oil pulling on and off for a year now. I began to notice some results within a week.
In a week:
My breath in the morning definitely improved, my mouth felt fresher and I had a cleansed palette. Also, during this time, I noticed increased sensitivity with my taste buds.
In a month:
Within a month, my gums had stopped bleeding entirely. I never had excessive bleeding, but at times, especially when I brushed a little more vigorously than usual, my gums would bleed. I had this issue for years wand tried to improve the issue through brushing, flossing and mouthwash, to no avail. My sinus had cleared completely and I felt I could breathe so much more effortlessly. I saw an improvement in my skin, my mild asthma, my happiness, and my fingernails. I had whiter teeth, my hair improved, everything really.
I could not fully be sure that this was solely due to oil-pulling as at this time, I had incorporated other health hacks to my lifestyle so an accurate determination would not be possible. Although I have it introduced to my morning ritual at home, I do travel quite a lot and when I do, I often do not bring the oil with me and therefore don’t Oil Pull while I am away. This actually turned out to help me in determining whether the techniques are effective or not.
When I Stopped:
When I stopped oil pulling as I was traveling South East Asia with my girlfriend, the symptoms I experienced beforehand had unfortunately slowly came back. The occasional gum bleeding, the morning breath and the sinus problem all crept back into existence. From this alone, I could conclude the health improvements associated with oil pulling were real and indeed nothing short of amazing.