Oil Pulling: Should You Try this Ancient Detox Method?


Oil pulling, or oil swishing, is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detoxing the mouth and the body as a whole. It was mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text that dates back from 300 to 500 CE. Oil pulling is a technique that enthusiasts claim improves oral health, detoxes the body, whitens your teeth, and treats diabetes, asthma, and eczema.

I recently added oil pulling to my daily regimen and though I can’t speak to its benefits of yet because I only just began last week, I can attest to the fact that my mouth feels cleaner already. Prior to oil pulling, I brushed, flushed, and tongue scraped each morning on an empty stomach. This was not only to clean my teeth but to remove the ama (toxic build up in Sanskrit) from my mouth and tongue. I’m hoping that oil pulling will not only serve to detox my mouth further, but also to naturally whiten my teeth.

Read more about what your tongue is trying to tell you about your health

Though there’s little scientific proof to back the method up, enthusiasts swear by it, saying that it improves dental hygiene dramatically, makes the gums glossier and pinker, and detoxes the entire body. There’s no harm no foul in giving the method a try because it basically involves swishing with organic oil for 15 to 20 minutes per day. Just make sure you don’t swallow the oil and re-ingest the toxins. This is a simple, affordable method of daily detox that’s worth giving a try.

Oil Pulling: The Method

1. Use an unrefined, cold pressed, organic oil like sesame or coconut oil. Avoid corn oil and canola oil. Also avoid oils that go rancid easily.

2. Do it first thing when you wake up in the morning on an empty stomach. As an added bonus, get your morning chores done in the time that you’re oil pulling.   

3.  Swish 1 tbsp of oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. At first, you may only be able to swish for 10 minutes and that’s just fine.

4.  When you spit, it comes out opaque even though the oil was clear when you started.

5.  Do not spit into the sink because it could clog the drain.

6.  Consider rotating oils for best results.

Read more about the dental benefits of coconut oil

Image via Veganbaking.net


By Sara Novak| August 13, 2015
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Sara Novak

Sara Novak

Sara Novak specializes in health and food policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger, HowStuffWorks.com, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. After graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Sara headed up the communication efforts for a national scholarship program in Washington, D.C. Sara has also handled copy writing and public relations for a global environmental consulting firm. She loves fiddling with healthful recipes, traveling, and exploring life atop her yoga mat. Today, Sara lives in Charleston with her husband and two lovable cocker spaniels, Madison and Bella.

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