Oil Pulling is having a moment. Many fans, including health and nutrition experts and influencers, have shared their oil pulling routines and spread the word of its benefits.
Despite its modern resurgence, the practice of oil pulling dates to 3,000 years ago or so. Known as gandusha in the Ayurvedic tradition, the primary purpose of oil pulling is to maintain the hygiene and health of the teeth, gums, and general oral health.
The process of “pulling” with oil can be compared to how a washing machine works. The mechanical action comes from the vigorous swishing and swirling of the oil around the mouth, moving it in between teeth and around gums. The “water and detergent” element comes from the oil, that dislodges toxins and binds to the fatty membranes of microbes, which are “pulled” from oral tissue and then spit out with the oil – leaving the mouth clean and refreshed.
Oil pulling is a much gentler option than harsh mouthwashes that can disrupt the beneficial bacteria in the mouth – which are important for balanced oral microbiome.
Oil pulling has been shown to improve breath, remove harmful bacteria that can contribute to cavities, whiten teeth, protect tooth enamel, and reduce gum inflammation. Beyond oral hygiene, oil pulling has been recorded in ayurvedic tradition to treat over 30 diseases.
Here’s a simple guide to oil pulling routine:
- Do it first thing in the morning (no eating or drinking before taking the oil)
- Spoon out 1-2 Tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil (read on, to learn “why coconut oil?”)
- Swish oil around the mouth for 10-20 minutes (the oil will become watery and milky after a while)
- Spit oil out completely, following with rinsing the mouth with plain or salt water
- Brush teeth as usual
Be sure to spit oil into the compost or garbage – not the sink, as coconut oil becomes solid at cooler temperatures and could clog plumbing. You can build an oil pulling routine of 3-4 days a week. Most people notice differences in breath and mouth cleanliness after about a week.
Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling
There are a few different oils that can be used for oil pulling, but coconut oil is considered by many health experts to be the best for this purpose.
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) that has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce harmful bacteria. Coconut oil has also been found to be effective in removing plaque buildup on teeth and reducing gingivitis.
It’s best to use an unrefined, virgin coconut oil with no additives and of pure quality for the best antibacterial properties. Our Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil is cold-pressed and unrefined with no undesirable additives and sourced from fresh certified organic coconuts – making it ideal for oil pulling.
Due to coconut oil’s many culinary uses – and health benefits, you may already have some in the cupboard! If you’re not already a coconut oil superfan, here are 3 Things you Should Know About Coconut Oil.
References available upon request.