History of Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. It’s a simple practice, with quite remarkable results. Many have heard of it, but never actually dove in to try it. It definitely has a mystical and exciting vibe around it, which made me eager to try. But what exactly is it? What does it do? (1)
Oil Pulling Is Simple
According to Dr. Mercola, Oil pulling involves "rinsing" your mouth with the oil, much like you would with a mouthwash (except you shouldn't attempt to gargle with it). The oil is "worked" around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for a period of about 20 minutes. Oil pulling will work your jaw muscles as another benefit, but if yours become sore or tired you're probably "swishing" the oil too vigorously. Just relax and focus on moving the oil with your tongue as well as your jaw muscles.
When you're first starting out, you may want to try it for just five minutes at a time, or, if you have more time and want even better results, you can go for 30-45 minutes. This process allows the oil to "pull out" bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other debris from your mouth. Once the oil turns thin and milky white, you'll know it's time to spit it out. The best time to do oil pulling is in the morning before eating breakfast, but it can be done at any time. I try to do it twice a day if my schedule allows. When you're done, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with water or a combination of water and baking soda. Avoid swallowing the oil as it will be loaded with bacteria and whatever potential toxins and debris it has pulled out.
Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in your mouth, and these germs and their toxic waste products can contribute to plaque accumulation and tooth decay. Oil pulling may help lessen the overall toxic burden on your immune system by preventing the spread of these organisms from your mouth to the rest of your body, by way of your bloodstream. Many people think oil pulling sounds strange ... until they try it. Then many become hooked. It's just one more way that you can use a natural, simple substance to significantly boost your oral health. People have been using this technique, and others like chewing sticks, for centuries because they work. (2)
Research on Oil Pulling
A study published in 2012 in the Society for General Microbiology, titled “Coconut oil could combat tooth decay,” reports that “digested coconut oil is able to attack the bacteria that cause tooth decay.” The study used enzymes to simulate a “digestive” state of coconut oil, but swishing the coconut oil around in your mouth with the natural enzymes in your saliva could easily provide the same benefit.
In a study published in 2011 in the Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry, titled “Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial,” researchers found that oil pulling reduced plaque and bad breath associated with mouth bacteria.
In 2009 a study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research reported that, “oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.” Abstract he
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1. Morgan Potts, "Why You Should Start Oil Pulling Today", http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html, February 2013.
2. Dr Mercola, "Coconut Oil Might Combat Tooth Decay, " http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/08/coconut-oil-combats-tooth-decay.aspx. december, 2012.