I’ve been oil pulling off and on now for several years. Since a number of people have recently asked about it, and since I’ve finally found some scientific studies verifying that oil pulling works, I decided to pull together some oil pulling questions and answers.
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is the act of placing roughly a tablespoon of a good quality oil (preferably unrefined and organic) in your mouth and swishing the oil around for 15-20 minutes, forcing it back and forth through the teeth. The oil is then spit out (DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL), and the mouth is rinsed with water or salt water and/or the teeth are brushed. It depends on which recommendations you follow.
Oil pulling is typically done first thing in the morning, before eating, and can be repeated up to three times per day. If you don’t have time in the morning, you can do it at other times during the day.
Which oil should I use for oil pulling?
Sunflower, sesame and coconut are the most common, but many other oils have been used. I prefer coconut oil. I normally use Nutiva. I keep a jar on my counter that I refill from my gallon container. On Earth Clinic, contributors discuss using sesame, sunflower, olive, walnut, macadamia, coconut, Udo’s Oil, Total EFA Oil and others. I have seen some references where people’s teeth took on a yellow tinge from using olive oil, so that probably wouldn’t be my first choice. Oilpulling.com recommends sunflower and sesame.
Doesn’t putting a large amount of oil in your mouth make you want to gag, and doesn’t your mouth get sore from swishing?
When I first started doing this, it did feel a little weird. I find the coconut oil easier to use than liquid oil (my coconut oil is solid or semi-solid most of the year). I put a spoonful in my cheek and let it warm up and melt, and it gives me a minute or two to get used to that much oil in my mouth. You can start with smaller amounts and work up to a tablespoon.
If swishing for 15-20 minutes is too much, start with 5-10 minutes and work up to a longer time period. You don’t have swish constantly – you can take a break now and then. Once you get used to it, it’s really not a big deal, but my cheeks were a bit sore at first.
How do you find time to do oil pulling for 20 minutes?
I usually oil pull as I am getting ready to shower and in the shower, when my kids normally give me a bit of privacy and stop asking questions for a few minutes. They’ve gotten used to mom responding in “mmmmm..hhmmm….hmmm…”. (“Oh you’re oil pulling, okay. I’ll come back in a few minutes.”) When you’re done, spitting outside off the beaten path, in the garbage or compost is preferred. Coconut oil down the sink drain may lead to clogged pipes. Continue Reading >> Page 2