Oil Pulling 101

Oil-pulling is quickly defined as the act of swishing oiling around your mouth for at least 15-20 minutes to help promote good oral hygiene. Apparently all the plaque, bacteria, and other not so good for you things that live in your mouth are attracted to fat, so oil acts like a magnet to make it easier to remove them when you brush your teeth. It was initially practiced in Ayurvedic medicine using sesame seed oil, but has since taken to being done with Virgin Coconut Oil for its anti-viral properties.  I’ve been a huge fan of oil-pulling using VCO for quite some time now, so it’s pretty surprising how I haven’t written abut it here on the site.

Here are some testimonies from other people who love oil-pulling as well:

“I was first introduced to oil pulling three years ago at Bahay Kalipay, a raw food retreat place in Palawan. I tried it, but found it very strange so I didn’t continue doing it. A year later, I got a bad tooth infection and and didn’t want to take commercial medicines to heal myself. That is when I concocted Gargoyle Oil Pulling Tonic and started using it regularly- 3x a day 20-30minutes per session. My teeth don’t ache as much anymore- no more ‘nangingilo’ feeling when I have cold drinks or ice cream. I feel like my mouth is cleaner- when I wake up in the morning, I feel refreshed and more rested so I guess I sleep better. People have commented that my teeth look whiter compared to a few months ago- must be Gargoyle:) also that my skin is glowing. Nax. Every time I feel a sore throat, cold, or cough coming in, it is arrested when I oil pull more.”Denise Bernardo of Indigo Baby

“I have been oil pulling for a year now. I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary! One year ago, I made a lifestyle change that I am constantly thankful for and ecstatic about. I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga (which healed me of debilitating, recurring migraines!) and at the same time became much more aware of my health–physical, mental and spiritual health. My friend and yoga teacher Monica Luna-Steber introduced me to MindBodyGreen, an amazing website on wellness in mind and body and on living a green life. As I was reading articles on yoga, I stumbled across an article on oil pulling and was immediately intrigued, especially because so many people seemed so passionate about it despite it sounding so strange! Swishing oil around in one’s mouth? Really peculiar. My reading led me to this website –which introduced me to this wonderful Ayurvedic practice. Personally, oil pulling has made me feel healthier all over. I have noticed that I feel more alert after oil pulling, ready to face the day. My teeth are stronger and whiter, my gums are healthier, my breath even fresher. My dentist (I see an amazing holistic dentist) supports oil pulling as well as my homemade natural coconut oil toothpaste! (Check his website out). Oil pulling has been known to clean the mouth thoroughly, strengthen the teeth, draw out toxins and bad bacteria, and prevent and heal diseases. Oil pulling also made me more aware of what I eat. Spitting out those toxins every morning made me think hard of what I put into my mouth. It has inspired me to eat healthier and make good food-related decisions! My husband has adopted the practice as well, and we both love its benefits. Here’s another article that explains the process simply and clearly.” – Miren Gonzalez-Miranda

Here are two local brands that make wonderful oil-pulling products:

oilpullingGargoyle Oil Pulling Tonic: This can be purchased at The Flow Shop and at Indigo Baby

_MG_5176The Souq Naturals Oil-Pulling Mouthwash: This can be purchased at The Souq Organics.

Both brands use a combination of VCO, mint, and cloves to make the experience rather enjoyable. Here are some oil-pulling tips I’ve gotten from a few experts in the past.

  • You only need around a teaspoon of oil to gently swish around your mouth. Any more and your jaw might get too much of a workout.
  • You should ideally do this once or twice a day for at least 15-20 minutes to see the benefits. It’s recommended you do this during your morning shower.
  • Oil has a tendency to clog drains, so if your drain is a tad sensitive it’s recommended you place the oil after use into a tissue rather than down your sink.

Have you tried oil-pulling before? I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Sou Organics product photo by my awesome photography partner Pat Martires. Check out his:

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