UPDATE: This post originally ran on February 4th but wanted to share this useful beauty tip again!
Oil pulling. Have you heard of it? Would you try it? Have you tried it? I first heard of this seemingly strange practice about a year ago, and immediately I was intrigued. Pull toxins out of my system by swishing some oil around in my mouth? Count me in.
But I never actually got into it… until now. This new year seems to be a year of much newness, wouldn’t you say? And oil pulling is just one of the many new habits I’ve adopted.
So what exactly is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian practice that involves swishing oil around in the mouth for about 20 minutes on the premise that this will pull toxins out of the body.
What are the benefits?
Studies show that oil pulling has excellent benefits for oral health. It can help strengthen the teeth, gums, and jaw; whiten teeth; prevent bad breath; prevent dryness of the mouth, lips, and throat; prevent mouth diseases like cavities and gingivitis; and treat soreness of the jaw. It’s also been thought that oil pulling has many benefits that extend way beyond oral health, although this has yet to be proven scientifically. Examples include reduced headaches, hangover relief, kidney function support, general pain relief, reduced insomnia, and general detoxification of the body, just to name a few.
How do you do it?
First, pick your oil. Cold pressed organic sesame oil is believed to be the best for this practice, but cold pressed coconut, olive, and sunflower oils are widely used, as well.
In the morning, before you’ve eaten, drink a glass of water. Then, put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around, making sure to let it touch every single part of your mouth except the throat. Try not to swallow the oil, as this will reabsorb the toxins that have been pulled from your body.
Swish the oil around in your mouth for at least 5 minutes, with the recommended amount being a full 20 minutes. I like to do this while in the shower, and possibly continue for a few minutes after I get out. This way, I feel like I’m using my time wisely — and I never forget to do it.
You’ll feel the oil become foamy as it mixes with your saliva. If there gets to be too much in your mouth, spit a little bit out, and continue.
When you’re finished, spit the oil out into the toilet or the trash — avoid doing this in the sink, as the oil could solidify and clog the drain. Supposedly, if the oil turns to a yellow, you’ve done your job! The yellow color is thought to mean a substantial amount of toxins have been removed from your body. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I will!
Are there any negatives?
Nothing major that I’ve heard of! I’ve read about many people getting grossed out by the feeling or taste of oil pulling, but I can’t say I know what they mean. I’ve been using coconut oil, and I love the taste! The only other negative I could think of is the cost. Pure organic oil isn’t the cheapest to buy, and you’ll be going through bottles fairly quickly. But if you weigh the benefits, it could be worth it — that all depends on each individual situation.
Why should you try it?
Well, it’s up to you! Try if you’re curious… try if you’re experiencing any of the issues that this can potentially help… try if you’re looking for a use for that jar of coconut oil that’s been sitting on your shelf (although we can give you a bunch more reasons here)!
Personally, I’ve been doing this for about a week, and I really like it. It’s become part of my daily routine, and I love the way my mouth feels afterwards. I usually have dryness in my mouth, and after oil pulling I notice that it feels so much better. I plan to continue on this oil pulling journey!
How about you? Do you oil pull? Tell us about it!
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