Oil Pulling – An Ancient Ayurvedic Method Turned Trendy
If you’ve visited any wellness websites lately, it’d be pretty hard to tune out the conversation around one of Ayurveda’s oldest traditions – oil pulling. Oil pulling is the act of swishing around a healing oil – usually coconut, sesame, or sunflower – in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, then spitting it out. The purported effect? To remove toxins that cause bad breath, gingivitis, gum disease, plaque buildup & tooth discoloration.
But does it really work? Research says yes! Unlike a lot of home remedies folks swear by, oil pulling actually has a good deal of supportive research behind it for preventing gingivitis, reducing the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth, and fighting bad breath. Scientists suggest that oil pulling is so effective because of its fatty composition.
Most microorganisms in the mouth are made from a single cell covered in a fatty lipid membrane. When similarly fatty oil is swished around in the mouth, it acts like a magnet, attracting & trapping the bacteria cells. When you spit out the oil, you effectively spit out toxins.
Which Kind of Oil Should You Use?
While sesame and sunflower oil have both been used for decades, some oil pulling advocates suggest using coconut oil, which has the added benefit of lauric acid, a saturated fat known to fight bad microbes. And, speaking from experience, coconut oil just tastes better.
Try gently swishing for about 10-20 minutes per day, preferably in the morning on an empty stomach before brushing your teeth, and see what benefits you can reap from this ancient practice!