Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice. It is highly beneficial to health, especially to that of oral health. In essence, oil pulling involves the use of vegetable oil as mouthwash in order to pull out bacteria and toxins by successfully dissolving them in liquid. Once the oil is finally spit out, all bacteria and toxins are expelled from the oral cavity as well.
It is important to remove toxins as the body responds to the accumulation of toxic materials and other foreign invaders with inflammation, allergic reactions, and other unwanted symptoms resulting in an overburdened immune system.
The removal of toxins helps in reducing inflammation through the body. It also has a positive effect on health; ranging from headache relief to the reduction of developing heart disease.
Millions of people have sworn by the effectiveness of this traditional Ayurvedic procedure, although are only a few medical studies that can support it. Nevertheless, the oil pulling procedure is increasing in popularity due to its inexpensive, safe, and straightforward qualities.
The Health Benefits of Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is great for oral health as it helps in the removal of bacteria and even removes plaque buildup. It treats many oral health issues such as halitosis or bad breath, toothache, sensitivity, and gum diseases. It also promises to brighten the teeth, health mouth sores, and prevent the development of cavities, thus keeping the gums healthy at all times.
Based on a 2013 Indian study published and approved by the Institutional Review Board of Meenakashi University, the oil pulling therapy has significant positive effects on plaque and gingivitis among its participants who used to suffer from these conditions.
Scientists further explain that the microorganism in the mouth consisting of a single cell covered with a fatty membrane instantly adhere to the oil when in contact with each other.
It is important to note that excellent oral health is essential as it can help in preventing the incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes to name a few.
Studies also tell us that germs from advanced gum diseases may potentially enter the bloodstream, adhere to fatty plaque deposits along the arteries and contribute to the formation of clots that ultimately stop the blood flow resulting in heart attack.
At the same time, clogged arteries in the brain may lead to stroke. Gum disease is known to have an adverse or negative effect on blood-sugar levels making it harder to control the development and management of adult-onset diabetes.
Aside from helping pull the bacteria and toxins out of the body, oil pulling has also been proven to reduce inflammation throughout the body. It also prevents the rise of chronic inflammation; a condition that undermines good health and wellbeing.
There are other benefits to the practice of oil pulling, but the exact reason as to why or how it works is still left unknown. Here are some of the other advantages of practicing oil pulling.
- headache and migraine relief
- reduces eczema
- treatment for arthritis symptoms and related illnesses
- cleans the sinuses and alleviates infections
- improves the lymphatic system function
- stimulates metabolism
- prevents the development of heart disease
- supports kidney function
- alleviates allergy symptoms
- regulates the menstrual cycles and reduces the symptoms related to PMS
- promotes better sleep
Although we cannot deny the fact that oil pulling can have positive impact on health, keep in mind that serious conditions require proper diagnosis and treatment. Oil pulling may only be used as an adjunct therapy along with other treatments suggested and prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals.
How to do Oil Pulling
- Take one tablespoon of organic, unrefined, or cold-pressed vegetable oil such as seasame oil, sunflower oil, and other edible oil. Many people prefer to use coconut oil as it has other positive health benefits as well as strong antimicrobial properties due to its lauric acid concentration.
- Place the oil in your mouth and simply swish it around for about 20 minutes. Do not gargle with it and do not swallow the oil.
- Spit it out and then brush the teeth as usual.
- Do this practice every morning on an empty stomach. If you have dry mouth, you may first drink a few glasses of water about one hour or more before performing the procedure.
- if you have trouble swishing around 1 tablespoon of oil in your moth, you may reduce the amount to one teaspoon instead. In addition, you may initially try this for about five to ten minutes a day if you are a beginner. If you still find the procedure to be unpleasant, spit out the oil and try it another day.
- Keep swishing the oil in your moth until it becomes thin, foamy, or milky white. You don’t need to swish it forcefully as this may cause your face muscles to ache.
- Never swallow the oil afterwards as this is loaded with toxins.
- When you spit out the oil, make sure to spit it in the trash rather than in the sink as the oil may cause the clogged drainage. This is particularly important if you are using coconut oil as this solidifies when it turns cold.
- After spitting out the oil, you may then rinse your mouth with warm salt water. You may then proceed to your normal toothbrushing routine.
- When you get used to oil pulling, you may do this practice for up to three times a day- before breakfast, lunchtime, and dinner. Oil pulling after eating may cause nausea.
- It can by anybody older than five years old.
- To get the best results, use this therapy on a regular basis for at least a few months.