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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Oil Pulling: Method and Benefits

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It has become an everyday habit to brush out teeth and it seems impossible to imagine life without brushing. Spoiler alert, there was life without brushing at some point in time.

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Nylon bristle brushes we use to brush were not introduced as proper American culture until the late 1930s. However, fossils and other records show that our ancestors that lived for a very long time still had their teeth intact before death.

Well they were not brushing, so why didn’t they rot and fall out? Well first of all, they weren’t eating all the orally unhealthy things we consume today. They also used chewing sticks to rub against their teeth as has been found in Egyptian tombs that go as far back as 3000BC. also, a few of them practiced oil pulling.

Oil pulling is an oral detoxification method that involves swishing oil in the mouth for a few minutes. It was used primarily in ayurvedic medicine in India. The most commonly used oils are sesame organic oil, coconut oil and olive oil.

High omega 6 oils and processed oils such as vegetable oil, soy oil, etc. are not to be used because they may cause more harm than good.

Method of oil pulling

  • Putting a tablespoon or two full of oil into the mouth. The most commonly used oil is sesame but coconut oil has been found to be more beneficial. Keep swishing the oil in the mouth and be careful to not ingest it
  • Timing: the swishing of the oil in the mouth lasts for 10-20 minutes. Timing is very essential as anything less than the given time may not pack up enough toxin from the mouth. Anything more than 20 minutes, the toxin from the mouth has all been packed by the oil and you are at risk of reabsorbing these toxins.
  • Disposal: when the time is up, spit out the now milky coloured oil into a trash can – do not spit it into the sink! The new product in your mouth is full of toxins and pus that may clog your pipe.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly. This can be done with either warm water or salty water to get rid of all the oil in your mouth to prevent you from swallowing them unconsciously.
  • Brushing: while this isn’t a very important step, it is recommended to get rid of any toxin that may have been left behind.

If you are a beginner to oil pulling, it may seem difficult and irritating at first and you may not be able to keep it in your mouth for 5 minutes. You also have to be extra careful to avoid swallowing the oil as it now contains a lot of toxins and ingesting them just reintroduces them into your system, but this time at a much more dangerous location.

Benefits of oil pulling:

Oil pulling has proven more effective than flossing and is a natural way to whiten your teeth.

Also, according to Indian medical belief, because the tongue is branched to many organs such as the lung, the stomach, esophagus, liver etc., oil pulling has some benefit over general health as well. Oil pulling has been used as a traditional remedy to:

  • Whitens teeth
  • Heal a bleeding gum
  • Gets rid of bad breath
  • Fight plaque
  • Boost immune system
  • Prevent cavities
  • Heal cracked lips
  • Etc.

According to research, some of the benefits of oil pulling are:

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  • Prevents tooth decay: oil pulling reduces streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is a major cause of tooth decay
  • Gingivitis: oil pulling significantly reduces aerobic micro-organisms in the plaque of people suffering from plaque induced gingivitis. It can also reduce the amount or plaque due to its lauric effect.
  • Improved skin: detoxifying the mouth leads to reduced amount of toxin in the body which improves skin appearance
  • Whiten teeth: this is one of the major benefits of oil pulling. Oil pulling, especially one done with coconut oil goes a long way to whiten the teeth
  • Stronger jaws and gums: oil pulling gets rid of toxins and bacteria that may be weakening or killing the gum and in the process, there is increased blood flow, which causes these weakened gums to heal and become stronger.

Oil pulling is recommended for everyone and should be done three to four times per week. Waiting for 20 minutes may seem like a long time and multi-tasking is a great idea to make the wait easier.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Asmau Mohammed
I am a medical student and I love discussing all things health related. I also love being a health or lifestyle coach.
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