Oil Pulling or Oil Swishing is an ancient Indian practice of swishing oil in your mouth and through your teeth to achieve good health, not only for your teeth, gums, tongue and entire mouth but also for full body health.
This practice is part of Ayurvedic medicine, the name refers to the search for knowledge of long life. As with anything that has been around for 5000 years, there are various forms and interpretations. It seems from my casual reading, the English picked up many teaching from this medical practice, including surgical procedures. What impresses me about Ayurvedic medicine is that it is holistic in nature taking into consideration the body, mind and spirit. Many of it’s principles are sound, based on observation and tried and true practices. For instance, they recognized that cleanliness and sanitization was very important to health long before my ancestors seemed to have a clue.
Why I Use it and Sell it
I tried it simply because I happened to have some good coconut oil around and I’m always open to new ideas.
Now I’ve been pulling for a couple weeks and I really enjoy it because
It makes logical sense to me it is good to do.
It seems to me that swishing and drawing any liquid through my teeth might loosen up and even coax out any food particles that my toothbrush can’t reach and flossing missed. Especially since my teeth have lots of repair work and little cracks and fissures as my teeth and fillings age.
It feels good
Water isn’t much fun to swish around in m mouth for more than a few moments, plus I tend to forget and use water that is too cold for comfort.
On the other hand, the Extra Virgin Organic coconut oil I mixed with Sweet Almond Oil infused with a little Zylitol, Peppermint Essential Oil and Menthol tastes so lovely I have no problem swishing and pulling it in my mouth for many minutes.
I also find the sensation of the oil oddly comforting. Additionally, it really feels like the oil is doing a better job of cleaning than water can do.
Now, keep in mind, I hate the taste of mouthwashes, they are far too strong and burning for me. While my mouth tastes clean after using mouthwash, I always feel I have to exact damage to my taste buds and mouth lining to achieve it.
The oil has no such impact but still makes my mouth feel clean, but gently.
I believe the claims that coconut oil is a good antibacterial.
I am no scientist nor do I claim to understand medical abstracts and reports however, from my search for some medical proof that coconut oil is antibacterial I came across an abstract of a study that compared Virgin Coconut Oil and Virgin Olive Oil on preventing Staphylococcus aureus from people prone to this infection because of the condition of their skin. Both oils helped but after 4 weeks, only 5% who used the Virgin Coconut Oil topically tested positive for the infection compared to 50% on the Virgin Olive Oil.
I also found an article that showed coconut oil as effective or more effective against Candida Species of yeast infections than a commonly prescribed antifungal drug.
JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL FOOD; J Med Food 10 (2) 2007, 384–387 © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition
There is another article (Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology 2(2): 133-137, 2010) thatI can’t pretend to understand but this paragraph stands out to me about Coconut Oil and reads:
The antimicrobial activity of coconut oil had been attributed to the carboxylic acid – monolaurin metabolized to lauric acid in the body. The preservative efficacy test indicated a synergistic action between the coconut oil and preservatives, which showed 100% kill at 0 h. This is in conformity with the finding of Thormar (1996) which reputed that monocaprin, a component of coconut oil, destroyed HIV, herpes virus and gonococci within a minute. Since the unpreserved cream showed similar results with the preserved, this indicates that preservation may not be necessary.
There is anecdotal evidence from people who like it (or course, isn’t there always?)
The following website, http://oilpulling.com/howoilpullingworks.htm, includes a(alleged) testimonial from someone who tried Oil Pulling as follows:
I suffer from an incurable ailment known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short. Today IBS afflicts one in four women, though there is little reprieve in this sorority. Since being diagnosed with IBS, I have tried every treatment under the sun (expensive medication, insoluble fiber, tummy-taming tea, detox cleanses, herbal supplements, lifestyle changes, you name it), and I have never felt a radical improvement in my symptoms (bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, constipation).
With all the hype surrounding oil pulling, I held out hope that my body might respond to this remedy better than the others. It is hard to say definitively that oil pulling is the cause, but I have felt remarkably better in the digestive department over the past month. I haven’t endured a single debilitating episode of colon spasms, which often strikes every few weeks. Though hardly as punctual as a Japanese commuter train, my system has been much more regular than usual. It makes me wonder if maybe oil pulling leeched toxins from my intestinal tract and restored a semblance of stability.
Stephanie Langford writes after 2 weeks of oil pulling: (http://simplehomemade.net/my-attempt-at-this-crazy-thing-called-oil-pulling-does-it-really-make-a-difference/)
I’ll admit that so far, I’m not convinced. I was really hoping to have a glowing review of these amazing results, but to be honest, I just haven’t seen anything that has blown me away.:
However she provides a great list of responses from readers:
Jill said ” I’ve only done it a couple times. One of the first times I tried it, I had a horrible cold sore inside my lip that had lasted for several weeks. After oil pulling, it disappeared the next day…”
Cynthia said “My teeth are whiter.My husband and I do it at the same time.We have alot of fun for 20 mins-trying to communicate. He once laughed so hard, he spit the oil every where, lol. (My) mouth just feels better.”
Tori said “I oil pull! I’ve had great results in my opinion. It helped my arthritis for one. The pain in my knees almost went away and the major swelling as well. I slept better, my teeth and gums feel great, and ridges I had in my nails from my psoriatic arthritis went away. My 9 yr old son and I oil pull everyday (started April 2011). We use coconut oil.” Then she added, “Oh!! And I haven’t had to take a single allergy pill and I have severe pollen allergies. I’ve been on allergy meds since I was 7 years old.”
Katie said “My husband oil pulls and has great results. He uses Sesame Oil mostly. He started doing it to help with candida and it has made a big difference with both that and with his osteoarthritis. It did take him several weeks before he really noticed the difference. I occasionally do with coconut oil but I have a very sensitive stomach when it comes to any oil. Wish I could do it more though!”
Tonya said “…I must say that it worked well for me. We have a lot of gum problems in my family and I can brush or floss without a lot of pain and bleeding and after a week I noticed that all showed improvement… I floss first to open up everything and then put the oil in and swish for 20 mins.”
Tesser said “I’ve doing OP for about 6-8 months. My teeth are whiter. Don’t know of other differences per se, but when you don’t have dental or health insurance, I feel like this is a major dose of prevention!!”
Kimberly said “I oil pull with virgin coconut oil and have noticed a huge improvement in my gums, whiter and smoother teeth, improved sinuses–less congestion in the morning, and I notice a pick me up in my energy level on days that I oil pull. I noticed this improvement immediately. Now that I am eating a fully nourishing diet (was kind of trying to straddle both worlds of eating–a more nourishing SAD diet–doesn’t work by the way;), I have noticed that I feel even better with the combination of oil pulling and a nourishing diet.”
Nobel Women 4 Christ said “I have tried it and I noticed a difference in dental hygiene (ie cleaner teeth and fresher breath); I haven’t experienced any bodily detoxing however. I think that it is definitely something to do in addition to brushing your teeth at least.”
She also provides some great links to other sources so read her full blog.
As far as I am concerned, the impact on my mouth is enough, if it happens to help the others things, even better!