By Dr. Kate Wood
What is oil Pulling and where did it start?
Oil pulling (also known as oil swishing) is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy to improve oral health, detoxification and overall systemic healing. It is mentioned in old Ayurvedic texts and been used long before it was comprehensible to western medicine and claims with long term use it can cure about 30 systemic diseases and restore and maintain optimal health. It is a simple process where pure cold pressed oil is swished in the mouth between the teeth for 10-20 minutes. These pure oils act as natural agents to pull harmful bacteria, fungus and other organisms out of the teeth, mouth, gums and throat but without affecting the natural micro flora.
What are some benefits of oil pulling for oral health?
Strengthening of the teeth, gums and jaws
Prevention of mouth ulcers
Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
Prevention for bad breath
Remedy for bleeding gums
Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
Treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area
How does oil pulling help systemic health and detoxification?
The benefits of oil pulling are believed to extend from dental health to systemic health due to the elimination of the development of “dental foci”. Teeth and their roots extend into the jaw bone and if there is poor dental hygiene microbes that enter the mouth find cavities in the damp and poorly vacularised environment and wait until the immune system is compromised before releasing into the systemic blood stream and affecting organs (it is believed that each tooth is specifically assigned to an organ). That is why by regularly oil pulling it is possible to eliminate toxicity, heal cells, tissues and organs and restore natural balance to the body. Root canals are believed to enhance this toxic effect as harmful microbes are trapped in the space where the root has been removed just slowly tripping the immune system. When your immune system is strong you might not notice any ill signs or symptoms but when you are immune compromisedit can be enough to tip you over the edge! Many people have experienced significant health improvements instantly after have root canals removed. I am one of those people and literally the minute my root canal tooth was out of my gum i felt a fog lift off me and my energy was about 20-30% improved immediately!
What are the systemic benefits of Oil Pulling?
It is believed that these oils help the lymphatic system by decreasing its load as harmful microbes are removed allowing beneficial microflora a healthy environment to naturally flourish. Symptoms and diseases that may be decreased, eliminated and even prevented include:
- Headaches and migraines
- Tooth pain
- Eczema and allergies
- Nerves, paralysis and encephalitis
- Growth of malignant tumors
- Hormone imbalances
- Inflammation of arthritis
- Kidney function
- Sinus congestion
- Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
- Reducing pain
- Heavy metal toxicity
How do i perform oil pulling?
- Best time to do oil pulling is in the morning before breakfast when you have an empty stomach
- You will put one teaspoon of oil extra virgin cold pressed sesame oil (or coconut, sunflower, olive oil) in your mouth and swish it around pulling it back and forth through the teeth for 10-20 minutes
- This process mixes the salvia with the oil causing it to get thinner and whiter, enzymes are activated and this along with the lipids draws out toxins and absorbs them into the oil
- You ideally keep swishing it around until the oil reaches a thick, viscous white consistency indicating toxins have been maximally absorbed and it is then spat out into the sink – DO NOT SWALLOW or you will reabsorb all the toxins you just released
- Thoroughly rinse out the mouth to ensure no toxins are left inside your mouth to reabsorb
- Be sure to clean your sink properly to remove any toxins
- This process can be repeated three times a day if necessary but always before a meal on an empty stomach
- If you are time poor then even 5 minutes can be helpful so give it a go!
Is there any research Supporting Oil Pulling?
- According to an Indian research study done in 2008 oil pulling significantly reduced counts of Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the oral cavity (J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7)
- Another Indian study in 2009 showed that oil pulling significantly reduced plaque and improved gum health in a group of adolescent boys (Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;20(1):47-51)
- 2011 research supports oil pulling as a natural and effective substitute to mouth wash at improving halitosis (bad breath) by decreasing microbes that may potentially contribute to it. (J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2011 Apr-Jun;29(2):90-4)
- Benefits of oil pulling include is mechanical cleaning action in the mouth. (Indian J Dent Res. 2011 Jan-Feb;22(1):34-7)