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Oil Pulling for Oral Health (and other benefits!)

After a long hiatus of blogging, I decided to write about Oil Pulling, a daily habit I started a few months ago 🙂 I was advised by my holistic dentist to try oil pulling to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. It seems simple enough so I decided to try!

Originating from Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. I use organic coconut oil, but sesame/olive oil works as well! Process:

  1. Do oil pulling first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything
  2.  Swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, drawing them through your teeth. (I do this then either bathe/do other morning chores)
  3. Spit the oil out into the trash can. Do NOT spit into sink or toilet bowl to prevent clogging. (Usually the clear oil would become whitish as our saliva and bacteria would have interacted with the oil)
  4. Do tongue-scrapping (You should see a lot of thick white thick buildup)
  5. Rinse with anti-bacterial mouthrinse. I personally use Himalaya sea salt with water for minimal chemicals.
  6. Brush your teeth as usual!

Watching Dr Axe explain the benefits, including a live demo on swishing 😛  I love his explanation of strong correlation of oral health with our overall health!

So by now you must be wondering, why do such a weird thing??

Oil pulling is an ancient way to ensure good oral health before brushes, toothpaste and all were invited. Coconut oil, in particular, has been shown in studies to have anti-bacterial effects. In fact, the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides found in coconut oil have been known to researchers since the 1960s. Research has shown that microorganisms that are inactivated include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. Much of this research is highlighted in the writings of Dr. Mary Enig Ph.D, and can be found here.

“Lauric acid is the most predominant MCT found in coconut oil. Regarding lauric acid, Mary Enig Ph.D writes:

Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria, including listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid. –

If you want more on the science of oil pulling, read these 7 published articles.

Furthermore, oral hygiene/health impacts our overall health.

“A growing body of research finds that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth are also linked to other problems, including heart attackand dementia, and may well jeopardize your overall health.” —



While the debate is out there on Oil Pulling’s ability to “detox”, my husband, close friend and myself both experience stomachaches on first few days of oil pulling and it was just like 5-10 minutes of it (we didn’t swallow the oil)! So, please start slow.

Have fun and leave us comments on your Oil Pulling experience! 🙂

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