Oil Pulling: A Traditional Ayurvedic Practice

We all love to hear the latest trending health topic, and the current craze is called ‘oil pulling’. Originating back to ancient Indian beliefs, oil pulling involves swishing your chosen (and preferably organic) vegetable oil around your mouth like mouthwash. Coconut oil is a firm favourite because of its pleasant taste and its antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

Rich in vitamin E, it is suggested that you melt 1 tablespoon of the oil in your mouth, then gently swish it around for 15-20 minutes, careful not to swallow any of it. This action is said to encourage the extraction of toxins from the teeth, gums, and throat. As it absorbs toxins, the liquid will turn white, viscous and thick. It is best spit out at this point so as to avoid the reabsorption of any toxins. Try expelling into a waste bin or the toilet so as not to block a sink drain with the oil. It is best rinse out your mouth with a little warm, salty water, then floss and brush as normal. Most people do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

The cleansing action of the oil suggests detoxification of the area which encourages healthier teeth and gums. Other reported benefits are cleaner, whiter teeth and fresher breath. Fans of this popular new trend claim it can help ease a hangover, aids sinus congestion and headaches and reduces plaque. Given that bacteria is being eliminated from the body, oil pulling may also help boost a lethargic lymphatic system.