Have you heard of oil pulling? Long known, but not often advertised, the process of oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual. The practice has been around for an estimated time of over 3,000 years and has been practiced by many Native people! The practice of oil pulling (also called gundusha) started in India thousands of years ago and was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by a medical doctor named Dr. F. Karach, who used it with success in his medical practice.
The basic idea is that oil is swished in the mouth for a short time each day and that this action helps improve oral health since oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.
The process involves swishing around organic oils in your mouth for 5-20 minutes every day before spitting it out.
It can be done with many types of natural organic oils, from extra virgin pressed oils, sesame or sunflower. This can also be done with coconut oil, which is naturally antibacterial and has a milder taste than other oils (It is also possible to do oil pulling with pre-made coconut oil chews). Sesame oil was traditionally used in the Ayurvedic tradition and this is also the oil that has been the most studied for use in oil pulling, just make sure to use an organic sesame oil. However, it is very important that you never swallow any of the oils you are using during oil pulling. Doing so will involve you ingesting the very same toxins you are trying to get rid of by oil pulling in the first place.
Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything, though Dr. Bruce Fife suggests that it can be done before each meal if needed for more severe infections or dental problems.
- Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth.
- Swish for 20 minutes. According to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy, this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria.
Notes: The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out. It will also double in volume during this time due to saliva. At first, it can be difficult to make it the full 20 minutes, so don’t stress if you can only swish for 5-10 minutes when starting.
- Spit oil into the trash can. Don’t spit into the sink! The oil may thicken and clog pipes. Do not swallow the oil as it is hopefully full of bacteria and toxins!
- Rinse well with warm salty water. Mix ½ teaspoon in 1 cup of warm water and swish a few times to get any remaining oil out of your mouth.
- Brush well.
Sounds easy right? That’s because it is! By performing this simple practice once a day brings many benefits. Scroll down for visual explanations of the benefits and “how to” guides:
Also, a good idea is to prepare the portions beforehand and having them stored and ready for the next morning. Loved this simple DIY:
Ok, I get that… but 20 minutes swishing around?? Well… since is my first time I will try to start with 5 minutes, if I can hold it, the next few days I’ll try 10 and so on. But also… what can I do in 20 minutes? Spending 20 minutes in the morning right after waking up is a lot, so I found this funny image with thoughts while you are oil pulling, but you could do many things in the meantime like… preparing breakfast?
Have you tried oil pulling?
Is it part of your routine?
Do you have extra tips? Let us know in the comments box below!