Oil pulling – an ancient Ayurvedic technique that originated in India – I learnt about last year. It’s also known as ‘kavala’ or ‘gundusha’. I was in Los Angeles and stumbled upon an article on oil pulling. The following day my friend James called me from New York and told me that his boss had been oil pulling and her teeth looked incredible. We both bought our oil that day. Since then I’ve noticed it’s become a real trend. Everyone’s doing it – so if you’re not here is the info you need!
What is it?
The oil pulling process involves swilling oil around the mouth for as long as possible – 20 minutes is recommended – before spitting out and brushing the teeth as normal. The thought of this terrified me, I really had to gear myself up to swish my mouth with oil, particularly for 20 minutes. There are a few oils that can be used but most people gravitate towards unrefined coconut oil as it has a light and pleasant flavour. It is recommended that you do this on an empty stomach – so first thing in the morning is best. Coconut oil begins to solidify at about 74 degrees, so for the vast majority of the time I use a spoon – a tablespoon is recommended – and let it melt in my mouth before swishing.
What can it help with?
Oil pulling is rumoured to be a miracle worker literally. Coconut oil is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. This simple morning step is rumoured to do the following…
Help with sinus conditions
Helps to prevents cavities and gingivitis
Reduces toxins in the body
Helps to ease throat and mouth infections
Clears skin due to detoxification
The mouth is a great indicator of health – improving the condition of the mouth is good for the whole body.
How does it work?
Jessica T. Emery, DMD, owner of Sugar Fix Dental Loft in Chicago. “Oil Pulling involves swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil – typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil – in your mouth for about 20 minutes. Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell. Cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other.” In other words it works in a very similar way to an oil cleanser applied to dry skin.
Well I just love it – I swill it around my mouth while I’m in the shower – I often don’t make 20 minutes but I go for as long as I can possibly manage. I don’t find it remotely unpleasant. I know some people that I have read articles on have found it difficult.
The most important thing I can tell you is that the oil cannot be swallowed after swilling. It’s a toxic liquid having pulled all of the bad bacteria out of the mouth – so spit it out – and if you are using coconut oil spit it in the toilet not in the sink – because it solidifies the sink could end up being blocked. You don’t need to treat this as Listerine – gently swill it in the mouth as opposed to aggressively gargling – your mouth would be exhausted after 20 minutes!
What to buy
Here are a few coconut oil recommendations if oil pulling is something that you would like to try. The great thing is if you hate it – use it as a body moisturiser – or as an ingredient in a smoothie – or to cook with.
Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 444ml £9.63 HERE (this is the one I’m currently using)
Biona Organic Coconut Virgin Oil Raw 444ml £8.38 HERE
Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Raw Organic Coconut Oil £9.91 500ml HERE
Sister and Co Raw Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil 500ml £18.95 HERE
Here is a previous blog I did for other things you can do with Coconut Oil – Wonder Product Coconut Oil
Happy Oil Pulling – let me know how you get on!