Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for holistic healing. It is a highly powerful way to naturally improve your oral health, preventing gum disease and tooth loss. This process removes bacteria, toxins, parasites from the mouth and can help loosen sinus congestion while encouraging the lymph system to move toxins out of the body.
Why Coconut oil:
Coconut oil is commonly used given its antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti fungal, antioxidant properties, it contains unique fatty acids which are responsible for its various health benefits.
Benefits of oil pulling:
By lowering the presence of bacteria in the mouth you can reduce bad breath, gum inflammation, stained teeth, dry mouth, sore throats, swelling, cavities, cracked dry lips, cold sores and even jaw pains. It strengthens the teeth, gums and jaw. Not only the mouth benefits, oil pulling can provide relief from headaches, hormone imbalance, inflammation reducer, support of normal kidney function, relief from sinus infections, eczema and improve vision.
How to oil pull:
Take one tablespoon of pure organic virgin coconut oil. You can add 1 drop of peppermint for additional antibacterial support and freshness. Swish just like mouthwash for 10-20 minutes. Start with 5 if need be and work your way up. Then spit into a trash can or compost (not into your drain), it will carry with it all the bacteria and germs. Make sure not to swallow! Rinse mouth with warm water, you can also add salt to aid in detoxification. Then brush as normal. Sometimes you can feel a little ill after, which is actually a good sign that you are ridding necessary toxins.
When to pull:
Oil pulling is best done upon waking, before you brush or drink anything. I find it easiest to do whilst taking a shower. It is suggested to do 3-4 times a week.
You can use sesame oil an alternative for coconut oil, this is used more frequently for Aruyvedic practice. Some find the taste of coconut oil much more pleasing.
Adding floss into you routine is helpful although it is important to note a couple of things. Look for natural types such as Eco-Dent Gentlefloss, you want to avoid ones with harmful non stick chemicals (PFOA) commonly found in gliding types. There have been links to cancer, infertility, birth defects and weaker immune systems. Flossing can help reduce bacteria but it has not been proved to actually prevent gum disease or plaque. It would be most beneficial to include all stages of cleansing, oil pulling, flossing and brushing. All this talk about oral bacteria makes me want to go freshen up...
Photo by Jamie Arrigo for Roseview