You may have heard about it, but what is Oil Pulling and is it any good for you? Read on to learn about it and the 6 Health Benefits of Oil Pulling with essential oils to improve oral hygiene and dental health, promote clear skin, boost energy and much more.
Where is the dirtiest part of your body? I know what you’re thinking, but that’s NOT it.
Want to know? It’s in your mouth. The back of your tongue has more bacteria that on any other part of your body.1
Ewww. Gross, right? Think about that the next time you give someone a kiss.
Why Brushing Your Teeth is Not Enough
Most toothpastes just work to prevent cavities by hardening the tooth enamel with fluoride or abrasive salts to scrub away microorganisms and bacteria from the teeth and gums.2 The problem is that this isn’t enough. The act of brushing removes about 40-70% of the bacteria (depending on how well you brush), but the bacteria that’s left behind just repopulates in your mouth.
So what can you do? I love oil pulling. There are benefits to both, and together they can help to supercharge your teeth, gums and overall health.
What is Oil Pulling?
An ancient Ayurvedic technique, oil pulling has been used for thousands of years for dental health and overall wellness by “pulling” toxins out of the body.
Oil pulling simply involves swishing oil (traditionally sesame oil was used, however, it is high in omega-6). I prefer coconut oil because it tastes better and there are many health benefits of coconut oil) in the mouth for about 20 minutes. This process removes plague and bacteria from the teeth and mouth.
Health Benefits of Oil Pulling
1. Helps to prevent cavities
Oil pulling can inhibit the formation of cavities by reducing the Streptococcus mutans bacteria that causes tooth decay.3 It will also reduce plaque buildup and gingivitis formation.4
2. Whitens teeth
Forget those teeth whiteners from the store – they’re loaded with questionable ingredients and harsh chemicals. Oil pulling has natural antibiotic elements that will strip your teeth of the bacteria that cause teeth to have a dingy, yellow color.
3. Freshens breath
Oil pulling on its own helps to remove bacteria that causes bad breath and halitosis.5 Yes, really. Just swishing around coconut oil in your mouth can do that.
4. Promotes clear, healthy skin
The liver helps to body to break down and remove toxins from the body. And if it doesn’t come out in the bathroom (whether in your poop or your pee), the body will find other ways to do it – such as recruiting other organs in the body (like the skin) to do it. Blemishes and acne are often a sign that the body is using the skin to detoxify.6
Oil pulling helps the body to detoxify before those toxins are released through the skin via blemishes and acne, which leads to clearer, healthier skin.
5. Increases energy levels
Eliminating toxins out of the body takes a lot of work. In fact, it can be downright draining. Oil pulling can actually help to increase energy because it relieves the body of the stress to eliminate those toxins. It saves the body energy, which in turn gives you more energy to do things.7
6. Naturally detoxifies the body
Just swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes can help to “pull” toxins out of the body. This helps the body to naturally detoxify and keep teeth and gums healthy.
What Are The Best Oils For Oil Pulling?
Oils people use include the traditionally used sesame oil and modern options such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil. Of these options, many prefer coconut oil for oil pulling because of its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Oil Pulling with Essential Oils
You can add essential oils to coconut oil to make the experience more palatable. Essential oils provide a nice flavor (be sure to get food-grade essential oils like these) and tastes refreshing too.
1. Peppermint essential oil is minty and refreshing.
2. Lemon essential oil is uplifting. I like to do oil pulling with Lemon oil first thing in the morning because it’s so refreshing.
3. Citrus Fresh essential oil is a relaxing, calming blend of orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and spearmint essential oils.
4. Grapefruit essential oil is refreshing yet without the sour taste of grapefruit juice.
5. Cinnamon essential oil packs a little punch in flavor, so I like it first thing in the morning to wake me up. I also like the Thieves blend (made with cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon essential oils).
How to Do Oil Pulling
- Simply take 1 tablespoon of oil (I prefer coconut oil and like to add 1-2 drops of essential oils to the spoon) and swish it around in the mouth for 20 minutes. If your jaw gets tired, you may be swishing to hard. Just a few swishes in the mouth every minute is fine.
- After 20 minutes, spit out the oil in the toilet. Do NOT swallow the oil, as it contains all the bacteria and contaminants in your teeth. Spitting the oil in the sink could cause plumbing problems, so it’s best to spit it out in the toilet.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Brush your teeth regularly.
Oil Pulling Tips
- You do not need to brush your teeth before oil pulling as the practice will remove food and bacteria from the mouth. However, it is important to brush afterwards to ensure that all of the toxins that are drawn out of the mouth are removed.
- Oil pulling is most effective when it’s done in the morning, before you’ve had breakfast or anything to drink. Do chores or take a shower to pass the time.
- Oil pulling is safe to do 1-3 times daily.
- After 3-5 days, you should be able to notice the effects of oil pulling.
- Never swallow the oil after swishing it in your mouth. Remember that the regimen pulls bacteria and toxins so swallowing it can cause potential harm.
- Never use oils that are not food-grade as they may contain harmful additives.
- Never replace time-tested habits with oil pulling, particularly your current dental health routine. Instead, use it as a supplement to oral care habits.
How to Get Started with Essential Oils
- Sign up for my FREE essential oil email course in order to learn the basics.
- Check out my FREE masterclass all about essential oils and this beginner’s guide to essential oils.
- Get my essential oils online course – complete with video tutorials, e-book and everything you need to get started with essential oils.
- Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale, and get a starter kit for 60% off retail prices. It’s the best deal around and a great way to get started with essential oils. Plus lots of freebies just for you.
More Posts You Might Like
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1, 2: Essential Oil Desk Reference Guide, 6th edition, Life Science Publishing
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / New Africa, Milkos
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Thanks for the help with oil pulling. I just started doing it. A couple of questions for you though. Do you melt the coc. oil first, or just put it in your mouth straight from the jar? And what EO would you recommend for gum issues (receding), and what would you recommend for removing stains?
Tracey Black says
I put it straight in my mouth. It warms up and turns into a liquid after a couple of swishes. I love Copaiba for oral care.