Oil Pulling and Why You Should Try It Out

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We're all getting super sick this time of year, all the more reason to begin oil pulling! When deciding to possibly begin this trend that's all too Pinterest-popular, I researched. I plan on trying this at least once, but I'm not sure if it's for me. I'm writing this post to get others' opinions and feedback on the matter, as well as to give you all the deets I discovered.

Also known as "kavala", oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental method to rid the body of horrible toxins while still keeping the good ones (depending on what oil you use).

This is a good way to either mellow your symptoms of congestion and mucus, or prevent the cold by ridding your body of the bacteria needed to cultivate the cold in the first place.

I've read many articles that coconut oil is the favorite for some, although virgin sesame oil is the most popular. As long as you use an unrefined, high quality oil, you'll be fine. Coconut oil has always been my favorite for anything--skin treatments, cooking, you name it. Coconut oil allows the bad bacteria to be washed out, keeping the good probiotics that you need.

People have mentioned a variety of health benefits from oil pulling, but these are just a few:

  • Better breath

  • Less sleep difficulty

  • Alleviated sinus issues and less congestion in nose/throat

  • Elimination of headaches

  • Easy hangover cure

  • Whiter and stronger teeth

  • Increase in energy

  • Keeps skin clear

  • Strengthened immune system

For the most in-depth detox, it's best to oil pull at the beginning of your day before your first meal.

Simply take a half or full tablespoon of the oil and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the oil feels like twice as much by the time you're done--it's supposed to do this, gathering toxins and other nasty junk from your insides. DO NOT SWALLOW, as this will reinforce all of the bad toxins back into your stream. Also be sure you don't allow the oils carrying toxins to touch your throat (i.e no gargling).

Once you've finished, spit your oils into the trash or toilet (never the sink, as it can get backed up and clogged if the oils solidify). You may choose to swish your mouth with warm salt water and brush your teeth after, or simply rinse your mouth with clean water two-three times, drinking a full glass of water afterwards--whichever suits you best!

Please don't be fooled: oil pulling can be a scary and/or uncomfortable process the first time or few that you've done it. I read articles in which people became quite sick-feeling once the oils increased in size, hinting to the wide amount of bacteria being collected. Some also experienced detox headaches, common if it's your first occurrence of pulling. If this happens to you, do stop and spit. There's no swishing more important than your own sanity and immediate health. The lesson here: only do what you can handle.

Will you try oil pulling? Or have you? Share your stories in the comments!