A long-debated and alarmingly simple Ayurvedic health ritual–and my new favorite habit.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method of removing toxins from the body, and claims to pull toxins out of the bloodstream through contact with the gums, as well as whiten teeth, assist in dental hygiene, reduce mouth and body aches, reduce menstrual symptoms, and aid in total-body health.
Science has neither proved, nor disproved these claims over hundreds of years, EXCEPT, in a relatively recent study, which found that
“Coconut oil exhibited antimicrobial activity against S. mutans and C. albicans. Sesame oil had antibacterial activity against S. mutans whereas sunflower oil had antifungal activity against C. albicans” –Source
S. Mutans is a bacteria, commonly found in the mouth, which contributes to tooth decay. C. Albicans (mutated) is responsible for Candida outbreaks and overgrowth. While sesame oil is traditional, coconut oil is gaining more and more popularity for this ritual. Coconut oil, by working effectively against overgrowth of these organisms in the mouth, actively contributes to oral, and therefore overall-body health.
I, personally, like the taste of coconut oil, and after some adjustment, am loving this ritual.
So, here’s what you do:
- First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water to stimulate the saliva production and the circulation in your gums.
- Place one Tablespoon of clean oil from a trusted source (I’m using this right now ) in your mouth, and slowly pull it through your teeth and gently swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes.
- That’s right, 20 minutes. Don’t worry if you have trouble with this at first; it’s a little unusual to keep something in your mouth for so long, but you’ll get used to it, I promise! I recommend beginning with 5 minutes, and working your way up to 20.
- After 20 minutes, the oil will have mixed with your saliva and will be a whitish color–spit it into the trash! This is important, you don’t want to let all that hard work go to waste by swallowing it, and you don’t want it to clog up your pipes either. So, into the trash it goes.
- Now give your mouth a rinse, and brush your teeth, knowing you’ve done something great for your body for the day!
I enjoy the ritual of the oil-pull, and notice my mouth feels cleaner and my breath is fresher since I’ve begun the practice–I highly recommend it.
Here’s an interesting article on the Oil-Pull.
Giving the oil-pull a try? Let me know what you think!