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Oil Pulling

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Oil Pulling . . . what is it?

In its simplest form, oil pulling is basically taking approximately a spoonful of a vegetable-derived oil and forcing the oil back and forth around and between your teeth for a period of time.While the benefits of oil pulling will be discussed later in this article, it is important to note that the cost to try and use this health technique are extremely minimal – as the costs are based on the type of oil used – but, I can assure you that the overall cost of oil pulling gives this technique one of the best “returns on investment” available.

Origins

Oil pulling, as a health practice for our bodies, is literally hundreds to thousands of years old. The oil pulling website states that oil pulling originated in an ancient Ayurvedic text[i] (see http://www.oilpulling.com/oil-pulling-therapy-origins/ for more information on the origins of oil pulling). Side note: Ayurveda medicine is a “system of homeopathic medicine with historical roots in the Indian Subcontinent.”[ii]

Benefits of Oil Pulling[iii]

  • Killing of germs through the use of oils with anti-fungal properties (more on this later in this article);
  • Provides cleaning fluids through the microscopic tubules of each tooth[iv];
  • The movement of oil pulls toxins not only from around and between your teeth, but also from the mouth and tongue;
  • Heals teeth[v];
  • Prevents plaque or bacteria adhering on teeth[vi];
  • Through the mechanical flow of liquids, the oil being pulled between your teeth and around your mouth may dislodge food particles and bacteria that get caught in the oil that are eventually spit from your mouth[vii]; and,
  • Moisturizes gums and provides a measure of relief for those suffering from dry mouth.[viii]

Skeptics of Oil Pulling

While some people have claimed that oil pulling is the latest homeopathic craze (see https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/04/is-oil-pulling-your-best-choice-for-dental-health/); the American Dental Association states that oil pulling should not be a substitute for brushing twice/day and flossing daily.[ix] However, on the other side, many dentists and doctors claim many great results from oil pulling (for one example, please see: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/05/21/does-oil-pulling-actually-have-health-benefits/). I believe that oil pulling is a great way to start my day and it enhances my oral hygiene of brushing and flossing.

Types of Oils to Use

Some homeopaths do not differentiate between the vegetable-derived oils for oil pulling. However, a PubMed study shows that oil pulling with olive oil, safflower oil or linseed oil had no effect on microbial colonization on tooth enamel – the authors of the study concluded that oil pulling with those oils could not be recommended for biofilm reduction.[x]

While some practitioners recommend virgin coconut oil (VCO), I recommend Cold-Rolled Sesame Seed Oil.[xi] Cold-Rolled Sesame Seed Oil uses an expeller process to extract the precious oil from the sesame seed husks under low-temperature conditions and without chemical solvents; and, it is this cold-rolled method that locks in the important nutrients.

A recent vitro lab study showed that coconut oil and sesame seed oil do contain the necessary antibacterial properties to contain or reduce bacteria colonization on both the enamel of the teeth and within the entire mouth.[xii]

Simple Instructions

  1. Place a small amount of oil (again, I recommend Cold-Rolled Sesame Seed Oil) in a teaspoon – start out with a smaller amount of the oil and add more oil the next day, as needed.
  2. Put the oil in your mouth – do not swallow the oil during the entire oil pulling process – and begin to move the oil over and between your teeth by using a combination of pushing and pulling the oil.
  3. Try to keep the oil in your mouth for 20-30 minutes – I like to use oil pulling when I am showering and shaving in the morning (it is a time when I normally have some alone time and can oil pull without normal day-to-day distractions). As time passes, the golden oil that you originally placed on the spoon will turn white in your mouth. The color change is caused by the toxins and bacteria getting caught in the oil. Again, do not swallow the oil because it now contains the toxic elements that we are trying to get rid of.
  4. When you are finished, spit the oil into your trashcan. Do not spit the used oil into your sink or toilet because the oil will harden as it gets cooler and could clog the drains or pipes.
  5. Rinse your mouth with warm water – use warm water to help keep the used oil in a liquid form – to swish around your mouth and spit (again, in the trash can and not down a drain).

Options

  • Some practitioners recommend oil pulling 2 to 3 times per day, I am comfortable with oil pulling every morning.
  • Add a drop or two of Organic Peppermint Oil for a quick morning pick up while you are oil pulling.

Next Steps

Once you become comfortable with oil pulling, you can add your own homemade toothpaste to further augment your oral hygiene.[xiii]

[i] Oil Pulling Therapy is called “KAVALA GRAHAM” in the Ayurveda texts.

[ii] SeeMeulenbeld, Gerrit Jan (1999). "Introduction". A History of Indian Medical Literature. Groningen: Egbert Forsten.ISBN9069801248. Also, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda#cite_note-HIML-intro-2

[iii] The benefits of oil pulling are simply stated here – clinical studies are added as I find them – based on traditional folk medicine, homeopathic medicine, and various actual, personal statements from people who use this technique.

[iv] See http://www.oilpulling.com/does-oil-pulling-work/

[v] See https://www.utoronto.ca/news/understanding-gwyneth-paltrows-oil-pulling-regime

[vi] See http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/06/what-is-oil-pulling_n_4911241.html

[vii] See http://www.gastongazette.com/20140525/oil-pulling-holistic-technique-believed-to-improve-your-oral-health/305259938

[viii] See https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/oil-pulling-your-leg/

[ix] See http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/swishing-with-oil-for-oral-health-not-recommended/284490/

[x] See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552590

[xi] In another article, I will discuss the differences between virgin coconut oil and Cold-Rolled Sesame Seed Oil.

[xii] See http://www.asiaph.org/admin/img_topic/6096Sroisiri.pdf

[xiii] My article on homemade toothpaste is coming soon.

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