Contrary to what you might think, oil pulling isn’t some new age crap invented by Whole Foods-worshipping Lululemon-wearing LA trophy wives who have “found themselves” thanks to the teachings of a bearded Bengali man in Beverly Hills. My foremothers invented it, you guys.
Oil pulling is mentioned in Charaka Samhita, an early Ayurvedic text dating to roughly 300 to 500 CE, and it has been described as a technique capable of improving oral health and treating diseases like diabetes, asthma and eczema. Scientific evidence is lacking to support such claims, but studies have suggested that it reduces oral plaque, gingivitis and improves the general mouth well-being.
I believe in my foremothers. They invented threading, after all, a technique millions of women all over the world have to thank for their lack of unibrows. And curry. My foremothers, invented curry. Inventors of curry do not spout nonsense.
And so, six weeks ago, during a particularly stressful work week, I bought myself a jar of coconut oil and started swishing oil in my mouth first thing in the morning.
I have to admit, though, because of the amount of natural fanatics who put oil pulling on a pedestal, I went into it not expecting to be miraculously cured of my asthma, eczema and morning sinusitis.
Swishing oil in my mouth for 20 minutes every morning is not easy. For starters, my nose is always blocked in the morning. I start by blowing as much out of my nose as possible so I can breathe through it while oil pulling.
I put a tablespoon of coconut oil in my mouth and start swishing. During that time, I make breakfast, shower and sometimes even have time to pack my lunch for the day before spitting the oil out before brushing my teeth. (Remember to spit the oil into a plastic bag and not directly into the sink because it might clog up your pipes.) You will notice that the oil you spit out is an opaque white color, as opposed to the clear oil you put in your mouth at the beginning.
I started at five minutes because I couldn’t handle having oil in my mouth for such a long period, but gradually increased the time until I reached a full 20 minutes.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR MOUTH, FYI
Your mouth is the mirror of your whole body’s health. There are well over 600 different kinds of bacteria, yeast, fungi, and other microorganisms that reside the the dark, steamy, slimy crevices of your mouth. In fact, the number of bacteria in one mouth can easily exceed the number of people on Earth, and if you’re thinking of one place to start improving your health, it’s your mouth.
- I have found significant improvements in my eczema breakouts. The spots I get are at my neck and the back of my elbows and knees. The itch on a daily basis have all disappeared save for the back of one knee. I still do get itchy occasionally thanks to environmental factors but this has been the most rewarding result of oil pulling.
- As mentioned earlier, my nose is always blocked in the morning. Post-pulling, I find myself blowing my nose out a lot.
- I have read several sites that claim that oil pulling whitens teeth, but I found no improvements in mine. It might be due to the fact that I’m anal about my teeth and gum health already.
- Because my asthma is weather and allegiant-triggered as well, I found no results there.
- You might want to experiment with different brands of coconut oils for texture. Some people like the oil watery, others, a thicker consistency. Whatever it is, make sure that when you spit it out, you’d notice the oil turn almost opaque.
- If you do not worship at the coconut oil altar, you can try using other unrefined, cold pressed, organic oils as well. Sesame oil and sunflower oils are two alternatives. Avoid corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and soy oil, and those that go rancid very quickly such as flax oil.
- Be a lady: don’t swallow. It’s OK if you swallow a little accidentally; you’re not going to die from it. The point is to expel the toxins from your body, not to re-ingest them.
Have you oil pulled? Going to try?