Beauty Diaries

Beauty Diaries

Your Personal Beauty Bulletin Blog

Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling

I have recently returned from a trip to the Middle East and Thailand and there I learnt a few new tricks, one being Oil Pulling.

Whilst in a thai spa I saw a lady put a huge chunk of pure coconut oil into her mouth and start swirling it around.  I tried not to stare until finally I couldn’t resist and asked her why she did it. Her response: swishing some oil in the mouth would help prevent cavities and prevent bad breath and it’s good for you.  She then told me she had been doing it for years.  I asked her if it tasted awful and disgusting and she told me it wasn’t bad and she spits it out after 20mins so it isn’t as gross as it sounds. I was hugely dubious about this and then I noticed how amazing her teeth were – most amazing white teeth ever!  I asked if she bleached them and she said no, it’s just an added benefit of the oil pulling.

So now I am curious and after a few days I can’t get the idea out of my mind.  So I googled it ( this is no easy feat trying to find decent wifi where I was ) and low and behold it isn’t unique to some crazy lady sitting in a tiny island off the gulf of Thailand….even Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it!

That afternoon I went and bought a jar or virgin coconut oil and call me crazy but it’s now part of my daily routine.  My husband even does it now – he takes a spoonful before he enters the shower and does the ‘pulling’ before spitting it out ( don’t worry – not in the bathroom drains ).

Let me give you more information and feedback – stuff I found online after some research:

Oil pulling is an ancient practice known as Ayurveda that originated in India thousands of years ago and the concept behind it is simple: oil is “gargled” or swished around in one’s mouth which causes a chemical reaction between the oil and saliva so that the bacteria that is lurking around the teeth, gums, and tongue is “caught” in the mixture of oil and saliva. Thus, cleansing the mouth of bacteria that causes decay, cavities, and other oral diseases. Oil pulling is also known to heal bleeding gums, dry throat, and strengthen teeth, gums, and jaw.

The major culprit in oral problems is a bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. They multiply quickly and form a “biofilm” which is a thin layer that is also infamously known as plaque. As we continue to feed and grow them with sucrose which is also known as sugar, Streptococcus mutans create a biofilm over teeth which then lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The chemical reaction between the oil, saliva, and bacteria causes the oil to turn to a creamy white texture. How you ask? Simply, the lipids in the oil act like a vacuum cleaner as they pull the bacteria and toxins out of the saliva and teeth. Because oils have such a powerful detoxifying effect, not only would they benefit oral health but also the health of the body overall.

Benefits include: 

·         Oral disease prevention

·         Bad breath prevention

·         Healing for bleeding gums

·         Dry throat, lips, and mouth remedy

·         Strengthening of the teeth and gums

However, since oil is a detoxifier, benefits go beyond the mouth! Other benefits that have been reported are:

·         Reduction of eczema

·         Improved kidney function

·         Allergy relief

·         Reducing inflammation that causes arthritis

·         Reducing pain

·         Improved vision

·         Improved immune system



So now comes down to which oil to use…

While there are many different types of oils that can be used, the one that comes the most highly recommended online is sesame oil as it is well-known for its oral health boosting properties. Sesame and sunflower oils were the oils that were originally used by the first practitioners of oil pulling; also, probably because that was what they had an abundance of. Each oil has their own different benefits and they each have their own unique taste to them as well. Besides these three oils that I am about to mention, people have reported success with basically any vegetable oil like olive, almond, etc. All oils have a great detoxifying effect on the body.

Studies have shown sesame oil to have similar properties to chlorhexidine, the chemical in clinical mouthwash that aids in oral health issues such as gingivitis. Sesame oil also has shown to be capable of inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus mutans.

Sunflower oil is known as a great antioxidant due to its high levels of Vitamin E as well as its chemical properties that aid in healing infection. Sunflower oil can also act as a great natural moisturizer which would benefit chapped lips and dry throat.

If you were to ask different people, each person would have a different preference as to which oil they like the best. I personally prefer coconut oil due to the many other health benefits that it provides and that I also have it on hand in great abundance as I love to cook thai food and always stock it in my cubboard ( also bought a lot recently on special ).

Coconut oil, my personal favourite and the one I first tried and now have stuck with. It has a high content of lauric acid which has proven to be highly antimicrobial. Coconut oil also has the most pleasant and bearable taste, in my opinion.

How to:

1.       You will need 1-2 teaspoons of your chosen oil. The coconut oil I use is an organic brand in a solid state so I let it sit in my mouth until it melts into a liquid state.

2.       Swish the oil around your mouth for at least 15 minutes. The recommended amount of time is 15-20 minutes to receive the full benefits from the oil. Do not swish for more than 20 minutes as the body will start to re-absorb the bacteria and toxins.

3.       Spit out the oil! Do not swallow the oil that is full of bacteria and toxins! If done correctly and for the right amount of the time, the oil should now be a thick and creamy white colour.

4.       Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water several times. Cold or warm, doesn’t really matter. I like to use warm water because but it doesn’t matter.

5.       Brush your teeth! This is definitely crucial to maintaining good oral health and the pulling does not replace this.




So does it work?  While there are many different reports floating around about why oil pulling is beneficial, there are also doubtful reports that state there is no actual medical evidence or proof that it truly works. Oil pulling is cheap; the only expense is for the oil you use. It is very easy; you simply swish oil in your mouth. Compared to other forms of detoxification it is relatively effortless. It doesn’t require dieting, fasting, or consuming unpleasant, and often bowel loosening, mixes of herbs and pills. And it is completely harmless. All you are doing is rinsing your mouth out with vegetable oil—a food. You’re not even swallowing the oil. What can be more benign than that? Nearly anyone can do it, regardless of their level of health. If you have health issues, don’t let the simplicity of oil pulling deter you from trying it. Sometimes the simplest procedures produce the greatest results.



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