Oil pulling has made its way back into my daily regimen recently, and the benefits are already presenting themselves. My girlfriend isn't a fan of the noise I now make of a morning, but she'll survive.
Originating in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling involves taking a tablespoon of oil in the mouth, then swishing and pulling it through your teeth. This process extracts harmful bacteria and toxins from your oral cavity and body. Resulting in a natural cleaning of your teeth, tongue and gums. I prefer organic coconut oil as my oil of choice, due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties - see my blog post on coconut oil for more benefits.
For oral your health oil pulling reduces the presence of Streptococcus mutans; a bacterium found in the mouth that contributes to oral disease. In triple-blind studies oil pulling has demonstrated a reduction of aerobic microorganisms, and plaque-induced gingivitis. Further data has demonstrated the efficacy of oil pulling as an alternative to conventional mouthwash; neutralising bacteria and halitosis. Without the side effects from use of chlorhexidine based solutions.
Additional anecdotal evidence, from thousands of years of implementation of this daily practice, note the following extra benefits: teeth whitening, reduction of stress on the endocrine system, noticeable changes in complexion, increased energy and vitality.
As a practice this is something you do when you first rise, before eating. Be sure to start by drinking a glass of water, ensuring your body will be able to produce adequate saliva. Place a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth; swish it around, pulling it through your teeth and corners of the mouth. If your jaw becomes sore, ease off and gently increase once comfortable again. When starting out you only want to do 5 minutes or so, gradually increasing to 20 minutes. As the oil now contains toxins and harmful bacteria, you'll definitely want to avoid swallowing or attempting to gargle with it.
Once complete spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with clean water. Fresh!
Does anyone use oil pulling?