Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It involves the use of pure oils as agents for pulling harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, gums and even throat.
How to oil pull
Here are the 4 simple steps to do oil pulling:
1. Measure one tablespoon of oil, such as coconut, sesame or olive oil, preferably
wood-pressed oils. Sesame oil is largely preferred for this.
2. Swish it around in your mouth for 15–20 minutes, being careful not to swallow any.
3. Spit the oil into a trash can once you're done.
4. Rinse your mouth well using water before eating or drinking anything.
What does oil pulling do?
Oil pulling can kill bacteria in the mouth and improve dental health. Some alternative medicine practitioners also claim that it can help treat several diseases. Here are some of the science-backed benefits of oil pulling -
1. Kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth-
There are approximately 350 different
types of bacteria that reside in your mouth all the time. Most of these bacteria are
responsible for oral problems like cavities and gum problems. Studies show that oil
pulling can help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. Oil has the ability to
cleanse out harmful bacteria, as well as reduce fungal overgrowth.
2. Helps reduce bad breath-
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is a condition that affects an estimated 50% of the population. Although the reasons for it vary widely, oil pulling is one of the traditional methods used to reduce it. A study showed that sesame oil and chlorhexidine are equally effective for treating bad breath.
3. Helps prevent cavities, improve gum health and reduce inflammation-
Oil pulling may also increase saponification in the mouth, creating a soapy environment that cleanses the mouth. Specifically, using sesame oil as an oral health agent helps to reduce the number of germs in both teeth plaque and mouth saliva. The lipids in the oil both pull out bacteria, as well as stop bacteria from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity. There is also anecdotal evidence that oil pulling could be a natural way to whiten your teeth.
4. Other possible benefits for oral health-
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, oil pulling also helps in overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws. It is also a holistic remedy for bleeding gums and also prevents dryness of the lips, mouth, and throat.
5. Benefits beyond the mouth-
It is the ancient ayurvedic belief that oil pulling could help fight more than just mouth and throat diseases. Other benefits include
migraine/headache relief increases energy, aids hormone changes, helps reduce
insomnia keeps your skin clear, reduces hangover after alcohol consumption and
helps detoxify the body.
One of the most common misconceptions is that oil pulling can replace brushing
your teeth. It is necessary for us to mechanically remove plaque. Oil pulling should
never be a replacement for brushing, that would only increase the risk of getting
When you start oil pulling, you might experience some of the positive effects immediately, or it may take a few days or even weeks. It will very much depend on the state of your health, to begin with, and how compromised your immune system is. Either way, this is an easy and cheap way to boost your oral health.