By Morgan Potts
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. It’s a simple practice, with quite remarkable results. Many have heard of it, but never actually dove in to try it. It definitely has a mystical and exciting vibe around it, which made me eager to try. But what exactly is it? What does it do?
In a (coco)nut shell:
To oil pull, simply swish your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth; similar to the way you would use a mouthwash. My favorite is coconut oil. This can be done anywhere from five to 20 minutes. The process attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in your mouth or lymph system, and also pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses, which is amazing! With the help of your saliva, all these scary undesirables bind with the oil, ready to be disposed of. Pulling also helps re-mineralize your teeth and strengthen your gums by thoroughly cleansing the area. This sounds good, right? But how exactly do you do it?
Traditionally, oil pullers used virgin sesame oil. The reason I prefer to use raw coconut oil is because it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties. This provides the added benefit of killing any unwanted bacteria that may be residing in the mouth, while leaving behind healthy probiotic strains. A perfect exchange!
To start, scoop ½ to 1 full tablespoon of oil into the mouth; if it’s cold, allow the oil to melt. Now push, swirl, and pull the oil between your teeth, around your gums, and allow it to touch every part of your mouth except your throat. You don’t want the oil getting in contact with your throat because it’s now carrying somewhat toxic material. No gargling!
Have fun with it, though! Hum a little song, or practice deep breathing through your nose. Allow this to be a sacred time. Enjoy the feeling of cleansing, the relaxation with the absence of talking. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of smiling with a mouth full of oil. Something about it just feels so right!
Once your time pulling is over, spit into the trash or toilet, but never the sink — the oil could solidify and clog your drain. Now rinse your mouth out with clean water two or three times. Finally, drink a glass of water and relax. You should be feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
Why oil pull? A popular reason for oil pulling is to find relief from congestion in the sinuses and throat. It is unbelievable how quickly this happens! Immediately after rinsing, you will find yourself blowing your nose and clearing your throat. I have worked with people struggling with chronic sinus congestion who experienced relief unlike anything else, after oil pulling only once! Their condition improved and the congestion eventually went away completely.
I began pulling to benefit my gums and teeth, which used to be extremely sensitive. My gums strengthened, and teeth became much whiter! It also proved to be beneficial to my skin, which cleared up dramatically, and became bright and almost glowing. Swishing with coconut oil has also proven to be beneficial to those with skin disorders such as psoriasis, and is great for anyone who wants to detox and begin taking better care of their immune system.
Oil pulling can be done at any time of the day, but for a more thorough detox, its best to do this in the morning, before eating or drinking. If you are having a hard time fitting oil pulling into your routine, I’ve found a nice time to do this is while in the shower. This way, you aren’t counting the clock until the minutes are up; simply spit when your shower is done.
I hope you enjoy this healing, divine and sensual experience as much as I do. Love the oil. Love the process. Happy pulling!