Coconut Oil And Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a strange little process that is assigned a lot of power in Indian folk medicine and the Ayurvedic tradition. Most people have never heard of oil pulling. You can just imagine telling someone that you do oil pulling every morning when you wake and them replying, “Is something wrong with your car?”
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic technique that originated in India. The process involves you swirling some virgin coconut oil in your mouth for a few minutes. The belief is that since coconut oil is antibacterial and antiviral by nature, it will kill the harmful bacteria in your mouth and also extract any impurities from your body.
This mostly forgotten practice has seen a reemergence ever since coconut oil became more popular because of its health benefits.
Over the past few years, more scientific researches has been done on the benefits of oil pulling. The scientific interest doesn’t come from curiosity, there is a UN initiative to try and find a good recommendation for oral health care that would be affordable and accessible in all areas of the world.
Most of the studies have remained focused on oral health, but a few noted proven benefits on sinus congestion as well. As more of the folklore about oil pulling is examined and found to be true, more money is being invested in studying the other claims about oil pulling. If the benefits described are true, then coconut oil could become a way to increase the health and longevity of the world’s population.
Health Advantages Of Pulling
Before you either dismiss oil pulling as folklore, or embrace it as a cure all, it is important to break down the benefits that have been proven about the process, or that are just reported but not studied as yet. While there are a variety of oils recommended for pulling, coconut oil has been studied and reported on as well and is credited with the following benefits.
Oil pulling is said to prevent cavities, reduce plaque buildup and strengthen your gums. It’s also said that the coconut oil will prevent many sicknesses from taking root in your body because of the antiviral and antibacterial nature of coconut oil.
Dentists have mentioned that oil pulling has no conclusive evidence that it works. Because of this, normal brushing and flossing should not be forgotten just because one does oil pulling. The best course of action will be to brush and floss daily and also spend a few minutes doing oil pulling.
You can do both. Oil pulling is not a mutually exclusive activity.
Just like there are two sides to a coin, there are is a side effect of coconut oil that you should be aware of. In most cases, the side effect occurs because people are too eager to see benefits and consume too much coconut oil too soon in order to accelerate the results.
It doesn’t work that way. You need to do a little each day and over time, you will reap the rewards.
Possible Coconut Oil Side-Effects: If you were actually consuming coconut oil, it would be a little different, but just to let you know, you don’t want to do too much too fast. Consuming too much coconut oil in a short space of time, could give you diarrhea. This is a result of the medium-chain fatty acids making your stools soft and loose.
The best way to avoid all these side effects will be to consume just a teeny bit of coconut oil each day when you are starting out. The same applies for oil pulling. Over time as your body gets more accustomed to the coconut oil, you may slowly increase the amount. In this way, your body will adapt and get all the benefits that coconut oil has to offer.
Proven Benefits Of Oil Pulling
The following are benefits that have been medically and/or scientifically confirmed about oil pulling.
- Improve tooth, gum and jaw health
- Brighten appearance of teeth
- Prevent cavities and reduce/eliminate gingivitis
- End bad breath
- Provide relief from congested sinuses
Potential Health Benefits Of Oil Pulling
The following are benefits that are only reported anecdotally (by story). However, they are the most common benefits reported by people from all over the world.
- Improve vision
- Relieve chronic headaches/migraines
- Relieve arthritic inflammation
- Support healthy kidney functions
- Boost energy
- Clear acnes and even skin tone/appearance
- Regulated monthly cycles
- Detoxify the body
- Eliminate or reduce symptoms associated with hangovers
- Promote better sleep
How To Pull Coconut Oil
The biggest problem that many people have when they’re first attempting oil pulling is the “coconutty” taste which may be too strong for their liking.
For a method that can provide so much benefit, the process is amazingly easy.
Some sources recommend doing oil pulling for 10 to 20 minutes. This is unnecessarily long for a lot of people, but many love it. For those of you who find that too long, try 2 sessions of 4 minutes each should suffice and be beneficial.
Follow the directions below.
The problem that people run into is being consistent with doing it. It pays to put the time in to make this a part of your daily routine.
You Will Need:
- 1 tablespoon solid coconut oil. If you’re a beginner, cut that amount in half or more and work your way up.
- 1 glass of warm water
What To Do:
- Swish ½ of the glass of warm water around your mouth for a minute and then spit it out. This just removes any debris that might be stuck between your teeth.
- Scoop out 1 tablespoon (or whatever amount you’re using) of the solid coconut oil and put it in your mouth.
- Let the coconut oil warm in your mouth and melt.
- Swish the coconut oil vigorously for 10 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to swallow any. If you’re mouth gets too full with the added saliva, spit some out as you go.
- Spit out the coconut oil.
- Rinse your mouth with the rest of the warm water and spit it out.
- Wait 20 minutes before eating, drinking or brushing your teeth.
There are 2 other well-known oil pulling techniques. They are Kavala and Gandusa, respectively. The Kavala method requires you to hold the coconut oil in your mouth for a couple of minutes, then swirl it around for a while and finally spit it out. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes and is usually repeated around 2 to 4 times.
Tips And Tricks For Oil Pulling
- One of the things that will happen is the coconut oil will turn foamy and “expand” in your mouth. The tablespoon dose is suggested and not written in stone. If you wind up with too much foamy oil, spit a little out and decrease to ¾ of a tablespoon next time.
- If you don’t like the taste, add a drop of mint to the oil.
- A lot of people have problems finding 20 minutes to pull in the morning, so they do it while taking a shower. The timing may not be exact, but it will get you the benefits. And you also have the other options talked about above.
- Most research shows that pulling in the morning, before you eat, is the best time. While some people believe this increases the ability of the pull to detoxify the body, science believes it creates an easier environment for oral health because you haven’t eaten anything yet.
- Be patient and don’t expect to see results for 30 to 45 days of consistent daily oil pulling. One thing I always recommend to people is to take “before” and “after” pictures. You want to see a change, not just believe one has happened. It will also let you see change when you think one may not have occurred.