An Experiment in Oil Pulling

I'm not usually one to hop on the natural remedy train. I have nothing against natural remedies, herbal healers and the like, but the feeling I get is that it takes a lot of research and money to do it right. Lately, however, I've been reading about oil pulling and feeling very inspired. For those of you who are absolutely clueless like I was the first time I heard the term, oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that reportedly pulls toxins from your body by swishing oil around in your mouth. Yes, it sounds a bit strange, but it is claimed to have a whole slew of health benefits.

Want to whiten your teeth and fight bad breath? Try oil pulling.
Want to prevent cavities, gum disease, and gingivitis? Oil pulling works for that too.
Want to clear up your acne or improve your complexion? Pull that oil.
Want to fight migraines, sinus infections, arthritis or joint pain? Swish some oil around your mouth.
Want to improve your overall immunity? I think you know what to do.

I know this sounds pretty spectacular, but the more I read, the more benefits I discover. Plus, I've yet to find something negative about it (except maybe that the feeling of oil in your mouth isn't the most pleasant thing ever). For me, the main reason for trying oil pulling is to see if it can curb my migraines. I've suffered from migraines for as long as I can remember and, frankly, I'm pretty sick of the pain and my reliance on prescription medication to ease said pain. I also won't complain if it whitens my teeth and improves my complexion.

So, how do you do it? 

It's pretty easy, actually. Start with an empty stomach and drink one cup of cold water. Next, put one teaspoon to one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around for twenty minutes. Swish vigorously, but resist the urge to swallow or the toxins will go back into your body. If you feel your mouth is getting full, just spit a little out into the toilet or the trash (spitting it into the sink can clog your pipes). When the twenty minutes are up, spit the oil out (again, into the toilet or the trash) ... And that's it, folks!

What kind of oil should you use? 

A variety of cold-pressed oils will do. I've chosen to use coconut oil, but sesame, sunflower, and olive oil are acceptable as well. It might be important to note that when you buy the oil, it comes in a solid, waxy form. It may feel a bit strange when you first put the oil in your mouth, but it soon turns to liquid and can be swished around easily.

For my experiment in oil pulling, I plan to do it every morning for the next two weeks. I'll check in every few days to document my process and let you know whether I see any results. If anyone else is interested in giving it a try with me, please let me know! I'd love to have some company.


  1. People all around my school are talking about this - I think that I will have to try it. :) Good Luck to you!

  2. Thanks, Melissa! I'd love to hear what you think of it!