What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is considered a medical practice in which edible oil is swished around the mouth for a period of time and then spit out. This oil therapy is considered to be a part of the age old ayurvedic medicinal branch in India. Oil pulling is usually done with coconut oil, although any other edible oil is good enough to be used. Nonetheless, coconut oil is lighter when compared to other oils and naturally tastes better than others.
How Does Oil Pulling Work?
Although there are no clear studies suggesting how exactly oil pulling works in the body, there are a few logical explanations. The most important claim is that the oil actually “pulls” out toxins and harmful bacteria from the body. This helps to naturally increase saliva production and also keeps the gums moisturised throughout the day. Many people all over the world have tried this technique and claim to have benefited greatly from it. On the contrary, there are also some who don’t agree with this method! You can try for yourself and see if this unique method suits you!
What are the Benefits of Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil pulling benefits are many. For all those of you who are vehemently denying this method, we have just one thing to say - it is just edible coconut oil. There is no harm in trying after all! And why not to try? The benefits are said to be many! Here are some of them:
Improves Gum Health
Inflammation in the gum, otherwise called gingivitis, is caused by plaque formed from bacteria. This can lead to bleeding in the gums and inflammation too. Coconut oil has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and is thus, very effective in reducing inflammation in the gums. Since oil pulling reduces the harmful bacteria in the mouth and keeps plaque at bay, inflammation too is reduced naturally.
Reduces Bad Breath
Halitosis, most commonly known as bad breath, is a difficult situation for the patient as well as the one dealing with them up close. This is often associated with poor oral hygiene, gingivitis and other infections. Studies show that oil pulling with coconut oil reduces all markers of bad breath significantly.
Coconut oil pulling benefits have been observed and studied since long. Some of these include clearer sinuses, whiter teeth (reduces stains and yellowness), stronger jaw and prevention of cavities.
Tips While Doing Oil Pulling
- While it is possible to use other oils like sunflower oil, olive oil or sesame oil for oil pulling, it is most advisable to use coconut oil. If you are new to this concept, then it is highly recommended that you start off with coconut oil as it is more pleasant in taste and easier to deal with. Also, coconut oil has the added benefit of containing lauric acid that is known for its antimicrobial properties.
- The coconut oil pulling duration is very important. Ideally, oil pulling is best if done for the whole 20 minutes. But longer duration will definitely create discomforts like a stiff jaw, chances of swallowing, etc. Hence, if you are a novice at this, then better step away from the idea of oil pulling for 20 minutes; at least for now. Start off with just 5 minutes a day and then work up your time as and when you get used to it.
- Never skip brushing. Although oil pulling is considered the best way to oral hygiene, it is important to understand that it is not an alternative to brushing or flossing. It cannot reverse the effects of tooth decay, that can only be prevented with regular brushing and flossing.
- Don’t swallow the oil. It may seem difficult at first, but you will get used to it! Also, try to reduce the amount of the oil if you find it hard not to swallow.
- It is best advised to do oil pulling with coconut oil early in the morning before brushing your teeth.
How to Do Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil?
Here are the steps you need to follow while doing oil pulling:
- Take your preferred oil and measure one tablespoon in quantity.
- Next, swish it around your mouth for around 15 to 20 minutes. Always be careful not to swallow the oil.
- Spit the oil out once you are done. Make sure to spit out the oil elsewhere other than the sink, so as not to clog the drains.
- Finally, rinse your mouth before eating or drinking anything. Also, it is a good practice to do oil pulling before brushing your teeth.
Is Coconut Oil Pulling Safe? Are There Any Side Effects?
There are relatively very few cases of side effects of oil pulling reported so far. But some have drawn attention to cases that may have resulted in unfortunate reactions. A few of the side effects of oil pulling with coconut oil are:
- Improper technique in oil pulling is a thing of major concern. Such improper method of oil pulling can result in a dry mouth, loss of sensation or taste in the mouth, excessive thirst, etc.
- Swallowing the oil after swishing can result in an upset stomach and diarrhoea. Moreover, the oil is considered to be impure as it contains bacteria that is collected from your mouth.
- If you have an allergy to coconut or coconut oil, then it may result in dire consequences if you fail to exercise caution while oil pulling with coconut oil.
Final Thoughts on the Ancient Practice of Oil Pulling
This alternative medicine technique of oil pulling is said to have originated from the Indian branch of medicine, Ayurveda, more than 1,000 years ago. Ayurveda says that if you practice oil pulling with coconut oil you will never have to suffer from throat dryness, lip cracking or teeth infections. And interestingly, gargling of oil gives strength to the jaws, enhances taste in food and also improves the quality of your vocals!
Make Oil Pulling an Important Part of Your Oral Care Routine
As you would have learnt by now, oil pulling using coconut oil is extremely beneficial for your oral health and you should make it a part of your daily oral care routine. Also, being completely natural, there are no chemical-based side effects. We hope you would have loved this BP Guide. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.