• Deborah Verga

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has many health benefits. Is it worth giving a try?

According to NCBI "Oil pulling in addition to offering several oral health benefits has also beneficial effects on overall health."

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling involves swishing a small amount of oil, preferably coconut oil, in the mouth for a specific period of time.

The coconut oil pulls bacteria from the mouth improving the look, feel, and health of your teeth and gums, which, in turn, supports your overall health.


Centered in India, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing processes.

Ayurvedic medicine is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. (WebMD)

Oil pulling is a ancient Ayurvedic dental technique used to remove bacteria from the mouth thereby supporting the body's overall health.

Health Benefits

Many claim oil pulling helps to support, maintain, or improve: acne, bad breath, bleeding gums, cavities and gingivitis, cracked lips, gums and jaw strength, headaches, heart disease, immune system, inflammation, oral hygiene, sleep and sinus issues, teeth whitening, throat dryness, and tooth decay.

How Does It Work 

The swish of coconut oil loosens bacteria and biofilm (plaque) in the mouth, trapping it in the oil. When you spit the oil out, you’re spitting out all the bacteria gathered from the swishing. It creates a clean, oral environment that contributes to the improvement of oral and overall health.

How To Do It

Choose an organic coconut oil for the healthiest benefits. No need to break the bank here, I like Walmart’s Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil

Use up to a tablespoon of coconut oil and place it in your mouth (you may want to start out with just a teaspoon as the oil is in its hardened state and as it melts in your mouth it will double in size from your saliva).

Gently swish it around in your mouth, without swallowing, for a minute or two. The goal is to gently swish it around for up to 20 minutes each time you do it.

The swishing will loosen up debris and bacteria, as well as draw out toxins. It all gets captured in the coconut oil.

Be sure NOT to swallow any of the oil as you don't want to swallow what you just captured in the oil. Yuck! The goal is to remove all this gunk from your mouth.

Once the 20 minutes are up, or for as long as you can do it, spit the oil out into a trash can. Do NOT spit it into a sink, as the coconut oil will harden and clog your pipes!

It will also harden back up in your trash can, too. Even with all your mouth gunk in it! That's ok. That's where you want to dispose of it.

When you're finished, rinse your mouth out with warm water then brush and floss as normal.

If you want to further improve your oral health, brush with a chemical-free tooth paste. My favorite is the doTERRA Natural Whitening Toothpaste.

How Often Should You Do Oil Pulling?

It's recommended that you oil pull 3-4 times per week.

My Experience With Oil Pulling

I started out with just 10 minutes and slowly worked up to 20 minutes, 3 times a week.

I used a little over a teaspoon at a time, as I found a tablespoon to be too much oil (Can you say drooling liquefied oil? Yeah, not pretty!)

The first time I did it, it took me a minute to get used to the chunky-ness of the coconut oil, and the taste, but once it liquefied (about a minute into it) it was much more pleasant and I had no problems.

Once I finished, I spat it into the trash can, rinsed, brushed, and flossed.

First Impressions

I immediately noticed how smooth my teeth felt when I ran my tongue over them and how shiny they were. It was easy to do and a pleasant experience!

NCBI concluded: "Based on currently available research... oil pulling when performed as recommended, can be safely used as an adjunct to maintain good oral hygiene and health along with the routine tooth brushing and flossing with promising positive results."

Oil pulling has many health benefits and it's definitely worth giving a try!

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© 2019 Deborah Verga