Oil Pulling History
Most of us cannot even imagine what life would be like without brushing and flossing our teeth everyday.
However, in the scheme of things, tooth brushing is relatively.
New since nylon bristle toothbrushes didn’t become part of our normal American experience until the late 1930s!
It’s important to remember that, in spite of the fact that most people in American today were all raised with toothbrushes in our mouths.
Our ancestors didn’t brush their teeth with toothpaste for thousands of years.
And, as far as archeological evidence suggests, most people throughout history lived until a ripe old age with most of their teeth intact and in a strong, healthy state.
Why didn’t their teeth rot?
Well, first of all, they ate real food and didn’t consume processed sugars and grains filled with phytic acid, which destroy tooth enamel.
Secondly, they took care of their teeth through natural means like chew sticks that they rubbed against the teeth as has been found in Egyptian tombs dating to 3000 B.C.
Third, depending on the culture and region of the world, many people also oil pulled.
What Is Oil Pulling?
An ancient Ayurvedic ritual dating back over 3,000 years.
Oil pulling involves placing a tablespoon of extra virgin organic cold pressed oil (I use coconut oil, but sesame or olive oil is fine too) into your mouth and then swishing it around for up to 20 minutes.
Minimum 5 minutes (pulling it between your teeth), before spitting it out.
Whatever you do, do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins you are trying to wipe out.
Afterwards requires brushing your teeth with an all-natural fluoride-free toothpaste, and rinsing your mouth out.
And you’re done!
It really is that easy.
Why Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling can really transform your health.
With the mouth as the home to millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins, the oil acts like a cleanser, pulling out the nasties before they get a chance to spread throughout the body.
This frees up the immune system, reduces stress, curtails internal inflammation and aids well-being. I do it while preparing Hugo’s breakfast.
1. Whitens Teeth
There is no need for chemical teeth whitening strips when oil pulling works just as well!
The oil possesses natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brighten and cleans teeth, keeping them pearly white.
Try it for two weeks and you’ll see what I mean, or just take a look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s smile. She is known to follow the practice each morning.
2. Increases Energy
When our immune system is put to work in clearing out toxic waste from our body, it drains our energy levels.
Removing the noxious culprits in the first instance by oil pulling lowers the amount of work our body has to do to function, which leaves us feeling a whole lot better.
3. Detoxes The Body
Germs in the body are much like poison causing inflammation and leading to disease and illness in turn.
The gateway to the body for such contamination is the mouth.
Therefore, in removing the toxins at the source before they get a chance to spread, the body undergoes a complete detox.
4. Aids Hormonal Changes
Without having to compete with foreign substances, hormones can behave as they should, functioning to their best ability without being thrown off balance.
5. Reduces Headaches
When the body is under toxic stress, headaches and migraines occur. It is nature’s way of asking for some time out to recover.
By eliminating bacteria from the body via oil pulling, headaches can be avoided.
6. Keeps The Skin Clear
The benefits even extend to your skin!
Removing toxins from the body that would otherwise make it into the bloodstream means the skin has a chance to shine.
Rashes and skin issues often reduce dramatically, or even clear up completely, when oil pulling.
7. Promotes Oral Hygiene
Oil pulling is highly effective at reducing tooth cavities and at eradicating bad breath.
Removing the Streptococcus mutant bacteria (an important player in tooth decay) as well as other microorganisms, oil pulling is great for oral health.
It also helps with plaque-induced gingivitis.
When you start oil pulling, you might experience some of the positive effects immediately, or it may take a few days or even weeks.
It will very much depend on the state of your health to begin with, and how compromised your immune system is.
Either way, hang on in there and I am sure you will grow to love it as much as Laurentine and I do!
What Type of Oil?
Traditional cultures use sesame or sunflower oil for oil pulling but I personally prefer to use coconut oil for several reasons.
Coconut oil is effective in attacking Streptococcus Mutans bacteria which causes cavities. It is rich in medium chain triglycerides and high in lauric acid.
Coconut oil has dozens of uses, and we already have it in every room of the house since we use it in toothpaste, deodorant, in cooking and even as a coffee creamer.
In my personal experience, coconut oil pulling is more effective at removing plaque and whitening teeth than sesame oil, although I don’t have any scientific studies that prove the difference.
Coconut Oil Pulling: How-To
This is how I like to do coconut oil pulling:
- Make sure to oil pull first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed before you brush your teeth or drink anything.
- Gently swish 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10-20 minutes making sure that you don’t swallow any of the oil. (Do this gently so you don’t wear out your jaw and cheeks!)
- Spit out the oil in the trash (not the sink so it doesn’t clog up the plumbing…ask me how I know) and immediately rinse your mouth out with warm water (use salt water for added antimicrobial properties).
- Finally, brush your teeth as normal.
- Voila, easy as that!
I recommend oil pulling 3-4x per week with coconut oil and also adding essential oils to your mixture.
Coconut Oil Pulling Cautions
It is also important to use oil pulling as part of a comprehensive oral health regimen and not to use it as a replacement for normal oral hygiene and teeth brushing.
My dentist was skeptical of many of the claims about coconut oil pulling being able to benefit the body internally.
But said she considered it a safe alternative to mouthwash and didn’t see a problem with the practice when used in combination with other good dental hygiene methods.
Important Note: Some people report negative reactions to using coconut oil for oil pulling.
Those with any type of topical or internal reaction to coconut in any form, should not use it for oil pulling or in any other way.
In these cases, sesame oil would be a better alternative.
As with this or any oral product, it is important to check with a dentist about any concerns or before using, especially if other dental conditions are present.