I’m not going to lie to you. Oil pulling is not the most …appealing beauty treatment I’ve ever tried. If you haven’t heard about this hot trend I will enlighten you. Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic tradition that is claimed to have miraculous results. A quick Wikipedia search produced many health conditions that can be cured or better controlled by oil pulling. Among the claims attributed to oil pulling are weight loss, whiter teeth, improved oral health, balancing hormones, clearer skin, and preventing and treating migraine headaches. This sounds pretty incredible! I want a piece of this magic!
So how exactly does one pull oil? It’s simple; if you can successfully swish mouth wash you can oil pull. The suggested oils to use are sesame oil or coconut oil. If you use coconut oil it will need to be melted to a liquid state. Measure out about a tablespoon of oil and put it in your mouth and swish. Swish, swish, swish. This is the tough part: you are supposed to do this for 20 minutes. In a row. The goal here is to pull the oil back and forth through your teeth, no gargling.
I was intrigued. So I pulled out my jar of coconut oil (I keep a vat nearby at all times) and went to town. I had heard that it was really tough to do the full 20 minutes on the first try so I set the timer for 10 minutes with the idea of doing two sessions of 10 minutes each.
Putting a tablespoon of oil in my mouth is a very peculiar feeling, but as soon as I start the actual pulling, I start to notice the light, sweet taste of the coconut.
“Huh. This is not bad”, I thought, “not bad at all”.
This happy, coconutty feeling lasts for about two and a half minutes. Then the coconut flavor started to fade like sugary bubble gum does after a few minutes.
I start to wonder if my 10 minutes is almost up. It is not. I noticed that if I just keep doing it and stop really thinking about it that it is mostly tolerable, but not very enjoyable.
My timer dings and I feel relieved. When you are done pulling DO NOT swallow the oil. The whole point of this exercise is to pull all of the toxins out of your mouth and out of your body. You can spit (I know it’s gross and I’m sorry) into the garbage or into a plastic bag and throw that away. Coconut oil hardens when it is cold or at room temperature and it will mess up your pipes.
Follow your oil pulling with a very thorough brush just to make extra sure that all the icky stuff is gone.
I consider cheating and not doing the second 10 minutes, but then I imagine sparkling white teeth in my future and I begrudgingly reload the oil. I am a slave to vanity.
So was it miraculous? Did I drop 10 pounds and find vast reserves of energy? Was my skin clear and glowing? Well… no. One session of oil pulling will not yield incredible results. I am going to keep doing it, though. I’ll keep track of the results and if something unbelievable happens I will be sure to let you know.