You can’t flip through a magazine or read the news without seeing articles about oil pulling. This trend has many of the beauty-obsessed raving about oil pulling and recommending it to everyone. But what is oil pulling and why should we try it?
Oil pulling is a form of natural therapy first introduced in Ayurvedic medicine thousands of years ago. Simply put, you place a couple of teaspoons of high quality coconut or sesame oil into your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. It is recommended to do this in the morning before any meals several times a week. While there are many health claims out there, the most common one is that oil pulling helps to draw out bacteria which helps to prevent and/or treat oral diseases such as dental caries and bacterial infections.
After reading the few research articles out there on oil pulling, I decided to try it myself to see if the claims were valid. I’ve been using this method every morning for the past several days and here are my thoughts on it.
I had an issue the first day with putting solid coconut oil in my mouth and letting it melt. It just didn’t feel comfortable in the beginning but I got used it during the days after. I also learned that swishing for 20 minutes feels like forever if you haven’t been practicing this for very long. I decided to work on things like email, putting dog food out, etc… while oil pulling just to keep me distracted for those 20 minutes. After spitting the oil out into the trash can, I used warm water to get rid of any excess oil and brushed my teeth as normal.
Apart from dealing with the texture, I haven’t experienced any substantial effects either positive or negative. I did notice that my teeth were not as sensitive to cold food/liquids as much as before I started oil pulling. My teeth didn’t get visibly whiter but I may need to continue this for a longer period of time before seeing any whitening effects.
While it appears as though this trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon, I’ll need to spend more time oil pulling to see if the claims are true or not. From what I have experienced so far, there doesn’t seem to be any harmful consequences associated with it. I also believe more research needs to be conducted in order to study other possible health effects of oil pulling.