Oil pulling, in theory, sounds really really odd. The thought of swishing a liquid around in my mouth for 20 minutes stressed me out when I first heard of it. How would that help? 20 minutes is a lot! I hate the taste of coconut oil (I know I know, not a popular opinion) and i couldn't understand what good a buildup of oil in my mouth could ever do for me.
I couldn't be more wrong, and I am today a very loyal oil pulling convert. Let me tell you why.
First things first, here's how to oil pull :
Take a tspn of your favourite oil (LOL) in your mouth and begin swishing it around, almost like mouthwash. Since I have an aversion for the taste of coconut oil, I used sesame oil, but olive oil works very well too. Start with swishing it around for 3-4 minutes and build it up by a couple of minutes every day, until you are able to do it consistently for 15 minutes at a time. Now, this might be tmi, but I must warn you - when your saliva mixes with the oil in your mouth, the quantity of liquid will expand - a lot. And sometimes it's hard to hold it in, in this case, feel free to remove half the quantity from your mouth ever so often, and continue swishing around the remaining liquid, until it expands again, at which point you can repeat this process. Once done oil pulling, remove the remaining liquid from your mouth, rinse thoroughly, and brush your teeth as you normally would.
I will warn you though, that Oil pulling takes a little bit of practice to get used to, so don't lose heart if you're unable to pull through for longer than a couple of minutes the first time you try it. Keep at it, and the benefits will surprise you.
Now, on to the good stuff -
The number one benefit I noticed from oil pulling was in the health of my teeth and gums. Oil pulling works because the oil particles adhere to/dissolve the plaque and bacteria on your teeth and in your mouth, and almost lift them from the surface they are on. When you remove the oil from your mouth at the end of the pull, you are essentially removing all the bacteria and plaque that's picked up on the way as well!
This means that oil pulling will not only result in cleaner, whiter looking teeth, but also get rid of bad breath causing bacteria, and reduce inflammation in the gums, preventing future oral health issues. Oil pulling is also a very popular practice in Ayurveda, and is believed to help reduce inflammation in the body and pull out toxins. Benefits such as reduced acne, the elimination of hangovers, or headaches are not uncommon benefits of oil pulling, and many claim that it works as an excellent detoxification practice for the entire body, when consistent.
Long story short, oil pulling is great. It takes some getting used to, but don't let that stop you from trying it. You can thank us later! (or leave your experiences below in the comments section!)
Stay Curious, Stay Freequal.