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Oil pulling is a well-known practice in the Ayurvedic sciences. It is said to be extremely helpful in maintaining oral health and hygiene.
In layman’s language, oil pulling is using vegetable oil as a mouthwash to rinse your mouth of bacteria and toxins, which dissolve in the oil. When you spit the oil out, you throw away these bacteria and toxins as well. (1)
Benefits of Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is suggested to offer the following health advantages.
1. Improves oral health
The most well-known benefit of oil pulling is its amazing effects on oral health as it removes bacterial or plaque buildup in your teeth. This then helps in reducing and preventing issues such as:
- Bad breath
- Tooth pain
- Oral sensitivity
- Gum diseases
- Mouth sores
- Teeth discoloration
One study revealed that oil pulling as a therapy showed favorable effects in those who suffer from gingivitis and plaque problems. The technique worked because bacteria in the mouth have a fatty membrane covering that easily dissolves in oil and thus is expelled out of the mouth when the oil is spat out the oil after oil pulling. (2)
2. May help with heart diseases and diabetes
Gum health is linked with the health of other organs such as heart diseases and diabetes. Thus, it is important to prioritize your oral hygiene and ensure your mouth is always healthy and clean.
This is because when gum or oral disease advances, it may enter the bloodstream and may get attached to plaque in the blood vessels, leading to clot formation that further restricts your blood flow and leads to cardiovascular symptoms. If the same clogging of blood vessels happens in the brain, you may suffer from a stroke.
3. Removes toxins
Getting rid of toxins, which can be done with oil pulling, in the body is extremely important for maintaining good health. When the body accumulates toxins, it can suffer from health issues such as inflammatory symptoms, allergic reactions, and a compromised immune system.
When you remove toxins from your body, you lower your chances of inflammation. It also provides a wide array of positive health effects such as reduced headaches and improved heart health.
A lot of people have been practicing oil pulling and are impressed by its amazing effects. Although only a few studies have been done to prove the benefits of oil pulling, it is very easy to do and doesn’t require any special techniques, so it is becoming popular and people are trying it out for themselves to get favorable results. (2)
4. Improved overall health
Note: It is important to remember that you cannot rely on oil pulling as a method of treatment for these health issues. It is only an adjuvant therapy that can provide positive benefits but cannot cure the underlying issue.
Oil pulling is linked to various other benefits as well and is not only limited to oral hygiene according to Ayurvedic ancient texts. The other health benefits of oil pulling include:
- Helps remove toxins from the body
- Reduces eczema and improves the quality of life
- Reduces chances of suffering from a migraine attack or everyday headache
- Helps with managing arthritis and other inflammatory responses in the body
- Reduces chances of suffering from an infection
- Helps in clearing the sinuses and promotes better breathing
- Reduces the risk of diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases
- Promotes good kidney functioning (1)
How to Perform Oil Pulling
- Take 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, which should be organic and not refined and has antimicrobial and other healthy properties.
- Swish the oil inside your mouth as you would with mouthwash for around 15 minutes. Make sure that you do not swallow the oil.
- Spit the oil out and rinse your mouth.
- Brush your teeth as you do on a daily basis.
Make it a habit to perform oil pulling in the morning, preferably when you have not eaten anything and are on an empty stomach. If you suffer from dry mouth, you can drink water before oil pulling. (1)
- The amount of oil you use for oil pulling should be based upon your own convenience. So if 1 tablespoon is a lot, you can reduce it to what is comfortable for you.
- Do not swish the oil in your mouth with a lot of force because this can cause cramps and your facial muscles may hurt.
- Do not swallow or gargle the oil.
- Brush your teeth after performing oil pulling. You may also rinse your mouth with salt water.
- Once you become comfortable with oil pulling, you can do it before every meal at least twice a day.
Most-Asked Questions About Oil Pulling
How do I know that I am doing oil pulling right?
When oil pulling, the oil in your mouth should become thin and acquire a foam-like texture. The oil should also eventually become milky white. If these happen, you’re doing it right.
For how long do I have to keep the oil in my mouth when oil pulling?
People perform oil pulling for 15–20 minutes, but if you are a beginner and are not accustomed to doing this procedure, you can start by doing it for 5–10 minutes once a day and then increase the frequency and time of oil pulling based upon your comfort level.
Which oil is best for oil pulling?
Oil pulling is a very famous Ayurvedic technique that has been around for many years and is practiced by people who are aware of its benefits. It is easy to do and inexpensive without the need for special equipment. Try it for a few months and see the positive changes in your health.
Although remember that oil pulling is not a treatment for underlying issues, and any health condition should be treated by your healthcare provider.