The real benefits of oil pulling and how to do it correctly Photo: Getty images

The real benefits of oil pulling and how to do it correctly

Oil Pulling is an Ayurvedic medicine treatment that has been used for over 3,000 years and consists of swishing oil in the mouth and spitting it out after 20 minutes.

Oil pulling originated in India as part of natural healing practices described in ancient Ayurveda texts. The purpose of Oil Pulling is to get rid of toxins in the body. Oil detox is popularly known for its dental benefits, and many claim that it strengthens gums, whiten teeth and removes plaque.

Oil pulling is an effective way to whiten teeth and remove bacteria.

Recommended Oil

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is optimal for Oil Pulling as t is rich in lauric acid, which is an amazing antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent. Additionally, it will freshen up your mouth and eliminate bad breath.

Using coconut oil for oil pulling is becoming increasingly popular, but other oils can be used as well.

Other oils

Alternatively, sesame and sunflower oils can be used. Studies have shown that oil pulling techniques in fact reduce bacteria and prevent caries if practiced regularly.

Coconut oil has strong antibacterial properties.

How to oil pull correctly 

1. Place 1 tablespoon of oil (usually coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil) in your mouth.

2. Swish gently for 5 to 20 minutes. You can build up as it will be difficult to start with 20 minutes at once. 

3. It is important that you not swallow the oil, just spit it out.

4. Then brush your teeth as usual.

Oil Pulling is recommended twice a day, the first on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.

What's the science behind it?

Oil pulling has many fans and has been recently popularized by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow. Oil pulling has been shown to have some benefits for oral health One study colluded that based on currently available research, oil pulling can be safely used as an adjunct to maintaining good oral hygiene and health along with the routine tooth brushing and flossing with promising positive results. It is not a replacement for brushing or flossing and any other health claims have no scientific backup. 

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Emily Sanders

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