Does Oil Pulling Really Work?

Before I’ll answer the question whether oil pulling works or not, for those of you who came to the blog through other search terms, let me first clarify what oil pulling is in the first place.

oil pulling Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda technique, which in a nutshell works like this: you take around a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it, pull it, push it through your teeth and just move it around in your mouth back and forth for 15 to 20 minutes, after which you spit it out.

That’s all there is to it really.

The process of oil pulling will ‘pull out’ any toxins from your mouth, from around and between the teeth, and it is said to have literally a ton of health benefits. And when I say a ton, I mean a ton, at least based on experts’ comments and also based on anecdotal evidence from those who are regularly oil pulling for health.

So here are some of the health benefits that people claim oil pulling has:

  • First of all a lesser need to go to the dentist – this is actually the reason I started with oil pulling as well, as while some other benefits might or might not happen to various people, a better dental health is always mentioned by anyone who swishes oil. Here included are things like lessening tooth pain, better gum health, whiter teeth, even less cavities.
  • Lessens migrains and headaches
  • Shrinks limph nodes (another big one that I am after)
  • Helps with arthritis and joint pain
  • Helps with eczema, acne
  • Lessens symptoms of stomach problems
  • Helps even with heart problems, PMS and apparently even with cancer (yeah I know there are so many cures claiming to remove cancer, so the jury is still out on that one).

What types of oils can we use for oil pulling? There are various places online and in books that claim different views on it. For example Bruce Fife in the book Oil Pulling Therapy swears by virgin coconut oil (it’s the oil I”m using now for oil pulling actually). I’ve read the book adn then decided to use coconut oil since I have some at home anyway.

The website is following the Ayurveda technique, which uses mostly organic cold pressed oils, recommending sesame oil. The pioneers at the forum use pretty much anything, but they also recommend among others coconut oil. But they also mentioned sunflower oil, saffron oil and even grapeseed oil. Finally there are those folks who say that the oil doesn’t matter, that the bacteria is binding to the fact cells in the oil, no matter what oil type it is, so you can use (at least initially) pretty much what you have at home.

Until today I used exclusively VCO (virgin coconut oil), but today for the first time I mixed half coconut oil and half grapeseed oil (I have a bottle carrier oil for massage that was still unopened). I do prefer the taste of coconut though :)

So does oil pulling really work? Well, I’ve only only doing oil pulling for about a week now, so obviously I can’t comment – yet – on any serious health issues and remedies. However what I’ve so far noticed in improvement (or at least changes in the body) are these:

  • I noticed in the morning when I wake up I no longer have this ‘bad taste’ in my mouth so to speak. I wouldn’t know about bad breath, but the morning taste is kind of gone
  • I *think* I have whiter teeth, but don’t quote me on that, could be my imagination only
  • Something that is so far amazing – I used to have strong left knee (and to a lesser extent right knee) pain, especially when I’m sitting a lot on my chair (which I do since I work at home in my office). I just realized that for the last couple of days the I hardly feel a bit of ‘sensation’ (not really pain) in the left knee and nothing in the right knee. Now it ‘could’ be coincidence that the pain is almost gone, but why right now, when I had this pain for months?
  • I think it really clears up my sinuses and post nasal drip. It’s great that the mucus stuck in my lungs for so long are literally clearing out
  • I really sleep well at night and don’t wake up even once

I’ve been only doing the oil pulling therapy for a week, so it’s really early to tell (I go hubby to do some oil pulling, which he is doing with olive oil – I really hate the taste of olives, hence I use coconut oil instead), but I do believe that it helps. I do think that oil pulling really works, but you have to stick with it. I usually do it about twice a day (once in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening before going to bed), so I’ll give it another month and will post a follow up to see how far I’ve come.

As far I can tell you that I”m better since I’ve been oil pulling than I was before. Are you oil pulling and if yes, what is your experience with it? Oh and what oil are you using for it?

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19 Responses to “Does Oil Pulling Really Work?”

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  1. Kirsten says:

    I have seen the term oil pulling and have been wondering what the heck??? Now I know, thanks for clearing it up for me. I use coconut oil in my coffee, I am going to have to try this pulling and see if I notice any changes.

  2. Pam says:

    I had never heard of oil pulling before but if it can keep me from going to the dentist as often, I am all for it!

  3. Trice says:

    Wow I have never heard of this but I see a few problems that I can probably cure with doing it. Thanks for the great information. I going to try this out.

  4. Fanfreluche says:

    ok I had no idea what oil pulling was. Isn’t it difficult to keep the oil 20 minutes in your mouth? I am curious and may try this for a week and see if I see some benefits. It’s quite intriguing.

    • Marika says:

      When I first tried it, I did find it a bit weird, but I got used to it fast. I started with about 10 minutes or so, and then increased. Basically you will know you’re ready to ‘spit it out’ so to speak, when the oil becomes quite thin in your mouth from all that swishing around. Also eventually you’ll notice that the oil mixes with the saliva and before you know it, you get a full mouth of it all :)

      First time when I tried it I used fractionated coconut oil and I didn’t like it a bit in my mouth. After I switched to the virgin coconut oil that actually tastes like coconut, I had no longer ‘icky’ problems. Now it’s my favorite ever. I just swish when I’m in the bathroom, or while making the coffee, or browsing or checking my emails, etc. You don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing to do oil pulling, just continue with your normal stuff and the time will pass really fast.

  5. Jennifer B says:

    HI I have heard of this but haven’t tried it yet! Now that I read this post from you, I think I am going to give it a try and very soon! Where do you get your virgin coconut oil? Do you do this only once a day or more often?

  6. Ave says:

    Oil pulling seems something really interesting to me. I’m not sure if I could do it for 15-20min, but if it helps lessen the migraine and is good for the teeth, I think I might try it.

  7. Milena says:

    I’m so curious. I think I’m going to give it a try. Especially for my teeth. Do you do it every day?

  8. Malia says:

    Interesting, I have heard of oil pulling but until now I had no idea what it was! Thanks for the informative post!

  9. Yes, oil pulling does work~! We used to do it every day!

  10. Dawn Lopez says:

    I’ve seen tidbits about this here and there but never really got to read about it fully… so thank you for putting this article together, awesome read. I am completely intrigued right now.. I think I might have to give this a try.

  11. I had never even heard of oil pulling, though I did hear a friend recently say she put coconut oil in her coffee.

  12. Cynthia L says:

    I remember having heard about this when I was studying to become a massage therapist. I have never tried it though. I just read this to my other half, who is now trying it! I look forward to seeing what your results will be. We will have to compare.

  13. This is fascinating and the first time I’ve ever heard about it!

  14. I have never heard of this before. I must admit it sounds quite strange to me. I am going to have to speak with some friends about this new (to me) idea. You really can learn something new every day if you try.

  15. I had never heard of such a thing as oilpulling! I’m really interested in it now, though, since it supposedly helps headaches, which I get a lot of! I may have to get some virgin coconut oil and try this! Thanks for this great, informative post!

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