Ever heard of oil pulling? I came across it a few years ago. Curiosity got the better of me. You see, I had no idea what on earth it was. It turns out it’s to do with oral hygiene! Who would have thought. Weird, huh ?!
It originates from the ancient Ayurvedic traditions from thousands of years ago. A folk remedy, the technique has been used in India to keep the mouth and teeth clean. Sesame seed was the oil of choice back then. These days, some would recommend the use of virgin raw coconut oil for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and enzymatic properties. Coconut oil is believed to have a multitude of health benefits.
It is said that oil pulling helps to detoxify the body, reduce plaque build up, gingivitis and bad breath. Some even claim that it helps to re-mineralise the teeth and strengthen the gums. So bad bugs get killed. Good bugs get left behind.
When you do it, it draws congestion and mucous from the sinuses, throat, attracts bacteria from the mouth and the lymph system. The saliva helps to bind them to the oil. Sounds good, huh? Which has just left me wondering why on earth I wasn’t doing this when I was sick!!
So just how do you do it? Let’s go with the coconut oil. It’s taste is easier to cope with I think than a mouthful of sesame seed oil. It might be easier to melt the coconut oil first. That’s easy as it melts quickly at body temperature. Just grab a tablespoonful and hold it in your hand while it melts. Of course if it’s warm where you are, it will already be melted. I found a tablespoonful a bit much personally.
Put it in your mouth and swish it around your teeth. Recommended time is 10 – 20 minutes. When I was doing this, I found five was about all I could manage. The name comes from what you do next. Pull the oil between your teeth, over your gums, around your tongue. Whatever you do, don’t swallow it! Remember, it’s got all those bad bugs in it.
When you’ve finished spit it out into a bin. NOT the sink. It will clog the drain.
Then rinse your mouth out a few times with clean water. You might want to scrape your tongue while you’re at it. Then finish off with a nice big glass of lemon water.
I might just go off and do some oil pulling now, I think !
© Raili Tanska