Oil pulling with coconut oil seems to be the latest health trend. Want to start swishing but not sure where to start? We've broken down the how, the what and the why for you:
1. What is Oil Pulling and how do you do it?
Oil Pulling (kavala gandoosha) is an Ayurvedic technique, a biological healing method, for which remarkable health claims are made.
Take a tablespoon of oil (a teaspoon for young children) into the mouth and suck/pull the oil between the teeth and swish gently around the mouth for 20 minutes. If the jaw muscles become tired, you are putting too much into it. The viscous oil turns thin and milky white during the ‘pulling’ and should NOT be swallowed, as it contains bacteria, their toxins and oral debris. As coconut oil solidifies below 25°C, spit the liquid into a small container (eg empty yoghurt cup, paper bag) and put in the bin. Rinse your mouth with clean or salt water and then brush your teeth.
2. What are the benefits of Oil Pulling? Does Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil offer any benefits over other oils?
There is no scientific evidence for the expansive benefits claimed by oil pullers. However some of the health claims include relief from migraine headaches, bronchitis, diseased teeth, arterio thrombosis, chronic blood disorders such as leukemia, arthritis and related illnesses, neuro physiological paralysis, eczema, gastro enteritis, peritonitis, heart disease, kidney disease, meningitis, acne and women’s hormonal disorders.
The most commonly reported benefit of oil pulling is whitening and stain removal from the teeth.
3. How often should be the treatment be done? Is it possible to ‘overdo’ it?
Oil pulling is best done before breakfast, on an empty stomach and before drinking any liquids. Some authorities only recommend the technique at this time, whist others say it can be repeated up to three times per day, but always before meals, on an empty stomach, (generally three to four hours after any food).
4. Is it safe to do if you have any issues with your mouth or have dental aids (eg a cavity in a tooth, fillings, partial dentures or orthodontic bands?
Coconut oil is found to be soothing to the oral mucous membranes, even when ulcers or other inflammatory lesions are present. Oil pulling with coconut oil will not cause cavities or cause damage to dental restoration surfaces - so swish away!
Check out the below video on oil pulling, courtesy of Huffington Post Style!