As an Ayurvedic and Western medical expert, people often ask me what oil pulling is and how it works. Oil pulling is one of the most important daily practices that I do each morning to care for my oral health, and I am passionate about sharing it with you.
First of all, what is oil pulling? It is one of the core practices of Ayurveda, the oldest holistic wellness system in the world (the term Ayurveda means the science of life). Ayurveda was popularized among ancient Indian kings and queens before spreading more widely, so every time I oil pull, I like to imagine I am royalty too!
Oil pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of oil, usually coconut, in your mouth. It is said to be a powerful detoxifying treatment that helps rid the body of harmful bacteria and toxins and improve oral health. Oil pulling works by breaking down the biofilms that house bad oral bacteria and toxins from your teeth, gums, and even your tongue. If you don’t break down these biofilms, they become plaque and tartar. So oil pulling is incredibly preventative.
Studies suggest that oil pulling may have many benefits. It may help reduce bad breath, cavities and tooth decay, plaque and tartar build-up, and even inflammation in the mouth. Many people I know who suffer from dry mouth tell me that oil pulling helps increase salivary secretion for them as well, and others have even told me about teeth-whitening benefits. If you would like an all-natural alternative to mouthwash, oil pulling could be a great practice for you.
To oil pull, simply put a teaspoon of GuruNanda Pulling Oil with Coconut and Mint in your mouth and start swishing. I usually tell people who are new to oil pulling to start with 1 minute in the morning, then work your way up to as much as 10-15 minutes. It can be an unusual sensation if you have never tried it before because oil is much thicker than the mouthwash most people are used to.
I like to oil pull when I’m in the shower each morning–it’s a great way to get two things done at one time, and oil pulling is most beneficial on an empty stomach. Since most people sleep with their mouths open, which creates more biofilms and dry mouth, oil pulling in the morning may help with this as well. Just be careful not to swallow the oil; it’s safe but not as pleasant as swishing. Once you finish oil pulling, spit the oil into a trash can, not into the sink or the drain (you don’t want to clog your pipes). Then rinse your mouth with water, brush your teeth–a very important step, to ensure the bad biofilms in your mouth are fully broken down--and enjoy your day.
While any coconut oil can be used for oil pulling, I recommend the GuruNanda brand because it is safer, better-tasting, easier to use, and cheaper than conventional coconut oil. GuruNanda Pulling Oil with Coconut and Mint is made with 100% pure and ethically sourced coconut oil and peppermint essential oil for maximum oral wellness benefits and a great fresh taste. Unlike other brands, our Pulling Oil contains no alcohol, preservatives, fluoride, or artificial flavors.
If you want an easy, natural way to improve your oral wellness in the comfort of your home, I encourage you to channel your inner king or queen and try oil pulling. Though it may feel unusual at first, I have come to see it as almost a meditation that helps me calm down and get grounded as well. To be clear, oil pulling is not a replacement for regular visits to a dentist, but it can be an amazing preventative procedure. This easy addition to your morning ritual can support your oral health so you face the world with a smile.