A Mirror of Health
Our oral health is considered to mirror the health of the rest of our body (and microbiome)! The mouth is a host to countless microorganisms. Bad pathogens that harbor here can contribute to the development or worsening of different health ailments and diseases. It is evident that a balanced microbial ecosystem of the mouth is directly correlated to our digestive health, and in turn our overall physical health.
Oil pulling is a gentle method for detoxing the body. This method has roots that have been practiced since Ayurveda ancient times. Dr. F. Karach brought oil pulling back into the scene around 1991 at an Oncology Conference, in which he stated,
“Sipping and sucking sunflower oil in the mouth is a fantastic biological healing process. Results of healing process cause astonishment and doubts and by practicing, one can see the results in one’s own body and get convinced. It is totally harmless and simple. Different illnesses could be totally cured without surgery or medicines. This heals cells, tissues and all other organs at once by removing the germs in the mouth that cause destruction of human organism”.
What is Oil Pulling?
When we oil pull, it is important to do this in the morning on an empty stomach, before brushing your teeth. It is done in a sitting position with the chin upright. We take one tablespoon of oil. Ideally, we use either a good quality cold pressed virgin olive oil or organic unrefined coconut oil (melted). It is important to not swallow any of the oil during this time as we are pulling toxins and do not want to swallow these. Swish and hold the oil in your mouth for a goal of 15-20 minutes. Do not gargle. Some will need to work up to this time. It is normal for the oil to turn white and foamy. After, spit out the oil into the trash or a paper towel. You will then want to brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly.
Oil pulling can be done a few times per week or up to three times daily. Since we are pulling toxins, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and meat stock during the day when you are oil pulling to flush them out of your system.
It is not recommended to try oil pulling for those under 5 years of age. This is because most children this age are unable to avoid swallowing the oil.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
There are numerous reported benefits of oil pulling. Here are just a few:
Natural teeth whitening
Stronger & healthier teeth and gums
Improved TMJ pain
Improvement in sinuses
Skin Improvement (eczema, acne, psoriasis, etc)
Reduced chemical load
Reduction in joint pain
Dr. Karach says that it is possible to heal many diseases, also ones that are caused by poisonous chemicals and drugs.
How does Oil Pulling Work?
Ayurveda explains that the tongue is connected to different organs in the body. It is said that the process of oil pulling may help in the excretion of toxic heavy metals by pulling them through the saliva. It activates enzymes that absorb toxins from the blood to be removed through the tongue, detoxing the entire body.
What is interesting, is that oil pulling actually generates antioxidants that damage the cell wall of microbes and destroys them. In more scientific terms, what happens is the oil attracts the lipid (fat) layer of the bacterial cell membrane, pulling it into the oil. The oil gets emulsified and the surface area of the oil increases, which is why it is not uncommon for the oil to change color and increase or thicken during oil pulling. As it is swished and moved through the oral cavity, it inhibits bacterial co-aggregation and plaque formation. Therefore, we see bacteria that cause dental caries, gingivitis, periodontitis and bad breath get removed.
As a result, we see gums turn a healthy pink color, bleeding gums resolve, improved dry mouth, teeth are naturally whiter and breath smells better, the jaw and muscles strengthen, and tooth pain is reduced. It has also been noted to benefit a sore throat, improved skin, vision, taste, and anorexia. In addition to benefiting oral hygiene, it has also been believed to benefit system health and cure systemic diseases. It can heal cells, tissues and organs of the body.
Coconut oil is a great option for oil pulling. Coconut oil contains Lauric acid, which produces a substance that reduces plaque and performs a cleansing action. Lauric acid is a powerful substance with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has no adverse effects. Coconut oil also has strong activity and is effective against Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.
Olive oil is another great option for oil pulling. Olive oil contains plant phenolic compounds, phytoestrols, vitamins A, E, and K. These all have antimicrobial, anti-oxidative, and immunomodulatory benefits. It can inhibit plaque formation.
Other oils commonly used for oil pulling include sunflower oil and sesame oil.
Oil pulling has many numerous benefits and has been around since ancient times. When used in combination with good oral hygiene and flossing, oil pulling can be a very beneficial addition to your mouth care routine. This is an excellent way to naturally detox the body, promote better improved oral health, and to promote a healing microbiome when following a healing protocol. If you have questions about oil pulling and whether it is right for you talk to your trained GAPS Practitioner!