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The Surprising Benefits of Oil Pulling

Katja Kokko | 21.12.2014

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I know, I know – I’m super late to this oil pulling party. I just haven’t managed to scrounge up any enthusiasm for the hype that it has received in the social media. To be honest, I thought it actually sounded a bit disgusting. Why would I want to swish warm oil around in my mouth?

But when Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Scandinavian distributor would not stop waffling on about the practice in every single conversation we had, I decided to conduct an empirical experiment to see what the hype was all about.

I was instantly hooked.

Oil pulling is not a new invention by any means, but an ancient technique to enhance mouth and gum health. And it will hardly surprise you to hear that it is based on Ayurvedic medicine, my favorite.

So what are the benefits?

  • removes harmful bacteria in the mouth (we have all sorts of nasties living in there) by pulling it into the oil
  • reduces plaque
  • relieves gum infections
  • helps with bad breath
  • makes your teeth look whiter and brighter
  • provides relief for numerous other conditions, including acne, chronic sinusitis, eczema, hay fever, and chronic fatigue

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And how is it done?

  • swish 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of organic cold-pressed coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. This should be done in the morning, before eating.
  • the oil will be thick at first, but should thin out as you swish
  • spit the oil into the compost bin (not the sink!), do not swallow
  • add a bit of unrefined sea salt into a glass of water and use it to rinse and gargle
  • brush your teeth as you would normally

And does it actually work? Yes, surprisingly well. The gum around one of my back teeth is always a bit sore or bloody; after one oil-pulling, the symptoms were gone. My teeth and gums are soft and smooth, and I’m always left feeling like the enamel has hardened as well. My teeth were also brighter and whiter after the first try.

I guess I’ll have to join the chorus singing the praises of oil pulling. It’s the most ingenious method for promoting one’s physical health that I’ve come across in ages.

Next order of business: convert my (dental nurse) mother.

What are your experiences with oil pulling? Did you find it beneficial?

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What are your experiences with oil pulling? Did you find it beneficial?

Organic cold pressed coconut oil Neal’s Yard Remedies

Magazine featured in photos Alvar Magazine

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