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oil-pulling-coconut-oilSo you have heard some hype about oil pulling by now, the ancient practice is getting it’s share of press lately. I’m not one to jump on every health fad, but I’m a bit of a hippie at heart and the au naturel aspect really intrigued me.  After hearing about oil pulling here and there for a few months I decided to give it a try.

What is oil pulling exactly? Oil Pulling is an Ayurvedic technique which involves swishing oil around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. The oil collects impurities brushing your teeth can’t reach, and is then spit out. (But not into a sink because the oil could block a drain!) Afterwards, you can rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth. I’ve heard that some people choose not to brush their teeth post oil pulling, but I’m not one of them.

What does it do? Oil pulling is said to pull out stuck bacteria, and detoxify your system by allowing the oil to pick up these toxins (hence why you need to spit the oil out – don’t swallow!)

My Oil Pulling Experience

I’d sort of dismissed the idea initially because – get this – I didn’t think I had the time in the morning. But really you can oil pull in the shower, while making breakfast, checking your email and scrolling instagram. (It was actually when one of my favorite fashion bloggers wrote about her love affair with oil pulling that I decided to give it a go).

So, I committed to 30 days. I figured that if I thought it was a pain and saw no benefits, I’d dismiss oil pulling as a silly fad and move on.

Every morning I’d get up and head downstairs for a big spoonful of organic coconut oil. You can also use sesame, but I had coconut oil on hand.

The first two days I only lasted ten minutes, but after that I was able to make it to twenty most mornings. A note of caution: don’t take too much oil when you first start pulling, you need to get used to the sensation.

During the week, I typically oil pull while checking my email or straightening up. On the weekends, I tell my husband I’m “pulling so please don’t talk to me” and I hop back into bed and read a book. It’s lovely.

Here’s what I’ve noticed from my oil pulling experience:

  • Less jaw pain. When I’m stressed, I tend to clench my jaw during sleep. I noticed within a few days that my jaw discomfort lessened and my neck muscles felt less tense too.
  • Hangover cure. One Saturday morning, I did not feel like oil pulling. I enjoyed a few glasses of red wine the night before and all I wanted was to chug some water and take an Aleve instead. However, I oil pulled for twenty minutes. By the time I was finished, my headache and general blah feeling were gone.
  • Whiter teeth. After about a week, I definitely noticed whiter teeth – results that were previously only obtained through those darn white strips that hurt your teeth.
  • A cleaner mouth. I never thought of my mouth as dirty (I’m a vigorous teeth-brusher) but oil pulling has made my teeth feel smoother and my mouth more refreshed.
  • More balanced.  I’ll admit this could be a placebo effect but the process has become so therapeutic I actually look forward to it. I genuinely feel more centered when I’m done.

Other reported benefits include: helps with chronic bad breath, healthier gums, increased energy, clearer skin, regulated menstrual cycles, clearer sinuses,  infertility treatment, TMJ relief, alleviated allergies.

The verdict? I’m going to stick with this habit. I’m interested to see if I notice any more benefits and if I can in fact keep it up.

Happy oil pulling!

Readers, have you pulled? Tell us in the comments.

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  • Jamie

    I just gave it a try for the past week and I agree about the jaw pain relief!

  • Becky

    What do you do with the dirty oil?

  • Tori

    This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing! I’ll be including your post in a summary article on my blog at http://www.eatdrinkandbeskinny.com next week! — Cheers!

  • Beth Funari

    Awesome, Tori! Thanks for the love!

  • Beth Funari

    I spit it in the garbage usually. But I’ve heard spitting in the toilet is safe. Just avoid the sink!

  • skinnytinis

    Hi Beth – post goes live tomorrow, thanks again!

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