A healthy mouth makes the foundation for the entire body. There are trillions of bacteria in the mouth, which can dismantle our health. Oil pulling is a natural and Ayurvedic method to get these toxic bacteria removed from the mouth and reduce the work of the immune system. It is a technique which requires you to swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for some time. The time can stretch from 15 minutes to 20 minutes as per your convenience (1). The oil would double in the quantity due to the saliva. Be cautious not to swallow the oil, as it is full of toxins. Spit the oil out once you have completed the process.
It is one of the best methods to remove the bacteria and to discard the toxins from the body improving overall health. Oil pulling with coconut oil, sesame oil, and olive oil is recommended, owing to their antibacterial nature. The oil pulling benefits include curing tooth decay, bad breath & gum related disorders, and boosting overall oral care. The method has got numerous benefits for your body, which are enlisted below.
1. Increases Energy
As a lack of sleep results in mental stress and reduced production of T cells, mainly responsible for cell-mediated immunity (2). The immune system has to work a lot in order to detoxify the body. This process drains a lot of energy. Oil pulling removes the toxic elements from the body, easing the work of the immune system and saving the energy at the same time.
2. Aids Hormonal Changes
Hormones are tiny elements that travel through our bloodstream. They perform various functions like growth and development and play a key role in sexual function and metabolism (3). Hormones are very powerful, too much or too little of them can cause hormonal disorder, giving rise to stress and infection. Oil pulling helps hormones function normally and aids in hormonal balance, strengthening the immune system.
3. Reduces Headaches
Migraines and headaches occur due to triggering of certain events, to which our body responds. Triggers may be bright lights, loud noise, stress and anxiety, alcohol, caffeine, food containing nitrates, MSG, tyramine, or aspartame (4). The majority of the cases that give rise to a migraine are due to the intake of a toxic compound. Oil pulling works effectively in removing these undesired substances and non-friendly bacteria from the body, reducing the possibility of occurrence of a migraine.
4. Promotes Oral Hygiene
Gum diseases and tooth decay occur due to the deposition of plaque on teeth. If the teeth are not cleaned after satisfying the taste buds with some yummy food item; plaque gets deposited on your teeth which release bacteria and germs (5). Oil pulling helps reduce tooth cavities and gets rid of bad breath. It removes Streptococcus mutans bacteria along with other microorganisms. It works wonders in improving oral health. Hence, it can be used as a mouthwash (6). It must be practiced during pregnancy as the changing hormone levels, and the calcium utilization by the developing baby takes a toll on the teeth and gums.
Note: Oil pulling is safe to be performed during pregnancy.
5. Detoxifies The body
Oil pulling is great with detoxification, as it removes toxins and harmful bacteria from the mouth. According to a research, oil pulling leads to a reduction in Streptococcus mutans bacteria in saliva and plaque, which is responsible for causing tooth decay (7). Our mouth is a home to bacteria, fungi, and viruses. When our system is flooded with toxins and waste of various kinds, then the harmful bacteria spread throughout the body, in turn, giving rise to many diseases. The process helps avoid the entry of pathogens and bacteria.
6. Cures Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a disease in which an irritation is felt in the gums, which is caused by inflammation of gums. If the disease is not treated properly, it may prove to be fatal, leading to the separation of gums from the teeth. It generally occurs when the food gets trapped in the space called sulcus at the gum edges. Oil pulling reduces the aerobic microorganisms present in the mouth (8). It can also protect us from the diseases of mouth and gums.
7. Helps Kidney and Liver Function
The main function of kidney and liver is to draw out the toxins from the body. The presence of toxins in the environment affects the food as well as our body, consequently. It makes the liver to work even harder to keep the toxins away from the body (9). The process of oil pulling flushes toxins out of the body, easing the work of liver. This break helps the liver improve its efficiency and perform in a better way.
8. Regulated Menstrual cycle
Irregular periods mainly occur due to thyroid disease, rapid gain or loss of weight, oral contraceptive pills, and the presence of fibroid. Oil pulling regulates the menstrual cycle and brings relief from the pain and agony experienced during PMS. If you wish to maintain birth control, we would recommend trying some natural birth control mechanisms.
9. Clears Sinus
Sinusitis occurs due to inflammation of the tissue lining the sinus– small air-filled spaces located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding nose (11). When these spaces get filled with germs or fluid, it may give rise to an infection. Oil pulling brings relief for those suffering from sinus. The pain, at times, becomes unbearable, and the person can try everything to get rid of the terrible pain. Oil pulling involves swishing of oil in the mouth creating a good lymphatic circulation around your sinuses. This circulation can be one of the reasons that make oil pulling a good treatment for sinus.
Note: Do not swallow the oil in the mouth, as it contains a high amount of bacteria and toxins.
10. Reduces Asthma and Congestion
The disease is aggravated in the presence of pollutants. The toxins in the atmosphere are so potent that by inhaling them, one can get an attack of asthma, experience shortness of breath, sneeze or suffer from other respiratory problems. Exposure to brevetoxins increases the level of histamine and bradykinin (a protein that affects asthma) (12). Oil pulling guards you against other respiratory problems like bronchitis and chronic congestion.
11. Treats TMJ and Jaw Soreness
TMJ (Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder) is a condition that causes discomfort in the muscles and joints responsible for jaw movement. The disorder has influenced more than 10 million people in America (13). Oil pulling helps correct the jaw position and strengthens gums and teeth, as well.
12. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream. Many different species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found in arterial plaque, and they contribute to heart problems. Oil pulling restricts any chances of heart disease, as each part of the tongue is connected with different body organs, such as heart, lungs, etc. (14).
13. Relieves Constipation
Constipation is a troublesome situation in which you face a difficulty or experience pain during bowel movements. Oil pulling is so effective that it brings relief to people suffering from constipation. Along with oil pulling, few changes in the eating pattern like intake of more fiber also aids in curing the gastrointestinal disorder (15).
14. Controls Blood Pressure
Bacteria that enter the body from the mouth may change the configuration of blood, reducing the number of white blood cells. The Haemophilus bacteria are potent enough to cause inflammation, chronic infections, and lower the blood pressure (16). Oil pulling reduces the chances of such bacteria entering the body, regulating the blood pressure.
15. Treats Diabetes
Oil pulling is beneficial even for the diabetic patients. Inflamed gums result in developing a resistance towards insulin. Symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, polydipsia, or polyuria (17). A balanced and a good oral hygiene promotes blood sugar balance of the system.
16. Heals Arthritis
It has been found that septic arthritis develops due to an infection that mainly arises because of bacteria, viruses, and fungi (18). Oil pulling flushes out the microorganisms along with mucus, toxins, and pus, leaving your mouth clean and refreshed.
17. Cures Insomnia
Insomnia occurs due to life stress, physical discomfort, allergies, cold, and depression. It also makes the brain dull, leaving you too tired and prone to some serious medical conditions. Oil pulling cures many diseases and provides a boost to our system. One of these diseases is insomnia and irregular sleeping pattern (19).
18. Soothes Throat Dryness
A dry throat can result in much more than just irritation. It mainly results from cold, flu, or talking loudly. The discomfort compels us to opt for various methods to provide relief to the scratchy throat. Oil pulling is an effective method that curbs the problem from the root and keeps the mouth moist enough to repel the dryness (20). The best oil to be used for oil pulling is coconut oil. In the absence of which, edible vegetable oil can also be used.
19. Provides Relief from Sensitivity
If you experience a shooting pain in teeth while consuming Ice cream or tea, i.e., anything too hot or too cold, you might be suffering from the problem of sensitivity (21). There are many costly toothpastes in the market, specifically to treat sensitive teeth, but a natural remedy like oil pulling is much more effective and pocket-friendly. Practicing oil pulling regularly reduces the pain for sure and may even eliminate the agony as the time passes.
Beauty Benefits of Oil Pulling
20. Heals Cracked Heels and Lips
Chapped lips and heels are common to experience in the winter season. Other factors that make lips dry are the application of cosmetics, smoke, dehydration, and constant licking of lips (22). The embarrassment and the pain resulting from the chipped off heels can be avoided by opting oil pulling (23). It is a panacea for treating chapped lips and cracked heels that arise mainly due to dryness.
21. Clears Skin
As toxic elements occupy a room in our body, hazardous consequences are sure to occur for the skin. Toxins can enter our body from the epidermal layer and travel through the bloodstream to different organs without being noticed (24). Removal of toxins from the body clears the skin and makes it healthy and glowing. Rashes and skin issues get reduced drastically. It is found that within two weeks of oil pulling, skin problems are cured. A variety of problems like acne, psoriasis, dark spots, eczema, and dermatitis are cured. Apart from that, oil pulling leaves your skin glowing and youthful.
22. Whitens Teeth
This is one of the prime benefits of oil pulling. People spend a large sum of money to maintain a bright smile. According to a research, it has been found that Americans spend $1.4 billion every year to remove the effects of cigarette, coffee, wine, or old age (25).
Instead of exposing the teeth to chemical teeth whitening strips, which are in fad nowadays; try this oil pulling method. It is a cheap way of getting clean and white teeth. You can go with coconut oil pulling, as the oil is antibiotic and antiviral. These properties brighten and keep the teeth white as snow. Use this for two weeks to get beautiful teeth.
- Limit the duration of oil pulling as per your convenience. Starting with 15 minutes may lead to muscle aching. You may start with 5 minutes and slowly increase to 10 or 15 minutes.
- Practice oil pulling in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Oil pulling should be accompanied by brushing. This is an additional method to clean the teeth and flush out toxins and can not replace regular brushing.
- Go for organic and a good quality oil.
- Add essential oils as that would lead to increase in the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the oil.
- Do not spit the oil into the toilet or sink, as it may lead to clogging of the pipe.
- If you are allergic to certain oils, then make sure the specific oils are not to be used in oil pulling.
- Do not gargle, as the oil gets loaded with toxins and on touching the back of the throat; the toxins may enter the body.
- Avoid aspirating the oil, as that may make you prone to pneumonia with toxins and bacteria entering your lungs.
- Oil pulling should not be performed by children as the entry of oil into the wrong tube can lead to Lipoid Pneumonia.
- Avoid talking during oil pulling, as that would eventually lead to swallowing or spitting of oil.