Oil Pulling, the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil swishing has been may-jah water-cooler fodder as of late—and that’s putting it mildly.
In what feels like a mammoth collective consciousness, everyone I know has been trying it out or at least offering up a thoughtful dialogue on the topic. Some are veterans ‘of the pull’ while others like myself, are curious newbies.
While oil-pulling boasts a myriad of health benefits—everything from whiter teeth, stronger gums to improved energy and clearer sinuses—when I heard that it was a cure-all for dry-mouth my internal hand raised up in a unanimous gesture of ‘yes, please!?’
I’m not going to mince words here—my morning breath is akin to the hot molten death of a garbage truck drive-by with delicate top notes of feline anal glands (in release). My lips, (which in their defense are the size of a small country) are in constant need of moisture and I’m one massive bi-pedal post nasal-drip from the month’s of October through to March—are you turned on or what?
Deciding that Coconut Oil would be best for its over-all anti-bacterial properties and pleasant taste, I picked up Dr. Bronners fair trade & organic fresh-pressed Coconut Oil at my local health food store.
My Mouth Feels Like Club Med! I proclaim via Facebook.
This morning I took a tiny bit less of a teaspoon than I did the night before as after the warm-glow of my fresh mouth wore off, I ended up going to bed slightly nauseated. A friend who practices Vedic medicine + yoga suggested that I should perhaps dial back on the newbie-over-enthusiasm and take it slow in both quantity and time duration. I swished away for 20 minutes (I’ve read anything less is futile) this time sitting on my bed crossed legged meditating for ten minutes, before rummaging through emails. After my spit-take in the garbage (I actually feel like I should dig a hole outside + drop this toxic sludge inside and cover it!) I rinse thoroughly with water and brush my teeth with organic tooth paste—I’ve decided I’m over fluoride and my pineal gland agrees. My tongue feels really soft and my gums feel like they have been *woken up* from an oral coma.
Spoon, swish, spit. I *think* I notice whiter teeth but can’t be certain. My mouth feels so silky and like a glistening icy clean ecosystem. One would imagine that oil would make your mouth feel GREEEZY (read: greasy) but that isn’t the case at all. Some people have posted some debunking articles on my Facebook feed about how oil pulling is pseudo science bunk; but I’ve read enough testimonials and had feedback from friends to be an open-minded believer. This is not about doing a blind clinical study you NERDS; its homeopathy…alternative medicine?! I believe that all illnesses can be traced to oral health, and I don’t need big pharma nor one of hundreds of random, unregulated, poorly written debunking websites to tell me otherwise.
My morning breath is a new mixture of grated cashews, wet leaves and dying racoon on the side of a dirt road. Believe it or not this is actually a noticeable improvement.
I’ve read that another apparent benefit that appeals directly to my vanity is that the swishing action is actually exercise for my facial muscles—and this is fantastic news for my jaw line as I am prone to the jowly sag when I’m not smiling from ear to ear. A friend tells me that oil pulling has completely cured her TMJ, another his periodontal disease, and all from this inexpensive, NATURAL, simple exercise.
There’s no denying that my teeth are whiter, my gums are pink and robust with an almost bionic-vitality. My dry-mouth has improved dramatically—my cotton mouth has pretty much dissipated leaving my mouth silky soft and my lips no longer require round-the-clock balming. I have also noticed an energy jolt this week, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s not placebo. My sinuses, which are usually a drippy pathetic mess (I ooze glamour + sex appeal do I not?) have also noticeably improved.
Here’s a loose list of additional benefits that others have reported from oil pulling.
• Migraine headache relief
• Correcting hormone imbalances
• Reducing inflammation of arthritis
• May help with gastroenteritis
• Aids in the reduction of eczema
• May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
• Helps support normal kidney function
• May help reduce sinus congestion
• Some people report improved vision
• Helps reduce insomnia
• Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
• Aids in reducing pain
• Reduces the symptoms of allergies
• Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms
I am definitely premature in offering up my findings at such an early stage as this is still an experiment in progress. I will keep you posted via this page if any new results show themselves in the coming weeks.
Update: Hello friends! I figured I would update briefly on my oil pulling trajectory two weeks later. After a full week of pulling, I took off a couple of days as I had a very REAL case of ‘sore jaw’—which was most definitely due to the constant swishing action. I have now been rotating on a one-day-on, one-day-off regimen and it seems to be working for me just as well.
One thing that cannot be negated is that it has definitely helped me to heal from a recent cold/flu/throat bug I caught from an office mate this past Monday. I actually wanted to test out the efficacy of Oil of Oregano as I’ve heard wonderful things about it—but was astonished when I saw a tiny vial of it being sold for $30.00 at my local health food store. What the hell is it made from? The tears of orphans that just finished a slice of pizza???
So lo and behold I’ve kept to my regimen of Oil Pulling and I can see beyond a shadow of a doubt how it has helped me get over this bug. I literally had that razor-blades-in-throat feeling on Monday and Tuesday of this week and by today it’s all gone! Whereas normally I would have been flat on my back all week, I am now ‘mobile‘ and on the mend, and I truly see how the Coconut Oil has been paramount in my recovery!
***Also my morning breath now only smells of wet batteries + expired organic milk—PROGRESS!!!
The moral of the story is to find what works for you! If an everyday pull is your thang—more power to ya! If your jaw hurts and you need a breather? Have at it brothers + sisters!
And finally if you made the attempt and your gag reflex went a little something like this…
I APPLAUD you for your valiant efforts in trying something new! Ok, they are lazy ‘golf claps’ but, I’m still applauding!
Feel free to let me know how Oil Pulling is working/worked for you in the comments section below!Until then, Be open-minded in every facet of your life + continue to try new things lover heads!
The Pop Culture Rainman™