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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Oil-pulling (with coconut oil)


Oil_pulling_cleanHappy New Year!! Hope your entrance into 2013 was a good one. I gave up years ago on having any sort of formal new years resolutions (their inevitable breach simply lead to more guilt and disappointment) but I thought 1 January would be as good a day as any to stretch myself with something new and different in regards to my health regime: oil-pulling. Sounds weird, I know. I first heard about it several years ago when my dairy farmer mate and his wife from Qld were extolling the virtues of it. I thought that maybe the Qld sun was driving them slightly mad. Why would you squirl and swish oil around in your mouth? Wouldn't that make you gag? Since then, oil-pulling has gone viral in wholefood /alternative medicine circles and more and more people are coming out of the woodwork to tell me or write to me about it's (often miraculous) benefits. Then I read this article written by Dr Mercola and posted on the Weston A Price website on 31 December 2012. I am very careful about where I get my information from and whether it has any scientific validation.

Basically, oil-pulling involves rinsing your mouth with about 1 tablespoon coconut oil, much like you would with a mouthwash. Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial, anti-virual, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. In other words, it kills bad bugs.   The oil is “worked” around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for a period of 15 minutes or more.  This process allows the oil to “pull out” bacteria, viruses, fungi and other debris. The best time to do it is in the morning before eating breakfast (e.g. while your getting brekky ready, or in the shower, on the toilet etc), but it can be done at any time and more than once a day. Spit the oil into the bin (not the sink as it will clog your drain). You should not swallow the oil because it’s loaded with bacteria, toxins, pus, and mucous.

Oil pulling is said to have a significant cleansing, detoxifying and healing affect, not only for your mouth and sinuses but for the rest of your body as well.

Apparently oil pulling is a practice dating back thousands of years, having originated with Ayurvedic medicine. While I can't imagine our hunter gatherer ancestors doing this I remind myself that they wouldn't have had a need to - they didn't need detoxifying in their world, or at least not to the same extent as us. I don't kid myself that trying to live even the purest (non-toxic) life in an urban metropolis still carries a toxic overload that we can't by lifestyle choices alone completely eliminate. Hence the need to detoxify.coconutoilpulling

I've only been doing it for 2 days now so its way too early to say what effect it is having on my body, but I can say that even after 3 oil-pulls my teeth look noticeably whiter. If you're interested to try it (and I would definately look into it if you had any sort of dental or gum issues) I encourage you to read the article I linked to above and watch the videos. Ensure that you use extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil (Eg Nuis or Aclara Health).

Over to you, have you tried oil-pulling? What's your experience and views on it??