As our society continues to take interest in integrating more natural health practices and remedies in to our daily routines, many long-standing practices have worked their way in to the spotlight, including oil pulling.
Here we answer some frequently asked questions and discuss the benefits associated with this ancient practice:
What is oil pulling?
Although it may seem like the new popular thing to do for your health, oil pulling is actually an ancient Ayurvedic medicinal practice that has been used by many people for thousands of years.
The practice of oil pulling is typically done by using an oil to swish around the mouth and pull through the teeth and gums for a short time each day and then spit out. This technique is used as a holistic preventative measure and remedy for a variety of health issues, but this simple daily action is most commonly touted as a way to remove bacteria from the mouth and promote strong oral health.
How does oil pulling work?
There is nothing magic about it. It’s just chemistry. Our mouth contains billions of microorganisms. Some of these organisms are benign while a great number are disease causing bacteria.
Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell, which are covered with a lipid (fatty) membrane. When these cells come into contact with oil, “a fat,” they naturally adhere to each other.
As you swish oil around your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as though they are being drawn to a powerful magnet. The longer you push and pull the oil through the mouth, the more microbes are pulled free.
Spitting out these toxins trapped in the oil, rids them of your mouth and supports oral health.
Why do we use VCO (Virgin Coconut Oil)?
While oil pulling can be done with other oils such as sesame or sunflower, coconut oil contains nutrients that make it stand head and shoulders above the rest as one of the best oils to use for nutritional and therapeutic purposes. Additionally, we only use virgin coconut oil because it hasn’t gone through any refining, bleaching, or deodorizing processes, which ensures that we’re achieving the cleanest end product.
By strictly using virgin coconut oil, we can ensure you’re receiving all of the coconut oil’s beneficial phytonutrients through your oil pulling practice. Some of these nutrients include lauric acid and other medium-chain triglycerides, which are known for their antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that aid in supporting overall health.
What are some oil pulling benefits?
What are some scientific studies about Oil Pulling?
Kaushik M, Reddy P, Sharma R, Udameshi P, Mehra N, Marwaha A The Effect of Coconut Oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans Count in Saliva in Comparison with Chlorhexidine Mouthwash. Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice 2016 Jan1; 17(1):38-41
Faizal C. Peedikayil, Prathima Sreenivasan, and Arun Narayanan Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis - A preliminary report Journal Nigerian Medical Journal. 56(2): 143-147, 2015 Mar-Apr
S Asokan, B Purohit Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2(2):64-68, 2011 Apr-Jun
Asokan S, Kumar RS, Emmadi P, Raghuraman R, Sivakumar N Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry. 2011 Apr - June; 29(2):90-4
Thaweboon, J Nakaparksin, B Thaweboon. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models Asia Journal of Public Health: 2011 May-Aug. (PDF)
Asokan S, Emmadi P, Chamundeswari R Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study Indian Journal of Dental Research 2009 Jan-Mar; 20(1):47-51
TD Anand, C Pothiraj, RM Gopinath, et al. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria (PDF). African Journal of Microbiology Research, Vol 2:3 pp 63-66, MAR 2008. (PDF Link)
S Asokan, J Rathan, MS Muthu, PV Rathna, P Emmadi, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry. 26(1):12-7, 2008 Mar
HV Amith, Anil V Ankola, L Nagesh. Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis Journal of Oral Health & Community Dentistry: 2007; 1(1):Pages 12-18