When it comes to beauty and health routines, it seems that lately, people are far more interested in the wisdom of the ancient humans and their practices, rather than in the latest trends of the modern industries. Those were the times when people used food as medicine, and medicine as food, all in the form of natural and organic products, thus becoming aware of their positive effects on health and beauty.
One of the practices that is gaining in popularity these days is the oil pulling method.
The oil pulling practice is a dental care method used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine that involves swishing oil in your mouth. It is a primitive dental care method that uses natural oils as a mouth and teeth wash. However, it involves much more than cleaning, as the “kavala,” or “gundusha” as it was originally called, is intended to improve the oral and overall health of the person utilizing this practice regularly.
Lately, the benefits of the oil pulling practice have been confirmed by several studies, suggesting that it is effective in reducing the bad bacteria in the mouth. Moreover, by pulling the bad bacteria from the mouth, the oil pulling method improves overall gum and teeth health, reduces the toxin levels and increases saliva production. This can result in many health improvements, including possibly alleviating the symptoms of several diseases linked to bacteria and inflammation.
Although science-backed evidence is still limited, many practitioners claim the positive effects of oil pulling as an inevitable part of their health care routine.
In order to benefit from this method, one should perform it correctly and regularly, using natural oil, containing properties that can maximize the benefits.
Why Is Coconut Oil the Best Choice for Oil Pulling?
Coconut oil is a miraculous product of nature. Among the many beneficial properties, it’s proven to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory — properties that are extremely useful in achieving the expected effects of oil pulling. Coconut oil has a more favorable fatty acid profile than any other natural oil, including a high amount of lauric acid, proven to have potent antimicrobial properties. According to research, lauric acid is especially effective at killing harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the mouth and body.
On another note, coconut oil is a type of natural oil, that unlike other natural oils, actually tastes pretty good. Taking into consideration the not-so-pleasant feeling of swishing oil between your teeth, you should definitely reduce the urge to spit it out before the effects kick in. Moreover, coconut oil changes the state of matter, depending on the temperature. This allows you to choose to take it as a liquid or in solid form, and slowly melt it in your mouth to endure the swishing for the desired time.
The Proven Benefits of Oil Pulling
Good health begins with a healthy mouth and teeth. Everything that we consume in order to stay alive and in good condition passes through our mouths. Therefore, solid dental health is a precursor to achieving optimal health. An oil pulling practice will help you take control over your dental health and provide many benefits directly linked to the state of health of your mouth and digestive system as well.
Let’s look at what a regular oil pulling practice can do for your health.
Reduces the Harmful Bacteria in the Mouth
There are hundreds of different types of bacteria in the mouth, including friendly and harmful types. Reducing the number of bad bacteria to a minimum prevents the development of health issues. Moreover, the harmful bacteria create a thin layer over the teeth known as plaque. Although dental plaque is constantly present, if it gets out of hand, it may result in bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and inflammations in the mouth, as well as in other parts of the digestive system.
Regular oil pulling prevents the development of bad bacteria by dissolving it in the oil while you swish. Moreover, by taking away the bacteria and the existing plaque, the oil pull prevents the development of many diseases, alleviates symptoms of existing ones, and improves oral and overall health.
Oil Pulling Helps Reduce Bad Breath
Halitosis, rather known as bad breath, is the most common condition among the human population. The causes are numerous, however, it is mostly linked to poor oral hygiene and problems with gingivitis or an extensive amount of plaque and tongue coating, hence the accumulation of bad bacteria.
Studies have shown that similar to antiseptic mouthwash, coconut oil significantly decreases the levels of microorganisms known to cause bad breath. The fatty acids in the oil attract and trap the bad bacteria. This means that each time you oil pull, you remove the harmful bacteria from the mouth, thereby decreasing the potential causes of bad breath.
Reduces Inflammation and Fights Gum Diseases
The inflammation of the gums that causes swollen and red gingiva prone to bleeding, known as gingivitis, is mostly caused by plaque and the harmful bacteria that reside in the mouth. Oil pulling plays a major role in the prevention and curing of gingivitis, especially when performed with coconut oil. Moreover, coconut oil is rich with lauric acid proven to effectively kill pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans, the main cause for gum inflammation and diseases. Studies show that regular oil pulling with coconut oil acts as an anti-inflammatory and successfully fights gingivitis.
Oil pulling plays a major role in the strengthening of the teeth, jaws and gums, as well as prevents gum bleeding in people suffering from gingivitis and similar gum inflammations.
Provides an Effective Cavity Prevention
The small holes in the teeth known as cavities develop as a result of poor oral hygiene or poor diet. The bacteria that build up in order to dissolve the residue of food particles create an acid to dissolve it, however, it also causes tooth decay and destroys tooth enamel. Therefore, thorough oral hygiene is extremely important in order to prevent tooth decay and stop the development of cavities that may result in tooth loss.
This can easily be achieved with regular oil pulling. Research states that oil pulling will help in removing the food particles and harmful bacteria found in plaque and saliva — all known to be the causes of cavities.
As mentioned before, oil pull using coconut oil attacks Streptococcus mutans as well as Lactobacillus, the two groups of bad bacteria mainly responsible for tooth decay.
Although there is a lack of research and studies to prove the many other potential benefits of oil pulling, alternative medicine practitioners report the following benefits:
- Teeth whitening (by pulling stains from the surface of teeth)
- Alleviating sleep problems
- Reducing sinus pain and issues related to sinuses
- Alleviating headaches
- Helping with skin problems
How to Perform Oil Pulling Properly
Oil pulling requires swishing oil in your mouth in much the same way you would do with mouthwash. However, due to the difference in the consistency of the matter, you will find the experience different, so here is a short guide on how to do it properly.
- 1. You will need a tablespoon of coconut oil and a small glass of warm saltwater.
- 2. Put the oil in your mouth and swish it for 15-20 minutes for optimal results.
The thick consistency of the oil may cause pain in the jaw during the swishing. Moreover, 20 minutes is quite a long time to swish something in your mouth. If you happen to experience discomfort, slow down, or stop for a while to rest your jaw. If that happens, try using less oil the next time and don’t swish it around too forcefully.
The amount of liquid in your mouth will slowly increase as the oil draws saliva that contains toxins and bacteria. Make sure not to swallow the oil as you need to throw these toxins out, not take them in. Therefore, if you start feeling like you need to spit, do it right away to exclude the risk of swallowing.
- 3. Spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. To remove any residue, you can brush and floss your teeth as usual.
For optimal effects, it is advisable to perform oil pulling on an empty stomach, hence you can do it first thing in the morning. It’s best if you can make it your daily routine and repeat it every day, but a few times a week might also be enough to experience the desired benefits. Oil pulling is easy to do, however, it might be unpleasant for newbies. So, in order to succeed, it’s always better to take it slowly. The recommended swishing time is 15-20 minutes, but if you can’t endure that long, start with 3-5 minutes and gradually increase the time each day.
Why Add Oil Pulling Into Your Health and Beauty Routine
Anytime you are presented with the chance to make use of a natural product and thereby enjoy positive effects and many additional benefits, you are given the opportunity to improve your health and beauty routine.
The biggest benefits for health improvement come from simple, cheap practices and products in the most natural forms. Oil pulling is very easy to incorporate in your daily routine, moreover, it may be performed with a product that is already present in your home.
Oil pulling with coconut oil does not have any side effects and can’t cause any harm. It is a natural way to improve your oral hygiene and health while preventing other potential maladies. Furthermore, with regular practice, you may discover additional benefits that may appeal to you specifically.