When it comes to cancer prevention fads, there are few things I wouldn’t try. For example, if someone told me that cat’s pee cures cancer, you would find me outside at night milking tom cats. I’m not kidding! So when I heard talks in the cancer community about oil pulling as a safe and natural way to remove toxins from the body, I was all over it. Before I began “pulling” however, I did a little research, and what I read seemed too good to be true. Among the benefits reported are:
-Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
-Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
-Prevention for bad breath
-Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
-Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
-Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area
-Migraine headache relief
-Correcting hormone imbalances
-Reducing inflammation of arthritis
-May help with gastro-enteritis
-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
So what exactly is oil pulling you may ask? Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It involves the use of pure oils as agents for pulling harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, gums and even throat. The most common oils used are sesame oil and coconut oil, (I use organic, virgin coconut oil).
Here is how it is done: Take a full teaspoon to tablespoon full of oil and swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes, then spit it out. It’s that simple! I use coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, so I first chew it to melt it, then I swish. The oils mix with the saliva, turning it into a thin, white liquid. Lipids in the oils begin to pull out toxins from the saliva. As the oil is swished around the mouth, teeth, gums and tongue, the oil continues to absorb toxins, and usually ends up turning thick and viscous and white. Once the oil has reached this consistency, it is spit out before the toxins are reabsorbed. (It is best to spit the oil into the garbage, not the sink, as it can block the pipes.) Oil pulling is best done first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach….don’t ask me why, and don’t forget to brush your teeth after pulling.
I have been oil pulling for a week, and while I cannot attest to many of the benefits listed above, my teeth definitely feel cleaner and are noticeably whiter. It has been 8 months since my last dental cleaning, so needless to say, little sweaters were forming on my teeth (full blown North Face jackets on the molars). Now after just one week, it feels as if all the plaque is gone from my teeth. My daughter asked me yesterday if I am using whitening strips, and when I told her my secret, she nabbed a half a jar of my coconut oil for herself. As an added bonus, after oil pulling, my breath feels as sweet as a baby’s milky breath. As for the hangover cure claim, I will let you know in about ten minutes when I finish pulling.