It was only in the recent years when oil pulling has surged in popularity. However, you have to know that this technique has actually been around for over 3,000 years. Aside from being known as a practice of swishing edible oil in your mouth for a couple of minutes everyday, there is actually more to learn about oil pulling, its wellness benefits that can supplement the beauty products that you’re using, and how you can make it more effective.
But before digging deeper into that, let’s look into its history and how it evolved throughout the years through this complete guide to oil pulling.
Oil Pulling – How it All Started
Known as an ancient Ayurvedic technique, oil pulling, as mentioned in this article earlier, is already centuries old. While it is regarded as the oldest form of dental health, health practitioners claimed that oil pulling also has an effect on overall wellness as it is believed that the teeth and its root systems affect the other parts of the body–deeper than what you actually realize. With oil pulling, the microflora in the mouth restores its balance while acting on the toxins that have already accumulated in the body for a period of time. This results in having a body that is detoxified and rejuvenated.
Oil Pulling in the 90s
It was during the 90s when Tummala Koteswara Rao of Bangalore India introduced the oil pulling we know today and it coincided with the growing interest of the market on the amazing health benefits of vegetable oils. While initially, sesame oil was the preferred option of Ayurveda practitioners, coconut oil eventually became a popular choice because of its effectiveness.
Oil Pulling Today
Now, oil pulling is widely used combining ancient and modern techniques. While more options are now available (basically any food-grade oil will do), more and more modern practitioners choose coconut oil because of its benefits, not to mention its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
With an age-old practice that remains popular up to this time, it is undeniable that oil pulling is a simple technique that comes with amazing benefits–other than improving oral health. Below, you’ll learn more about oil pulling as well as why you should incorporate it into your daily routine.
10 (*plus!) Beauty and Wellness Benefits of Oil Pulling
1. Reduces Bad Breath
This condition is the result of the chemicals and gases produced by bacteria that may be present in the mouth. It can easily catch you off-guard and may affect social relationships. Oil pulling is a technique that is as effective as a mouthwash as it results in a significant reduction in the severity of bad breath.
2. Makes Teeth Whiter
If you have been using a range of teeth whitening agents and failed to get the results you want, you have a better and more effective option with oil pulling. And you may even be surprised to notice visible results–whiter teeth and healthier gums, in as little as 2 weeks!
3. Clears Skin from Imperfections
Oil pulling has the ability to get rid of body toxins and without these radical elements, there’ll be dramatic improvements that will be reflected in your skin. This means reducing, if not saying goodbye to skin problems that may come in the form of acne, eczema, psoriasis, and others.
For best results, oil pulling should be used with natural skincare products that can free your skin from blemishes. Here are some options that you can try:
4. Corrects Hormonal Imbalances
Making oil pulling a habit helps in the improvement of hormone imbalances–allowing them to function naturally. Some of the most common hormonal relief that oil pulling provides include establishing regular menstrual cycles and reducing symptoms of PMS. Facilitating a regular menstrual cycle is a way to avoid skin breakouts and eliminate toxins that keep you from having a healthy skin glow.
5. Allows Complete Body Detoxification
As the mouth is where bacteria, fungi, and parasites are formed, oil pulling is able to target the root cause and likewise eliminate the toxins, including their by-products–preventing them to spread in the body and lead to a range of conditions.
6. Preventive Treatment for Gum & Mouth Diseases
When using coconut oil, a known anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial ingredient, you are able to fight cavities and build up of bacteria in the mouth, as well as gum diseases like gingivitis and bleeding gums.
Don’t have the time to swish coconut oil? Schmidt’s coconut lime toothpaste + mouth paste offers a simpler yet effective solution that whitens teeth promotes mouth health.
7. Strengthens Your Jaw
With regular oil pulling you will be able to strengthen the jaw to prevent soreness of the jaw, as well as the worsening of TMJ. Over time, you will feel the improvements and observe that the experience of pain eventually subsides.
8. Offers Relief from Headaches & Migraines
As previously mentioned, oil pulling helps rid of the toxins in the body. Over time, this buildup contributes to the experience of headaches and migraines and by engaging to the habit, it will be easier to alleviate and even totally get rid of the pain due to tension headaches and migraines.
9. Facilitates Normal Functioning of the Kidney & Liver
The detoxification that facilitates goes deep. It starts from the mouth but it also has an effect in relieving vital organs such as the kidney and liver from stress as these are the ones that filter the toxins that enter the system.
10. Alleviates Respiratory Problems
People experiencing the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma and respiratory congestion has more reasons to try oil pulling–particularly because of its anti-inflammatory effects. In many cases, it has been proven that oil pulling has a role in eliminating asthma symptoms. It also helps clears the airways of those who are suffering from bronchitis and congestion.
While results vary from individual to individual, the list goes on in terms of the beauty and wellness effects of oil pulling. Some of these benefits include:
- Control of blood pressure and blood sugar
- Relief from stiff joints and allergies
- Prevents constipation
- Gets rid of dark circles
- Improves sleep
- Boosts metabolism
- Enhances Immunity
With all the amazing wonders of oil pulling, you might wonder if there is anything that you should be cautious of when engaging in the habit–well, that is what will be discussed in the next section, including some of the most important facts that you need to know.
Oil Pulling Precautions that You Must Know
As with any regimen that you try, it is important to also take a cautious approach when trying oil pulling. Since the habit involves a large amount of oil, you need to observe for possible signs and symptoms especially if you have experience allergic reactions to certain types of oils.
Oil Pulling Side Effects
Aside from allergic reactions, other reported side effects include adverse reactions to oil pulling including the experience of dizziness, itch, nausea, and vomiting. To keep you from experiencing problems related to oil pulling, here are the precautions that you should know.
Oil Pulling Must-Nots:
- Never swallow the oil after swishing it in your mouth. Remember that the regimen pulls bacteria and toxins so swallowing it can cause potential harm.
- Never use oils that are not food-grade as they may contain harmful additives.
- Never replace time-tested habits with oil pulling, particularly your current dental health routine. Instead, use it as a supplement to oral care habits.
- Never disregard symptoms like diarrhea, upset stomach, and other adverse reactions.
The Best Oils to Use for Oil Pulling
It has been mentioned that you shouldn’t use non-food grade oil for oil pulling because of their harmful effects. Now, you’d surely be interested to know the food-grade oils that are ideal for this regimen.
To put an end to your queries, there are popular oils for pulling that are ideal to use. These include the traditionally used sesame oil and modern options such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil. Of these options, many prefer coconut oil for oil pulling because of its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Basically, aside from considering food-grade oils, your choice will depend on the availability and palatability of the oil to ensure easier compliance with the practice.
How to Oil Pull: Steps to Oil Pulling Done the Right Way
After learning the important considerations about oil pulling, it’s time to start the habit–and what could be a better way than making sure that you’ll start it the right way. Without further ado, here are the steps that you must follow:
Step 1: Use 1-2 teaspoons of edible oil and put it in your mouth. The amount will basically depend on how much you can tolerate as well as the size of your mouth. You can eventually increase the amount once you get comfortable with oil pulling.
Step 2: Pull the oil by swishing it (as you do with a mouthwash) in your mouth for 20 minutes, making sure that it goes through your mouth and gums. People new to the practice may start at 5 minutes. Basically, it will depend on your level of comfort.
Why 20 minutes?
This is the ideal amount of time to penetrate through plaque and bacteria. However, don’t exceed 20 minutes as it will already allow toxins to be reabsorbed into your saliva and mouth!
Step 3: Spit the oil out. It would be ideal to use a trash can instead of putting everything into the drain as doing so could result to clogs.
Step 4: Rinse your mouth. Using warm water with a dash of sea salt, clean your mouth to get rid of the oil you used for pulling.
Take note: Once you spit the oil, take note of the color. A milky white color is an indication that you were able to collect the toxins and bacteria. However, if it still looks oily or yellowish, it indicates that the length of time you spent for oil pulling is not enough.
Step 5: Clean your teeth with a toothbrush to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated. It will also help if you can use a floss or tongue scraper to get rid of residue that may be present in between your teeth or in the tongue.
Step 6: Repeat the process once up to several times a day especially when dealing with a chronic condition. Ideally, oil pulling should be done upon waking up in the morning, on an empty stomach but you can actually do it any time of the day.
TIP: Get better results from oil pulling by drinking a liter of warm lemon water upon waking up as this will aid in getting rid of toxins.
Oil pulling is definitely a health-promoting habit that can benefit you, both in maintaining a beautiful look and ensuring overall wellness. It is a simple and inexpensive health and natural beauty regimen that’s worthy enough to make up some of the minutes you have on your schedule.
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