Is Oil Pulling Beneficial to health?

by N J Howell

What Is Oil Pulling?
For those who may not be familiar with the term, oil pulling refers to taking a small amount of pure sesame oil or organic coconut oil in the mouth and then swishing it, and “pulling” the oil through the teeth. These oils are cleansing and have antibacterial properties and it is thought that regular oil pulling may help detox the body and strengthe the immune system. Beyond those general ideas, there are tons of ancedotal stories about different types of benefits that one may experience by engaging in 20 minutes of oil pulling every day.

As a health and wellnes advocate from way back (not telling how many decades), I had heard of oil pulling. I had even tried it on the rare occasion. This year, I decided to give oil pulling a fair test.

Oil Pulling Process:
According to what I could find online about this holistic health practice, it seems that the optimal time to “pull” was 20 minutes. I simply couldn’t manage that. First, the saliva was so prolific from the pulling (I used organic cold-pressed coconut oil rather than sesame oil. I usually swished for about 5 minutes so I would assume my results were minimal compared to a 20-minute oil pulling session every day.

What I noticed from oil pulling
I noticed that my teeth were definitely whiter and the receeding gum I had experienced was a lot less after about a month. I also noticed that I didn’t get plaque build up as quickly. If I did the oil pulling in the morning, for example, my teeth would feel quite clean til evening.

If I had the fortitude to do the full 20 minutes, I can imagine I’d see some amazing benefits. Alas, I don’t see me doing a 20 minute oil pulling session every day so I’ll take the benefits that come from an abbreviated experience. I believe that its better to do some than none at all.. a bit like my yoga practice over the years! Even if it is just ONE yoga practice during the month, at least it has to be better than none for the body!!

Another potential benefit to oil pulling may be assisting the body to remove releasing mercury vapors from amalgam fillings. Gentle swishing for a few minutes after eating (because chewing increases the release of vapors for a while after the meal) might help to remove freshly releasing mercury. Just be sure not to pull aggressively, especially if you suspect a filling might be loose (and see a dentist, of course) and be sure not to ever swallow the oil after doing an oil pulling.

Speaking of organic coconut oil, there’s an extracted version called MCT Oil that is being taken internally for reported health benefits. Extracted from coconuts, MCT oil is said to provide even more concentrated health benefits. However, not all MCT oil is created equal. There is something called Upgraded MCT oil and if I were going to try it, I’d try that. It’s pricy so not everyone can afford it. I intend to try it one day though, in my bulletproof coffee. Right now, I’m using unrefined, organic, virgin coconut oil. Ask me about the bulletproof coffee if you haven’t already tried it, its the best! I went from not being able to drink coffee at all for the past 3-4 years to now being able to drink a coffee again !!