© 2013 jen

Oil Pulling – Powerful Protection: A Cleaner Mouth & Disease Prevention

Last week I mentioned oil pulling when I was talking about the wonders of coconut oil. I really believe that this is one of the best things you can do, not just for your oral health, but for your whole body.

Oil pulling is actually an old ayurvedic (traditional Indian folk medicine) method for oral care. It’s safe, gentle, inexpensive and easy, and it rids the body of toxins.

You want me to what?

So here’s what you do – try this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and hold it there until it melts in your mouth and then begin to swish it for up to 20 minutes. The first few times I did it I could only stand to do it for 5 minutes, and if that’s all you can stand then that’s enough. Try and work your way up to 10 minutes if you can.

It’s best if you don’t gargle, but swish it instead. The reason for this is that you don’t want to accidentally drink the oil. By the time you’ve swished it for even a few minutes, the oil is pretty toxic, full of your oral germs. Swallowing it defeats the purpose of oil pulling in the first place, because the goal is to rid the body of toxins.

Once you’re done swishing spit the oil into the trash or toilet, then brush and floss your teeth as usual.

One reason this works so much better than tooth brushing is that oil seeps into every nook and cranny in the mouth, even into the gum-line, removing all toxins in a way that a tooth brush and flossing cannot even reach. Having said this, I still brush and floss after I pull for the cleanest mouth possible.

Why swish oil?


Because digestion is a North to South process. If your mouth has too much bacteria, so does your body.

Oral health is the window to your overall health functioning. When bacteria stays in the mouth it can lead to oral infections. Over time, bacteria in the mouth can lead to periodontal disease – a severe gum disease – which causes inflammation in the mouth and a decreased ability to fight other diseases such as diabetes.

There is even a connection between heart health and oral care. People who have more oral bacteria have a higher risk of clogged blood vessels and blood clots, which is coming directly from toxins in the bacteria in the mouth being digested and running amok in the bloodstream or artery walls.

Over time, poor oral health can lead to cognitive decline. Your whole body and mind are affected by your oral health.

Oral health is critical to your overall health.

If you read up on oil pulling you’ll find so many reasons why it’s an effective health aid. I thought I’d list out some of the benefits that I’ve personally seen and then a few more that I believe to be true.


Benefits to the mouth  from oil pulling:

1. An amazing mouth cleaner that removes bacteria and fights plaque, gingivitis and cavities – even in those hard to reach spots in your mouth. Because of the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal properties in coconut oil, it’s a much stronger teeth cleaning solution than any toothpaste or mouthwash combined.
2. Whitens your teeth and makes your gums a really healthy pink color.
3. Shiny and polished looking teeth like you just came from a dental cleaning.
4. Reduced halitosis (bad breath).
5. Helps resolve bleeding gums.
6. Removes toxins and heavy metals from the mouth – we get all sorts of metals in our bodies from the environment and from our own mouth in the form of those metal (amalgam) fillings. Oil pulling removes toxic levels of heavy metals from the mouth.
7. Helps combat dry mouth, dry lips and dry throat – some people are naturally dry in the mouth area, others have dryness from medications. Oil pulling helps rebalance moisture in the mouth.
8. Strengthens sensitive teeth – I have very sensitive teeth, due to loss of some of the enamel on my teeth from nutrition deficiencies associated with Celiac disease. Oil pulling really helps my teeth feel less sensitive.

Benefits to the body from oil pulling:

1. Lymphatic system clearing – your lymph nodes process blood and toxins in the body and if you remove the toxins in your mouth this gives your lymphatic system a break and actually clears it out a bit.
2. Clears sinuses – for me this happened, but I know of at least one person for whom this didn’t happen, so results may vary from person to person. I was blowing my nose for almost an hour and my ears were popping and clearer too, as if the oil pulling was reaching the recesses of my sinus cavity.
3. Aids in reversing or minimizing many chronic diseases – in one study done by Weston Price, he took unhealthy teeth removed from people with various diseases and stuck them under the skin of rabbits (gross, poor rabbits!). Within a few days the rabbits developed the same diseases as the humans who had the teeth removed, such as arthritis and heart disease. A few days later the rabbits died. If your mouth isn’t happy your body won’t be either.
4. Increased energy – I like to oil pull before I go on a run. It makes me feel really alive and energetic. I don’t know if this is a real thing or if a very clean mouth just makes you feel more zippy – either way, it works!
5. Removes cold and flu germs from the mouth – I’ve tried this. One day I had a sore throat and oil pulled and afterward I felt much better. I didn’t get sick either. It could be the oil pulling or it could be random, but I think when you use coconut oil to pull with, it seems logical that you would be killing any bacteria or viruses trying to invade the body. If you are a person whose sinuses are cleared by oil pulling then you’d get even more removal of any cold or flu germs trying to make you sick.

If you do your own reading on oil pulling you can find some pretty humorous and probably untrue claims. One site I read said people who oil pull daily can live to be 150 years old! This seems very unlikely to me, but I do think it could help extend a person’s life by some amount of time, because you’re removing toxins before they have a chance to move through the body. There are so many other claims that might be true, but I’m just not too sure so I didn’t list them. But if you look into this, oil pulling seems to fix almost everything including skin conditions and more.

I mentioned this last week, but I’ll say it again: some people have a hard time with this at first and get either headaches or stomachaches, which is due to yeast dying off in the body, also known as Herxheimer Response. This can make you feel pretty icky. If this happens to you, take it slow or consider seeing a N.D. or Nutritional Therapist. If you decide to give the oil pulling another go after having a reaction, only swish for short periods of time and stop when it gets to be too much. You’re still receiving the health benefits if you can only pull oil for 5 minutes, but if you can do 10-20 you’ll receive the maximum benefits.

OK, so you get the idea now. This technique is a powerful protector to your mouth and your overall health. Let me know if you try this and how it works for you and remember, spit, don’t swallow! (I crack myself up.)




  1. Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm | #

    Hey Jen!

    I’ve had this post open in a tab all week working up to the idea of trying it out. I did a few minutes today and hope to work up to more (and ask my awesome doc about it, often my intuition on trying things like this sort of thing is spot on).

    I have a comment about the energy it gives you, I think this may be in part due to some auxiliary coconut oil getting into your system! My friend who has low thyroid of a special variety eats a tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning to help raise her energy levels, it does it!
    Anyhoozle, just wanted to give a thanks, and a heads up that I think the energy boost is not just in your head. <3

    • Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm | #

      Yay! Glad you tried it, Rachel! Yes, I agree that the energy effects from coconut oil really isn’t all in your head. It’s a real thing! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm | #

    tried oil pulling after your last post…made it to about 5 minutes. am trying to work my way up! :)

    • Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm | #

      Good job, Cynthia! Keep up the good work!

  3. mia
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm | #

    how does anyone swish something around without swallowing for even a minute, let alone 5 to 20 minutes? I just tried swishing water in my mouth as an experiment, and within 20 seconds, I wanted it out of there, and within 45 seconds, I felt compelled to swallow it or spit it out. Am I just weird this way, and other people can easily swish for ages without needing to spit it out?

    • Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm | #

      I think it’s harder for some people than it is for others. I find that I start to want the oil out of my mouth at around the 5 to 10 minute marker. I find 20 minutes challenging still, but that is the maximum recommended time. I find that if I can make it 5 minutes I receive health benefits. Some people say that have to work up to it in one minute intervals. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it really does help clean your mouth and body.

  4. Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm | #

    Does this work with any other kind of oil? It’s discouraging sometimes reading about all the health benefits of coconut oil but I’m quite allergic to them. So not healthy for me. :-)

    • Posted November 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm | #

      You MUST respect food sensitivities! I’m a Celiac so I totally understand. I have a friend who cannot tolerate coconut oil and she does her pulling with sesame! Sesame oil has many health benefits too and tastes great! Good luck and open sesame! :)

  5. john
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 5:53 pm | #

    thankx for sharing!

    • Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm | #

      You are welcome, John!