I found out about oil pulling in 2012 when I was looking for ways to detox and have a healthier body. “Oil pulling” has been practiced in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is known to have helped many improve their general health and also to fight different illnesses including Diabetes, Arthritis, blood pressure problems and even cancer. The method simply involves putting about a tablespoon of recommended oil in your mouth, swishing it around, and performing a sort of “pulling action” around the salivary glands. If done properly and consistently, this practice could change your life!
Traditionally, sesame seed oil and olive oil were used; and in recent times it has been found that sunflower oil and coconut oil are also highly beneficial for this practice. I use coconut oil and this is my story.
I was sick. I was stressed. I had been married 3 years without getting pregnant and at the same time I was struggling to start a business. One day I felt so sick, I decided to look into some kind of detox. I’m a natural lifestyle person and prefer earth remedies to anything else so I turned to a holistic group I had joined to ask for answers. I had already started “garlic therapy” which I will talk about in another post. Then someone suggested that I check out the group on oil pulling. The testimonials were amazing and I was ready to try anything at that point to make myself feel better. Apparently all I had to do was put a tablespoon of oil in my mouth and keep it in there. No gargling, no swallowing, just swishing the oil around in my mouth preferably with my head tilted backwards so that the oil could move to the back of my mouth where the salivary glands are located. I needed to time myself for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20. I needed to swish the oil and sort of “pull” with my salivary glands until the oil became watery and foamy then spit it out. The first day I tried with just a teaspoon of the coconut oil. After 5 minutes I felt like I wanted to vomit. Phlegm was building up in the back of my nasal passage and I could feel it trickle down my throat. I wasn’t used to that feeling and spat the oil out after 6 minutes or so. Note: if you try this, do not spit the used oil into your sink as it will have lots of toxins that you don’t need in your environment. Use the toilet and clean it well afterwards or better still do it outside. Anyway so I tried again the next day and this time I was able to do it for 10 minutes. I was amazed at all the phlegm and stuff that came out that day (Too much info but trust me you need to know). From that day on I oil pulled every morning with amazing results. I was now pulling for 15 to 20 minutes every day. It is recommended not to pull longer than 20 minutes as the toxins may now have saturated the oil and will start to burn the inside of your mouth. I experienced this once. There are a few other amazing observations I’d like to mention here.
I have a large garden space so I chose a small corner at the back where I would keep spitting my used oil. After about 3 weeks I noticed the grass at that spot had all died. Amidst a large green area, that spot had now turned brown. This made me understand how strongly toxic the used oil had become. I tried spitting the used oil in the toilet and just flushed without extra cleaning. After 3 days I noticed a dark substance forming inside the toilet. This is why I emphasise cleaning after yourself very well. You may need some lemon, vinegar and maybe a little bleach in the toilet to clean out the toxins.
For the first 2 weeks my life was a living hell. Everything hurt! I was tired and very grumpy. I had read about one feeling worse before getting better during a detox but this was pure agony. I stuck with it. I realized my food cravings were not as strong as they used to be. I was able to eliminate white bread, white rice, meat and various processed foods from my diet. 8 months down the line and I was feeling fabulous. I had lost 15 pounds and my aches and pains were gone. My dental health had improved tremendously and I had put this whole “you’re not having a baby” drama to the side. And if you’re an African or have lived in Africa you know the pressure that comes with being married even 1 year without having a baby (I have a whole other blog post on this one! 🙂
About a year after beating PCOS and borderline diabetes through natural lifestyle and oil pulling everyday, I had lost a lot of weight and found out I was pregnant at 33. I continued oil pulling throughout my pregnancy and had the most amazing pregnancy ever. I went on to have another amazing pregnancy and my second child at age 35. Not to mention my gums were turning from a darker shade to a beautiful bright pink. Try using coconut oil and baking soda as a toothpaste and teeth whitener. Just mix the baking soda and coconut oil to form a paste and use it to brush your teeth. I had fantastic results.
I recommend oil pulling to everyone! Remember to follow the rules in order to get the best results. Oil pulling must be done 8 hours after eating any food or an hour after drinking water therefore the best time to do this is first thing in the morning when you wake up. Here are a couple of guideline photos I found online if you’d like to give it a try. From my research, coconut oil seems to be the best oil to use in oil pulling.
Of the three types of oil tested, only coconut oil was shown to prevent Streptococcus mutans (an acid-producing bacterium that is a common inhabitant of the mouth and a major cause of tooth decay) from binding to teeth and damaging tooth enamel. Other oils you can try are sesame oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil. Best wishes and best of health to you!