Who doesn’t love snapping off a piece of aloe vera for a sunburn, or bagging up some lavender as a drawer-freshener? Many of us are interested in shifting our lifestyle away from chemical and toxic substances, and opting for natural remedies when possible. Often, simple, natural life hacks help us save money, reduce our exposure to chemicals, and reduce our ecological footprint. So if you are someone who likes to go green you may want to give coconut oil pulling a try.
WHAT IS IT?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda (one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems developed in India) treatment that goes back 3000 years, and consists of oil being ‘swished’ around in the mouth to eliminate bacteria and cure other ailments.
WHY DO PEOPLE DO IT? AND WHY COCONUT OIL?
Traditionally, the ritual of oil pulling uses sesame oil or sunflower oil. Olive oil is another option to try out if that’s all you’ve got. However, many people push coconut oil as the best-tasting option with the most health properties. In terms of health benefits, coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties that bind to the plaque on your teeth, and aid in reducing the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Studies have shown that coconut oil pulling has been shown to reduce the number of Streptococcus Mutans bacteria, which plays a significant role in tooth decay and gum disease. And if you’ve stocked up on coconut oil, but recent news has you more hesitant to cook with it, this could be the perfect way to use it.
Other health benefits of coconut oil pulling include boosted energy levels, glowing skin, cured bad breath, improved immunity, reduced tooth decay, and whitened teeth!
While there are many firm believers who swear that oil pulling has transformed their health, we encourage implementing oil pulling as simply another step of your existing oral health regimen. So keep brushing your teeth as usual, but try adding this step to your routine, or as an alternative to that blue mouthwash you’ve been suspicious of. Also, if you’ve got any open sores or are allergic to any of the oils we mention, you shouldn’t do this.
- The best time to ‘swish’ is first thing in the morning, before you’ve eaten or had anything to drink, and before you’ve brushed your teeth.
- Spit out, then take one tablespoon of coconut oil, and tilt it to your mouth. Start swishing! Try to really get in there, bringing the oil through your teeth and to your back molars.
- Now keep swishing for between 10-20 minutes. Working your way up to swishing for 20 minutes is ideal, as that gives the oil enough time to break through plaque and bacteria, but not enough time for the body to reabsorb toxins.
- Spit the oil out into the trash. This is important because spitting into your sink will leave you with a clogged drain. The oil should have the appearance of a thin, white foam. If it’s yellow, try swishing for longer next time.
20 minutes may seem like too long to spend swishing around coconut oil when we’ve all got busy lives, but if this 3000-year-old method is still in use today, it must be worth a shot, right? So get some coconut oil, give it a try, and let us know if it works for you. Happy swishing everyone!