An Ancient Ayurvedic Ritual for Clearer Skin, Whiter Teeth & Overall Wellness: The Beauty Benefits of Oil Pulling

Spring is in the air, and nothing says spring cleaning like “detox”.  But this ain’t no juice cleanse, Gorgeous, this is an ancient ritual that will help clear your skin, whiten your teeth and does it all 100% toxic free. If you haven’t heard of oil pulling, at first read, you may think it sounds a bit far fetched. But, if I’ve learned anything in my twenty-some-odd years on this planet, it is that you should never knock it until you try it…especially when ancient people have sworn by it for thousands of years.

What is Oil Pulling?

From the roots of Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is an age-old ritual that is said to do wonders for your beauty and body. It is essentially the practice of swishing your mouth with oil for 15 minutes every morning to detox your lymphatic system and maintain optimum dental health (which leads to overall health and wellness benefits). Oil pulling is completely harmless and inexpensive, so before you close your eyes to it, read on, give it a try for a few weeks and then decide.

New to Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine, which uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing to heal and balance. It is based on the five elements (earth, air, water, fire and space), which combined into the three doshas: vata, kapha, and pitta. Having a balance of these doshas is what leads to ultimate health. Now without getting too technical (I am no Ayurvedic specialist), wherever you have an imbalance is where you would focus and heal with diet, herbs, meditation, exercise, yoga and massage.

benefits of oil pulling

Dr. Bruce Fife, naturopathic physician who has actually written a book on the subject of Oil Pulling, notes:

“Most of the chronic and infectious illnesses that trouble our society today are influenced by the health of our mouths. Our mouths are a reflection of the health inside our bodies…Simply improving the health of your teeth and gums can cure many chronic problems….The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris…oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect.”

Oil Pulling has a great many benefits to overall health – and a healthy body translates into natural beauty.

The Beauty & Health Benefits of Oil Pulling

I started oil pulling last fall, and here are just some of the benefits I’ve been enjoying:

  • Whiter teeth (with no chemical bleaching agents – i.e. white strips and bleaching trays)
  • Pinker (read: healthier) gums
  • Clearer skin
  • Fresher breath (I love my garlic, so this is a benefit I’m loving)

With long term use other health and beauty benefits include:

  • Regulation of menstrual cycle & improved PMS symptoms
  • Decreased inflammation in your body
  • Reduced headaches
  • Better sleep (a natural beauty key)
  • Fights cavities & gingivitis
  • Improved (less toxically loaded) lymphatic system
  • Increased energy
Further claims have been made that oil pulling has beneficial affects on:
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Fibromyalgia and many autoimmune diseases

How Does Oil Pulling Work?

How does swishing oil in your mouth achieve all these benefits? Well, think of the digestive system as one – because it is. In fact, your digestive system is essentially a single organ from the mouth to the “exit point”. Toxins and nutrients that flow through the lymphatic system and other channels in the body  get absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract (read: stomach & intestines). This is often why the tongue is such an important diagnostic tool in traditional Chinese medicine. In short, oil pulling removes toxins through your mouth and glands by absorbing them through your mucous membranes.

How Do I Oil Pull?

Starting your own practice of oil pulling is easy, quick and cheap. It simply requires:

  • 1 – 3 TSP of an oil of your choice (I prefer raw & organic coconut oil as it naturally has antibacterial/anti-fungal/antiviral properties from its caprylic and lauric acid content  – Artisana is a great option – but you can use any pure vegetable oil like sunflower or sesame)
  • Any additions you prefer (I add 2 drops of Oil of Oregano for an extra “antibacterial” effect, but this is not necessary to get the benefits of oil pulling)

I start my oil pulling on an empty stomach each morning:

  1. Rinsing my mouth out with water
  2. Put coconut oil + oregano oil in my mouth (I don’t mind starting with solid-state coconut oil, as it melts quickly in your mouth, but if that bugs you, melt it down in a pot first)
  3. Swish for 15 – 20 minutes (I often do this when I am showering, as I multitask during my morning routine, which you can read about here)
  4. Spit into toilet (oil can clog the sink)
  5. Rinse out mouth and brush teeth (I have a separate toothbrush for my oil pulling, which I regularly disinfect with baking soda and HOT water)

DO NOT gargle and DO NOT swallow – the solution is filled with microbes, toxins and bacteria.

Let me know your experience with oil pulling, and keep me posted on your progress. Remember this is no over night treatment, although you will likely notice a change in your gums and teeth within a week.

Beautiful nature prevails yet again, stay well Beauties.

X

K

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  • sarah

    i am interested in the oil pulling but had also read your article on using baking soda to whiten teeth. Is it ok to oil pull and use baking soda right after to brush? thank yoU!

    • http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/ Living Pretty Naturally

      Hi Sarah! After oil pulling I recommend brushing your teeth with only water and your brush, just to rinse out the toxins and oil residue. While I don’t think this would do any harm (and potentially might clean your mouth out more), I usually use baking soda after I’ve had my breakfast and brush my teeth to start the day. :-)

      • jasmine

        pure coconut oil especially made from coconut milk can be taken a spoon everyday it helps you slim down also gently massaging your teeth with coconut oil is good for your teeth and gums

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  • LavenderBourbon

    I want to try this but- 15-20 minutes! That’s a long time to be having a mouth full of oil :)

    • http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/ Living Pretty Naturally

      Give it a go for 10 minutes while you’re in the shower :-) x

      • LavenderBourbon

        Fair enough! So excited to try :)

  • Ayana

    Wow, I will try this! I love to use cocnut oil for my body, face, hair, cooking….. and now I guess I will use it for my morning routine. This is the first time I am reading your blog andI love it ^^ thank you for for posting about your morning routine ^^

    • http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/ Living Pretty Naturally

      Let me know how it goes :-D xx

  • Juju

    Coucou! If i ran out of coconut oil, can I do that with Olive oil? xxx

    • http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/ Living Pretty Naturally

      Coucou!! xox
      Haven’t heard must use of olive oil, but sesame oil and sunflower oil, certainly!

  • linditt

    Can I do this at night instead of morning?

    • http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/ Living Pretty Naturally

      Best to do this in the AM, as your body has spent the night detoxing itself. The oil helps lift the bacteria out of your mouth from the night before :) xx

  • 2ndNatureBeauty

    I’ve been giving this a go since I read this, seems to be helping out the immune system in this cold!! x

    • http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/ Living Pretty Naturally

      It’s (one of) my favourite parts of the morning routine :) xx

  • Nithya

    I so want to give this a try. But few more questions: After oil pulling, can I brush my teeth with toothpaste? If no, then when is the good time to brush with toothpaste. Also, do i have to wait for certain time before i start drinking or eating anything? I usually drink warm honey water after brushing my teeth.

  • Organic Fiji

    For anyone looking to buy Certified Organic Coconut Oil check out http://www.organicfiji.com !!

  • Fleur

    I love Oil pulling and natural care. I use natural tooth oil from Ringana. You can order this at http://www.naturesbestcosmetis.com I also use coconutoil. Thanks for you nice blog about this