Updated: May 14
For this morning, yes, yes, it is.
Each morning I am faced with the decision of whether to put “just a pinch between cheek and gum”—to borrow from an abhorrent chewing tobacco slogan that is lodged in my brain.
And, every morning, I choose Yes. Yes, for a simple, painless, detox hack.
Oil pulling goes back, way back, to the origins of the Indian holistic healing modality of Ayurveda, some 3000-5000 years ago.
Long history. Safe and proven. We have a growing body of “hard” science around it, too. “Just as effective as mouthwash” at neutralizing bacteria, but the American Dental Association is concerned we might breathe it into our lungs. Our conventional associations are shy about recommending oil pulling because they are afraid folks will stop using the fancy treatments upon which their money is made.
Breathe it into our lungs?! Iyiyi.
Mouthwash may freshen breath and kill bacteria as well as coconut oil in da mouth and it also contains all kinds of chemical compounds we probably shouldn’t be putting on our tender mucous membranes. Feel the burn? Yeah—it may make us think it’s “working”, but is it necessary?
Short answer, No.
I like oil pulling.
The fat breaks down the cell walls of the bacteria, neutralizing them as I swish the oil between and around my teeth. Much more enjoyable than mouthwash.
When I first began oil pulling I used a tiny amount. The feeling of crunchy coconut oil between my teeth was not pleasant. Then I learned to just allow it to melt as I went about my morning ablutions—that was better. And I swished and spit after about five minutes. Good start.
I chose an empty shampoo bottle to spit into so I wouldn’t clog the plumbing. As much as I prefer to recycle the bottles, I sacrifice one to the cause of cleaning up and detoxifying my body.
My teeth are whiter. My gums are healthier. I have less plaque for the hygienist to scrape. Oil pulling grabs the bacteria my body accumulates overnight as it detoxes and gets it out of my body.
Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antiviral AND antibacterial. It is a powerful ally in maintaining optimal health—not just in the mouth, but in the sauté pan as well.
Be sure to use the same, high quality, cold-pressed, virgin, unrefined oil for pulling as you would for cooking. Yes, you’re spitting it out, but remember those tender mucous membranes I mentioned above. They absorb what we put on them so we’d best put clean and clear stuff on if we want clean and clear stuff in.
No, the bacteria don’t get absorbed into the cheeks and gums. The oil draws them out of their hidey-holes and traps them in the fat. When we spit, Bye Bye bacteria, Hello fresh face.
It’s a win-win. A clean mouth, ready for brushing, everything nice and moisturized, and no unpronounceable chemicals passing into our bodies through the tender membranes.
What’s not to love?
As you get used to the process, build up to 15-20 minutes every morning using about a teaspoon of oil. Adjust the parameters to suit your schedule and don’t try to talk while swishing.
It might get messy.
And forget about sneezing or coughing—get thee to a garbage can quickly. Or outside. Outside is much more forgiving than carpet or mirrors.
Frequently I will just plan on spitting outside, rather than fill up a shampoo bottle—so if that’s an option for you, try it.
It’s all good. The body detoxes as we sleep and we take out the garbage, so to speak, in the morning. It feels good to support my body this way.
Let me know what you think!
Are you ready to learn more healthy ways to live into the wellness of your dreams? Join me for my next class, Meet You Where You’re At (MYWYAT) Transformational Coaching Program starting May 26th!