This article first appeared in mindbodygreen.com and is written by Ashley Dentino
Do you ever wish you could brighten those pearly whites without chemicals?
Almost everyone I know who cares about their body is eager to find ways to get positive results without sacrificing the integrity of their own well-being and the well-being of our lovely planet.
That means those bleach trays and teeth whitening products on the market don’t exactly qualify. They have you ingesting boatloads of toxins like coal tars, fluorides, aspartame, aluminum and benzene.
So, if having a healthy mouth and brighter, whiter teeth is a priority for you, but ingesting carcinogens are not, you’re going to love oil pulling.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual where you swish oil (like coconut oil, sesame oil or sunflower oil) around in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spit it out.
Dr. Bruce Fife, whose written an entire book on oil pulling, says 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. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.”
Although there’s no scientific evidence to support these claims, there are 3,000 years worth of personal testimonials from people India and a growing number of testimonials from people in the U.S.
I was personally inspired to start doing it about a year ago to help repair some of the damage I had done to my mouth and teeth from a decade of having an eating disorder. The most noticeable effects for me have been whiter teeth, healthier gums and more clear skin. It’s been a great addition to my morning routine!
When done daily this practice is incredibly effective for:
- Brightening & whitening teeth
- Healthier gums
- Removal of mucus
- Boosting the immune system
- Preventing bad breath
- Increasing energy
- Having a clearer mind
- Decreasing headaches
- Clearing the sinuses
- Alleviating allergies
- Better sleep
- More clearer skin
- Regulating menstrual cycles
- Decreasing inflammation
- Improving the lymphatic system
- Improving PMS symptoms
How to oil pull:
- Drink 1 cup of water on an empty stomach.
- Melt 1-3 tsp. of organic, cold-pressed vegetable oil (I like coconut oil the best) in your mouth or over very low heat in a double boiler.
- Swish through your mouth for 20 minutes while you’re busy doing something else. The first few times my gag reflexes reared themselves and it was a little difficult keeping the oil in my mouth, but I persisted and by the third day it was fine. If you have this problem too, I recommend sticking with it.
- Spit into trash, compost or outside in the grass (just not in the sink – we don’t want to clog the pipes).
- Swish water through your mouth to rinse.
Take Action Now:
- Get yourself some oil and try oil pulling tomorrow morning (I do it while I’m walking my dog).
- Leave a comment below with any thoughts, tips or ideas on the topic.
- Let your friends and family in on the oil pulling secret by sharing this post!
Ashley Dentino is a Wellness & Lifestyle Strategist and the woman behind Vixi — a website that gives actionable (and sometimes edible) guidance that will inspire you to remain devoted to your purpose, personal growth & spiritual path.