Oil pulling is based on an ancient Ayurvedic practice. It is said to help "pull" toxins, bacteria, and fungus out of the mouth while stimulating the body's lymphatic system and activating your metabolism. While some folks will argue that there are only oral health benefits, this practice can actually stimulate the entire body's detoxification process. So it is a great practice to implement if you are acutely sick or dealing with a chronic disease.
The practice involves placing a tablespoon of oil (Cold Pressed Sesame or Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil) into your mouth and swooshing it around for about 15 minutes. The lipids in the oil pull the bacteria and other harmful toxins from the teeth, tongue, mouth, and saliva. At the same time, the swishing, swooshing and suction movements activate the thymus gland, which is said to be the "motor of metabolism". This practice activates the lymphatic flow and thus increases detoxification and the elimination of metabolic acids.
Oil Pulling Health Benefits:
• Improved oral health - can help to prevent cavities and gum disease
• Helps to whiten teeth and keep your breath fresh
• Aids in the prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
• Improved skin health and can even aid in the reduction of eczema
• May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
• Helps stimulate normal liver and kidney function for detoxification of harmful metals and organisms
• Can help to reduce sinus congestion & allergy symptoms
• Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
I've been oil pulling for about 3 months now as I go through treatment for Lyme disease and I can say that I've experienced each of these benefits firsthand, except the hangover one (I'm not drinking right now, so someone else will have to "test" this benefit for me!). I'm sure I have LOTS of willing participants reading this now, so post your experience when you try it out! So if you are convinced you need to try this out, here is how to do it...
How to Oil Pull:
1. Always oil pull first thing in the morning on empty stomach. If you don't, it may make you feel nauseous.
2. Brush your teeth with your regular tooth brush first thing like you normally would.
3. Place 1 tablespoon of organic, cold pressed sesame oil or organic, virgin coconut oil into your mouth and swish and swoosh for 15-20 minutes. It might sound like a a lot at first, but just set a timer on your phone or in your kitchen and go about your morning routine. I oil pull while I make coffee for the hubby and do morning 'chores' or while I scan my email or Facebook news feed - lord knows 15 minutes can go by quite fast this way.
4. Spit out oil and wash it down the drain. (NEVER SWALLOW - it will make you feel pretty nauseous because it is filled with the boitoxins you are trying to get rid of.) The output should be a whitish color, if it is yellow, then you have not done it for long enough and will need to increase your time the next time you practice it.
5. Rinse and gargle your mouth out well with warm salt water a few times.
6. Brush your teeth with a water-baking soda mixture (1/4 cup water and 1 heaping tablespoon baking soda) as a final rinse and clean. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a separate, disposable tooth brush for this 'after oil pulling brush' routine. This will help to ensure your nicer electronic toothbrush stays oil free. I throw my disposable one out after about a month, or you can pop it in the dishwasher with your silverware.
7. Repeat oil pulling steps daily or at least 3 times per week for maximum benefits.
The first few times I did this, I was AMAZED at how clean my mouth felt - it was sort of like the first time I used an electric toothbrush - a whole other level of clean!! If you are someone who is struggling with a chronic illness and need detoxification assistance, I recommend doing this every day. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post.
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
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