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Oil Pulling: An Ancient Practice for Modern Dental Health


Oil pulling as a way to cleanse the mouth and detoxify the body was first mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic medical texts over 2,000 years ago. The procedure then was called “oil gargling.”  The name was changed to “oil pulling” by Dr. F. Karach, an Ayurvedic practitioner who first introduced it to the west in the early 1990’s.

Oil pulling involves the simple process of swishing approximately 1 tablespoon of oil (either organic coconut, sesame or cold-pressed sunflower oils are best because of their antibacterial properties) in the mouth. Its name accurately describes what is really going on: the movement of the oil  allows this natural substance to “pull” harmful microorganisms out of deep pockets between teeth and gums and even around root canals. The particular chemical makeup of the oil binds toxins to it without harming teeth or gums. Many people notice improvements in their oral health right away. Gums heal, loose teeth tighten, and teeth naturally whiten.

But that is not all.
Oil Pulling Helps the Whole Body

Many of you may have heard the saying, “All disease begins in the mouth.”

This was what Dr. F. Karach, the father of modern oil pulling, strongly believed when he made the claim [1] that oil pulling can significantly help with “head-aches, bronchitis, tooth pain, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers and diseases of stomach, intestines, heart, blood, kidney, liver, lungs and women’s diseases,” and more, including reducing cancerous tumors.

Those are some pretty strong claims. Unfortunately, there has not been enough focused research to support all them scientifically. Given what we DO know about the dental-disease connection [2], however, I sincerely believe that anything that helps to remove bacterial overgrowth from the mouth is going to drastically reduce inflammation, and the possibility of disease, in the body as a whole.

I work with women who have Breast Cancer all over the world and one of the first pieces of information I ask them is about their oral health, especially if they have any root canals. Focusing on good oral health is part of the 7 Essentials System™ [3]  for good reason. There is a direct link between bacterial overgrowth in the mouth and Breast Cancer. 

The connection between the mouth and the body makes sense. According to the Acupuncture Meridian System, your teeth are living organisms which are connected to the rest of your body.

These organisms collectively contain over 3 miles of tiny fluid-filled holes called tubules that exist in the dentin layer of each tooth. When bacteria such as streptococcus mutans is present, each one of those tubules can become filled with toxic material which will eventually makes its way into your body.

 In the meantime, oil pulling can be an extremely effective way to reduce the constant stream of toxins that are inevitably emanating from them. According to some experts, only 10 minutes of oil pulling 1-2 times a day can help to significantly minimize bacterial infection in a root canal cavity.

There has also been verified evidence that oil pulling reduces conditions that can lead to periodontal disease.  A 2006 study [4] conducted by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Meenakshi Ammal Dental College in Chennai, India found that only 10 days of oil pulling with sesame oil showed a significant reduction in plaque and gingivitis in pre-pubescent boys.

A Simple Oil Pulling Practice

coconut oi, oil pulling [5]

The most bacteria accumulates in your mouth throughout the night while you sleep so the best time to oil pull is first thing in the morning:

  • Before eating breakfast, place approximately 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil in your mouth. Begin to push and pull it around the teeth and gums. Moving the chin as you do this is also effective, since this action will allow more toxins to be drawn out.
  • Swish the oil in the mouth for up to 20 minutes.
  • Spit the oil out when you are done. NEVER SWALLOW THE OIL since is highly toxic after pulling. Rinse your mouth out thoroughly with warm water and brush your teeth.
  • Repeat this at least 3 times a week for best results.

A whopping 90% of people in the U.S. suffer from gum disease or tooth decay which can lead to disease; simply brushing and flossing is not enough to counter these conditions. What will help is adding oil pulling to our daily morning routine. Our mouths are true reflections of the health of our entire bodies. By detoxifying our mouths every morning, we are detoxing every organ in our body as well.


Other References:

Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing by Bruce Fife, ND [6]

http://www.gea.si/wp-content/uploads/Dr.Karach-Oil-Pulling-Therapy.pdf [7]