Friday, March 7, 2014

Have You Heard of Oil Pulling?

As I wiped the night’s cobwebs from my eyes and began the slow IV drip of caffeine (wishful thinking) I came across an article that immediately intrigued me.

Turns out that a couple weeks ago FashionLush discovered oil pulling. As of 15 minutes before reading her post I had no idea what this could be. And I’d wager a guess that you’re all thinking the same thing.

Rooted in thousands of years of wellness practices

Here’s the thing. All the parts of our bodies are connected, right? For example, when we eat sugary foods full of preservatives they can (and will) settle on our belly, ass, thighs, hell even fingers can get fatter!

So when we do something good for our bodies – eating organic, exercising – it’s safe to assume the same chain reaction would happen, right? Yes!

That’s the basic theory behind oil pulling so let me tell you a little bit about what I learned when it comes to this strange sounding activity.

What does Ayurveda have to do with oil pulling?

I set to research the act and got about 26 million hits on ‘what is oil pulling’. As a part of the ayurvedic approach to medicine the activity is actually pretty common in some cultures. Now, I’d never heard of Ayurveda either but it sure has a solid history. That’s because the ayurvedic approach to wellness began over 3,000 years ago.

Traditionally an Indian wellness ideal, this style of medicine and whole-body approach has roots in Indian, Greek, Tibetan and Chinese medicines as well. According to The Chopra Center:

“Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.”

Part of that full potential includes oil pulling, sometimes called oil swishing.

How does it work?

There’s no complicated process. Remember, thousands of years ago they didn’t have technology like we have today. But they did have a greater sense of connection to the earth and our place upon the delicate crust of this round rock.

In just 5 steps you’ll be on your way to better health:

1. Purchase organic, virgin (non-hydrogenated) coconut oil. I like the Whole Foods brand commonly found in the vitamin section. Here’s a little on the benefits of different oils.

2. First thing in the morning (before food or coffee) take a teaspoon of coconut oil and begin swishing with it.

3. Continue swishing for 20 minutes. Yes this seems like a long time but try doing it while you shower so the time passes faster. Something to note: as your mouth creates saliva the fullness factor might become overwhelming. Spit out a little if you need to reduce the volume in your mouth and try to swish for at least 10 minutes; but try for the full 20.

4. Spit the oil out. Don't spit the oil down the drain. Coconut oil solidifies and, over time, it will build up on the inside of your plumbing. Not good.

5. Rinse out your mouth and drink a glass of water.

That’s it!

What are the health benefits?

The theory is that toxins and bacteria are pulled out of your body through your mouth and directly into the oil. Clever name what with that whole oil pulling thing huh?

When you remove toxins your whole body is going to start to feel better! And look better too.

Here’s just a few things you could see happen within a few weeks:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Lessened or eliminated halitosis
  • Healed gums and jaw
  • Clearer sinuses
  • Improved sleep
  • Cleared acne/skin conditions
  • Lessened general pain
  • Hormones brought in check
  • Saponification (cleansing) of mucus

Want to know even more? Check out the findings by the Indian Journal of Dental Research on PubMed, this article on Elephant Journal, or read the original post I discovered on FashionLush.

How has oil pulling worked for me?

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know just yet. In fact I discovered the article and all of this information after I’d already had my cup of coffee and breakfast. I plan to start this practice tomorrow morning and will absolutely report back on my personal findings.

However, I’ve become familiar with the vast health benefits of coconut oil (in particular) over the past year or so. As far as I’m concerned I’m willing to give this a try because:

  • Coconut oil is a natural alternative to chemically produced medicines
  • Coconut oil could have positive effects on preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Coconut oil is thought to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties (Look at those Green housecleaning products you buy and note that the surfactants are generally coconut oil. This same theory could apply to our bodies (ie – reduce toxins inside).
  • Coconut oil has a bunch of other positive benefits that you can read about here.

Bottom line, I plan to start swishing, or oil pulling, tomorrow and hope to report back in a couple weeks as to what I’m seeing or feeling. If it does nothing then so be it. But if it makes me feel better, look better and improve my overall well-being then I’m probably in for life.

Have you tried oil pulling? What were the benefits you found from practicing this technique? Did it not work for you? Share your experiences in the comments!

Image courtesy Victor Habbick

Please note: I am not a medical practitioner and I make no claims to that end. Don’t misconstrue this article as medical advice. I’m just a writer and Greenie who likes to try different natural paths to better health and better living. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner with questions or concerns about your health.

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I'm Jenn, a Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger for hire and owner of Copywrite That. I can write your blog posts, articles, emails, newsletters, web copy and more. Contact me today: info[at]copywritethat[dot]com