What is oil pulling and my personal review and experience

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A look into the ancient ritual of oil pulling and its benefits

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I wanted to explore the ancient oral health technique that dates back over 3,000 years. I had read and saw so many articles on the internet about “oil pulling” but really had very little information about what it was, what it involved and its benefits. This oral therapy is a type of Ayurvedic medicine [a traditional Indian system] and supposedly helps to remove toxins and bacteria in your body by placing a table spoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swishing it around, gently, for 15-20 minutes. The idea is that the coconut oil will adhere to microorganisms in the mouth and be removed once you spit out the oil. I have heard that coconut oil is great to help keep your mouth clean and remove bacteria, but then I started to read that people said it helped with so many other health issues; migraines, break outs, stress, reducing inflammation in the body and even whitening teeth. So I set out to learn more and try this out everyday for two weeks and then report on my findings. Below I go into what I experienced, tips and helpful hints on how to do it and my results.

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First Impression with Oil Pulling

On the first day of oil pulling I wasn’t sure what to expect. Holding any kind of liquid in your mouth for an extended period of time didn’t seem natural or easy to me, let alone an oil floating around in my mouth. I decided on the first day that I was going to use a liquid form of coconut oil by Nature’s Way. ( click here). This oil is labeled as great for cooking, another great use for coconut oil that I like, and it is non-gmo and is a premium coconut oil. I decided that the best time of day for me to do this would be in the evening, before dinner. It is recommended to oil pull on an empty stomach so I did this before having any dinner. I usually take a hot bath every evening so I thought that would be the perfect time; to start before heading into my bath and doing my oil pulling until I got out. That would be roughly 15-20 minutes and I would be distracted in the tub doing other things that it would go by quickly.

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What I noticed was the first time I put the liquid in my mouth I was way too conscious about swallowing it. I kept psyching myself out that my mouth was not relaxed and my muscles and tongue were very tense. I had to keep on pushing my tongue to the roof of my mouth to relax my muscles. I think I also put way too much in my mouth the first time and I could only do it for about five minutes. You only need 1 tbsp and you shouldn’t feel like your mouth is completely full of oil. It should be just enough to swish around to cover your teeth and not feel like you are going to choke. You also don’t need to swish the oil around hard, you should just swish gently around the mouth, between the teeth. You are also encouraged to spit the oil out into a napkin and throw away into the trash. Some say that the toxins that are released could cause issues to your plumbing so you don’t want to spit that down the sink; kind of scary I know!

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After my first day I was a bit more prepared for the days after. I began to oil pull every evening at the same time; in the evening during my bath. After the first two days I did notice really bad headaches, and I never get head aches. It was confusing to me, since they felt like the headache you get after a night of drinking (hang over), but I couldn’t understand why…then I figured it had something to do with the oil pulling. This can be a side effect when you first begin oil pulling so don’t be alarmed. I decided to stick to it though to see what would happen over time. I began to swap between using the liquid coconut oil and a scoop of the hard cold pressed coconut oil by Next Step. You can use any kind of cold pressed coconut oil, like this one. ( click here). It takes a little longer for the hard coconut oil to melt but just keep swishing it around and it will turn to a liquid as well.

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The taste is something to get used to. Coconut Oil has a nutty taste, but it doesn’t taste bad…it just takes getting used to. Over the two weeks I tried this I was able to oil pull for a lot longer and aimed to always do at least ten minutes to get the real benefits. I also learned to relax my jaw, mouth and tongue so that it was more pleasant to do. I recommend always sitting up in a good postured position when oil pulling to help with the tension in your mouth. When you are ready to spit it out make sure you also rinsed your mouth right away with water a few times, and then brush your teeth. You will want to remove any residue from your mouth that contains the toxins. You will notice when you spit the oil out it may be foamy or thick, that’s a good sign that it is working. Stick to doing this for at least two weeks everyday and see how you feel. It has now become part of my night time regiment just like washing my face or brushing my teeth. Some people also find it helpful to do this in the morning while they get ready for work. Whatever you decide to do make sure it’s done during a time when you are busy doing other things otherwise the time will go by very slowly. If you’re occupied with other tasks the time will pass by quickly.

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My results from oil pulling thus far:

I noticed an increase in overall energy and stress

My skin feels a lot more calm, moisturized and less irritated

I don’t have many break outs normally but it likely helped to prevent any pimples

My scalp and hair feel much more moisturized than usual

My teeth are whiter, and as an avid coffee drinker, this was a nice benefit

My mouth feels a lot more clean and gums are not puffy or irritated

I would say try it out for two weeks and see how it works for you. This is something you can easily do from home and at very little cost. If you do it, or have already started doing oil pulling I’d love to hear your results and thoughts below.

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