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Ayurvedic Oil Pulling

I have been wanting to try this age-old detox technique for some time now and have finally got down to doing it. Ok I’m only on Day 2, but here goes.

What Is Oil Pulling? 

Oil Pulling is an ancient healing method with its origins in Ayurvedic Medicine and has been used  for over 5000 years in India to treat just about every kind of ailment.

As stated on Earth Clinic, “It is a cleansing technique that consists simply of swishing oil in your mouth for a few minutes each day. This easy habit can kickstart your weight loss, whiten teeth, and improve your overall dental health. Remarkably, it seems also to have a potential for detoxifying the body – removing heavy metals and other pollutants while strengthening the immune system for better overall health”.

How Does It Work

Our mouths are home to various types of bacteria, viruses, parasites and their toxins, which can spread throughout our bodies and lead to serious health problems (think infections and inflammation) if our immune systems are under stress.

The act of swishing oil in the mouth acts as a powerful cleanser, pulling out these potentially harmful substances and thus producing a serious detoxifying effect.

What I also find so interesting is that according to Ayurveda, organ meridians are present in the tongue, so this would explain how the act of swishing oil can stimulate the body’s various organs.

Lord Dhanvantari (God of Ayurveda)

Lord Dhanvantari (God of Ayurveda)

Potential Cures

Apart from promoting general wellbeing – things like healthier gums, whiter teeth and glowing skin, Oil Pulling has also proven to help with the following:

- Mouth & Gum Disease
– Stiff Joints
– Hormonal Issues
– Allergies
– Asthma
– High Blood Sugar & High Blood Pressure
– Digestive Issues
– Migraines
– Eczema
– Heart, Kidney & Lung Diseases
– Arthritis
– Insomnia
– Chronic Infections
– Cracked Heels

… among others.

The Low Down

It’s super simple, cheap and easy to incorporate into your daily schedule.

I decided to try it out for general wellbeing and vitality but also to help with sensitive teeth (due to a root canal treatment) and digestive issues.

I’m only on Day 2 and so far have experienced some typical die-off/detox symptoms such as bad headache, tiredness and my teeth have been a little more sensitive than usual. Today I feel a bit perkier actually.

At first your symptoms can get worse – this is a sign that you are detoxing, so don’t stop. After a few days they should ease.

For instructions on how to perform Oil Pulling, see here. I prefer to use the Sesame Oil as its prescribed in the ancient texts (although nowadays people are even trying Coconut Oil for its obvious anti-fungal & anti-bacterial effects). Whatever vegetable oil you use, make sure you buy cold pressed & organic – I use the Crede brand.


Happy swishing!

UPDATE: 13/06/2013:

I have been oil pulling on and off for the last 3 weeks. After reading this very informative article by Jon Barron, I’ve realised that it’s essential to oil pull for 20 minutes (I was doing 10 minutes). This week I have increased my oil pulling time and already seem to have more energy, decrease in appetite, shiny white teeth and I’ve noticed that the gums where my wisdom teeth were removed years ago are very inflamed – perhaps old stored bacteria being released.

UPDATE: 27/06/2013:

I continued with the Sesame Oil for another week – the gum inflammation settled, notably reduced teeth sensitivity, whiter teeth, etc. but I noticed that my skin was getting oilier and so was my hair. I already have an oily skin, so this got me wondering if Sesame Oil is the right oil for me. Based on my constitution according to Ayurveda I’m Pitta-Vata dosha, so I decided to swap to Coconut Oil (more cooling for the Pitta element in me).

After using Coconut Oil for a week my skin looked great but I found that my tooth sensitivity returned and I’ve started to get weird itchy bites/rashes scattered around my body. I like the coconut oil (especially for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties) but it doesn’t feel as effective and deep-healing as the Sesame Oil.  So now I’m mixing it up a bit and doing alternate days Sesame & Coconut oil – I feel like I need a balance of both (heating & cooling oils).

UPDATE: 2/08/2013:

I stopped oil pulling for a while but have picked it up again 3 days ago. It seems every time I start oil pulling again some dormant condition arises. This time my glandular fever/EBV symptoms flared up (chronic fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, feel like I’m in a bubble, head/neck pain, appetite loss, fever, etc), but I’m pleased to let you know they were gone within 3 days.

UPDATE: 21/10/2013:

I have been oil pulling for the last 2 months using mostly coconut oil. It has really helped my digestion (keeps my bowels regular) but I still have an itchy eczema rash that has developed and  gotten worse, especially since I’ve been living in the very hot and humid Taiwan. Apparently I had eczema as a child so I think it might be an old, deep clearing taking place. However, it has gone on for a bit too long, so maybe the coconut oil is too cooling for my Vata? Also my tooth sensitivity has returned – the sesame oil was the most effective at reducing that. I have noticed that while oil pulling I don’t seem to catch a cold or the flu as the oil pulling must be catching all the badies :)

17 comments on “Ayurvedic Oil Pulling

  1. Gretchen Del Rio

    Ayurveda has been in my life for decades. Very balancing. I, however , have never experienced the oil pulling.

    • sam jones

      Ayurveda is the best isn’t it Gretchen? I actually went to India to study it but unfortunately got really ill and had to return home. I must go and complete that training sometime. Do you think you’ll try the Oil Pulling?

      • Gretchen Del Rio

        I don’t know. Right now I am massaging my body daily with herbal ayurvedic oils in an effort to relieve rheumatiod arthritis. Ashwaghanda in hot milk, mahanayran oil, vata herbal seame oil. It is a ritual and at least is calming and intentive. Ayurveda is a most wonderous and grounding practice. I too spent time in India many years ago. One of the best experiences of my life. I was very ill along with my 6 year old daughter. Couldn’t decide to leave and so stayed and rode out the ailment with the help of ayurveda. So nice talking about this. It is a way of life. Do you know Dr. Ladd?

    • Layla

      Hi Gretchen!
      Rheumatism and/or arthritis can be greatly relieved by nutrition! Have you read Dr Giraud Campbell’s book? My dad is now in better condition than 20+ years ago! Very eye-opening!

  2. sam jones

    Oh wow.. did you go for the whole panchakarma treatment when you were in India? Sounds like you are doing a lot already and Im glad you are feeling some ease. Ive heard of Dr Vasant Lad… same Dr?

  3. Sher huda

    Tried this with processed oil and i could only do it for three minutes will build up to wo in one week.

    • sam jones

      Definitely don’t use processed oil… the refinement process damages the quality of the oil. Rather use unrefined, organic oils bought from a reputable shop like a health store.

  4. Pingback: oil pull | DirtyFilthyHealthy

  5. Pingback: Oil Pulling: A great practice to keep your gums and teeth healthy

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  7. Pingback: Healthy suggestions that actually work (well, for me, at least). | Reclaimed Mama

  8. Pingback: Love and Care Heals, How I Start My Day Sets the Pace: My Early Morning Rituals toward Healing My Body, Mind and Soul | lovelyseasonscomeandgo

  9. Kat Fiske

    Try the Whole 30 for rheumatoid arthritis!

    • Kat Fiske…When you say “Try the Whole 30 for rheumatoid arthritis!” do you mean oil pull for 30 minutes? do you have more info on RA? Do tell! : ) I’ve just begun oil pulling (with coconut oil) (VCO) and am ingesting VCO as well (4tbsp per day or so). After one day my left hand is stronger (I can now lift my iPad whereas I have not been able to do this easily for months) and it is less painful. Whether from the oil pulling or the ingestion of VCO I don’t know. I just know something is working. I will continue with both.

  10. Pingback: Easy Guide to Oil Pulling | WANDERING BODHI

  11. indiadietitian

    Thanks for the great information! I like your post…

  12. Kacmi

    Awesome article. Sesame oil is definitely an amazing substitute for a regular mouth wash, that’s for sure! I’ll give it a try.

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I'm Sam, a yogi, adventurer and eternal seeker. Welcome to my blog!


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