Have you tried oil pulling?

In recent years, oil pulling- an ancient Ayurvedic remedy, has ignited the interest of people. Oil pulling is an age-old technique of swishing oil in the mouth.

A huge ecosystem of bacteria exists in our mouth which has the perfect setting for bacteria to thrive on, since the environment is moist. Oil pulling is touted to kill harmful bacteria, pull out toxins and protect against many health conditions.

How is oil pulling done and which oil does one use?

For oil pulling, organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a good choice as apart from killing harmful bacteria, it also has a pleasant taste and makes the entire exercise easy. Coconut oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Lauric acid, which is present in coconut oil, is known to prevent tooth decay by killing the very bacterium that causes decay.  If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil, Olive and Sesame oils can also be used oil pulling and they too accord health benefits. Regardless of your choice of oil, ensure that good quality cold pressed and organic oils are only used.

To do oil pulling, all you need to do is take a teaspoon (gradually increase it to a  tablespoon) of any of the three oils, preferably even before you brush your teeth, and swish it around the mouth for ten to twenty minutes. Also, pull the oil between your teeth. After the exercise, do not swallow the oil but instead, spit it out as now, it would be loaded with toxins and harmful bacteria. Do not spit it in a washbasin as it may end up clogging your pipes. It is best to use a dustbin, followed by a quick mouth rinse with plain warm water. After this, brush your teeth in the normal fashion as you normally do and scrape your tongue clean.


Oil pulling helps in drawing out toxins. It helps to build immunity and reduce inflammation in the body by reducing the toxins overload. It is known to help deal with a migraine and headaches, maintain oral hygiene, and keep gums and teeth healthy. Oil pulling has caught on as a great way of detoxification. Many research studies have been conducted and they have established the benefits of regular oil pulling. 


Though the dangers are rare and few, it is worth checking out with your physician before you start oil pulling. It may, in rare cases, cause lipoid pneumonia which develops if oil gets into the lungs. This typically happens when the swishing of oil is done wrong and you choke on the oil and the fat enters the lungs. Take in only as much oil as you are comfortable holding and working within your mouth and slowly increase it to around a tablespoon. At any point in time if you find it difficult to hold the oil, spit it out. Start slow, do it for five minutes, to begin with, and increase it to twenty minutes. It is not a good idea to let children do oil pulling as they may end up ingesting the oil or suffocating.

Some people are allergic to certain types of oils and if you are one of them, steer clear of oil pulling. Also, if the oil is ingested after swishing, it will do more harm than good as it is fraught with bacteria and toxins. Care should be taken to not swallow any oil.

Oil pulling is a great way to detox as long as it is done the right way.

Image Courtesy: Saritha Dattatreya