The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

How To Oil Pull

By Amy Bailey — January 08, 2015

If you are looking to cleanse your teeth, skin, and body – this may just be for you. You may have heard the buzz surrounding oil pulling – an oral health practice that many believe detoxes the body and skin. I was reluctant to try, but then I read that oil pulling is a 5,000 year old practice. With 5,000 years behind it, oil pulling certainly isn’t just trendy. So after a little research on how great it is for dental health and your skin (and also Gwyneth Paltrow’s endorsement), I ordered my GuruNanda Oil ($14.99 Amazon) and have been ‘pulling’ for a few weeks.

So what is oil pulling? Oil pulling is the practice of swishing around 1 Tablespoon of oil in your mouth to remove toxins.

Toxins really like your mouth:

  • There are more bacteria in your mouth than people on earth.
  • Over 600 species of bacteria live in your mouth.
  • Dental problems can signal other problems with your body

You swish the oil for 2-3 minutes working up to 5 minutes and spitting it out. You can work up to do it longer if you can. If you have to spit it out early, just grab another tablespoon and continue until your preferred time is up. Some people oil pull for 20 minutes. The best time to oil pull is in the morning before you eat or drink anything. DO NOT SWALLOW (all those toxins will be digested and you will probably need to go to the doctor if you do that.)

What does oil pulling do?

  • Improves dental health
  • Makes teeth whiter
  • Eliminates bad breath

What do many people believe oil pulling can help with?

  • Clearing up skin problems
  • Reducing digestive issues
  • Relieving joint pain
  • Fighting sinus infections
  • Eliminating hangovers
  • Detoxing the body

Although expert opinions are varied on the last 6 oil pulling benefits, most agree it is a good practice for oral health. I have been oil pulling for 3 weeks now and so far have enjoyed it. My teeth do seem whiter and my mouth over all seems healthier. There are mornings when it is a little hard to swish around, but for the most part 3-5 minutes is very doable. I am not sure I will ever work up to 15 minutes. To me the fact that oil can pull toxins out of our mouths makes sense – oil pulling helps to increase the secretion of saliva and trap the toxins within the oil particles, therefore, the salivary glands of the┬ámouth function as a detoxifying organ. Results to be determined on better skin and fighting sinus infections.

Here are some tips on oil pulling:

  • You can use coconut oil or sesame oil, but I chose GuruNanda because it is a balance of 4 different oils including peppermint which gives you a nice minty taste while you are swishing and lingers afterwards.
  • Do it first thing in the morning before you eat or drink.
  • Never do it right after eating or drinking.
  • Swish slowly, very slowly, not like you would mouthwash.
  • Rinse with cold water and brush teeth after.
  • Keep a journal on any improvements you see.

Looking to cleanse your body? Check out these articles from fellow beauty contributors:

Inside-Out by Heather Brown of MyLifeWellLoved – Check out Heather’s blog to also win a year long subscription to Emeals which eases the pain of meal planning!

The Clean Cleanse by Caroline Gidiere

Looking to cleanse your skin? If you do not own a Clarisonic you should, Buffy York of The Style Gathering reviews this must have beauty product.