WTF is Oil Pulling + Why I’m Hooked


What is oil pulling: The Benefits, how to oil pull, and more by Erica Stolman

Everyone has a morning routine… mine has recently changed.

Let me share::

1. First things first, I battle with my alarm (i.e. hit snooze thirty times).
2. Bitzy then wakes me up, I stumble to the kitchen to feed her and let her out.
3. We both get back into bed & snuggle for a bit.
4. I turn on morning cartoons (not kidding).
5. Head to the kitchen & put a spoonful of coconut oil in my mouth.
6. Get back in bed, set a 20 minute timer, start checking emails.

So, you may be wondering about #5. Why the hell am I putting a spoonful of coconut oil in my mouth & then getting back into bed with a 20 minute timer?

Two words. Oil Pulling... aka my new obsession.

Oil pulling has been around for years, which makes me upset I’ve only just found out about it via the interweb. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing oil in your mouth for 20 minutes to help improve your oral & overall health. The idea behind it is pretty simple- the oil is “sticky” and when you swish it around in your mouth bacteria gets stuck in the oil & dissolves.

It’s easy to do. Pick an oil, you can use ORGANIC coconut oil or any other vegetable based oil (Sesame/ Sunflower/ or Olive). I prefer coconut cause I like the taste & it also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, & anti-inflammatory properties. Put anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on what you can handle, in your mouth & swish for 20 minutes.

[ SIDEBAR: these pre-packed CocoPull packets are amazing & make the whole process so easy!! ]

I know, I know you are freaking out about the 20 minute thing, but TRUST me when I say- it flies by. Something about the whole process is relaxing to me. No talking, just swishing. Pull the oil through your teeth & make sure NOT to swallow it (you don’t want to swallow the bacteria you are trying to get rid of). When your timer beeps, spit out the oil into a plastic baggy or directly into the trash. Don’t spit it down the drain cause the oil will solidify again & could mess up your pipes.

The benefits of oil pulling: teeth whitening, tooth strength, prevents cavities, & more.

the benefits of coconut oil pulling

The below are all SUPPOSED benefits I have read that people have experience– I will share what I’ve noticed at the end of this post!!

+ Whitens teeth.

+ Strengthens your gums/teeth/& jaw. It helps with sensitive teeth & even has reported to help TMJ sufferers like myself (mainly due to the jaw movement strengthening your jaw!).

+ Prevents cavities & gingivitis & benefits overall oral health.

+ Helps ease the symptoms of acne/ eczema/ psoriasis/ & other skin care issues.

+ Helps the ease the symptoms of a hangover (hallelujah!!!) & migraines.

+ Has been said to help people who have sleep issues.

+ Clears out your sinuses.

+ If you have halitosis, oil pulling has been said to be a big savior for many sufferers. People reported that their morning breath improved greatly.

+ Helps with general oral pain issues.

+ Could assist in hormonal imbalances.

+ I will openly acknowledge that the items listed above are things people over the years have noticed through experience, but there is very little scientific testing done on the process. That said, there are a few studies that have been done on Oil Pulling which you can find here.

All I know is that after doing it myself & seeing improvement in my oral & overall health… I don’t see the harm in continuing.

Plus, my teeth really are so much whiter, I don’t care what anyone says.

use organic coconut oil for oil pulling

I have now gotten my best friend, my mom, my dad, & my Dad’s best friend hooked on oil pulling. They’ve all been doing it for a week, so I called them this morning & asked them if they’ve noticed any changes… here is what they said.

+ My Dad says his teeth are much much whiter & it helps clear is stuffed up sinuses in the AM.

+ My Dad’s bestie said she has had terrible plaque psoriasis on her scalp (nothing has ever worked for her to clear it up), after 2 days of oil pulling it’s nearly gone! She literally called me ecstatic/almost in tears after two days of OP-ing.

+ My Mom has pretty healthy teeth, but she does say that she notices that they are whiter.

+ Katie, my best friend, says she noticed her teeth have gotten whiter she find the process relaxing so it doesn’t bother her to do it.

+ As for me, let’s see– my teeth are seriously much whiter (which is great cause I can’t do any sort of white strips- my teeth are too sensitive), I have had an easier time falling asleep (which is typically very hard for me), my teeth have been less sensitive to hot & cold (mostly cold), & the best result of all- my jaw has stopped bugging me as much! I have major jaw issues & awful TMJ. Last week it started to get bad (the lock jaw/shooting pains). I decided to oil pull cause I read it helped & literally after I was all done my jaw was feeling a lot better. I was pretty pleased.

If you do decide to try it, I am dying to know how it works for you/ what changes you notice/ if you like it/ if you can handle the 20 minute swish/ & whatever else you want to share.

xx, E

P.S. For more health, wellness, & lifestyle tips (plus some fashion, obviously)- follow me on Instagram & Facebook

P.P.S I am by no means saying this is an end-all-be-all cure to any illness nor claiming that I am a medical professional. I am just a girl who researched something she found interesting/ found out it worked for her/ & shared it on her blog!!

// UPDATE // 

Sooo… this post has gotten quite a bit of attention, so much so my site actually crashed for a good deal of time ( #stressmeout ).

I am so happy to see this information has proved helpful to so many people. I have been getting a lot of questions though… so I decided I’d add in a little FAQ to help clear things up!! Please read the below carefully as I am doing my best to answer every question but it is getting a little difficult :) THANKS!!

P.S. Went to my dentist this week & it was the best appointment I’ve had in a while– yahoo! I am totally attributing it to OP.

Q1: I hate the taste of anything coconut/ I am allergic to coconut. Anything else I can use??

Absolutely! You can use other vegetable based oils such as cold pressed organic sesame oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil.

Q2: I see that you have pictured refined coconut oil,  but lots of people are saying you should ONLY use unrefined coconut oil??

Here’s the deal with this one… unrefined coconut oil is better, but all I had on hand at the time was refined. The main thing that helps with the oil pulling is the Lauric Acid in the coconut oil- the refining process could remove some Lauric Acid & add in chemicals/solvents. Yet, by the time the process is complete, there will still be around 50% Lauric Acid and little to none chemicals or solvents left over- so you will still get the benefits. People will have varying opinions on this, but that’s what I’ve found out about using refined coconut oil.

Q3: 20 minutes?! There’s no way I can put oil in my mouth for a full twenty minutes!!

My first bit of advice– try it! I was a little frightened by the number at first too, but once you get going the time flies. I personally find the process to be relaxing. If at any time your mouth is too full of oil, spit out a little & keep on truckin’.

Q4: Do I NEED to buy organic coconut oil?

Yes yes yes!! The benefits will be greater with organic oils.

Q5: I gag over weird textures- can I melt it first before I swish?

Certainly! Many people say no no no to nuking in the microwave cause of radiation, yet if it’s just 10 seconds (which is all you really need) I wouldn’t freak out about it. That said, the better option would be to run the jar under hot water & then pour the liquid into a bowl for swishing.

Q6: Can I OP while pregnant?

I have read that if you are out of the first trimester you are good to go. Yet, if I were you, I would read some forums (a Google search provides a ton of mommy forums discussing this) so that you can make a decision you are 100% confident with OR discuss with your doctor!!! I am not a medical professional, so I don’t feel comfortable on saying YES or NO to this.

Q6: Can I OP while breastfeeding

I have never had a baby so I have never breastfed but from my research I have read that this mild detox wouldn’t effect your blood stream (which is would would alter your milk). Again, I would do your own research to make a decision that you are comfortable with or contact your doctor.

Q7: Oil Pulling with braces/ crowns/ fillings/ dentures. Is it okay?

The word on these few things vary as well, so again, I don’t want to give too much advice on these issues as I don’t want to be liable for any issues that could arise. From my understanding though, with dentures you should remove them before OP-ing & with fillings it should be okay (haven’t had any negative effects with mine). As for braces & crowns– braces they say it’s fine to Oil Pull, but could whiten around the braces so when you get them off it looks weird. For crowns, there are some reports the act has loosened the crowns or even caused them to fall off. If it were me, I’d avoid it.

Any more questions? LMK in the comments section below & I will answer at the best of my ability.

*** & lastly, there have been quite a few “internet-bullies” giving me a hard time for sharing this post, even referring to me as “idiotic”. So please, let me re-iterate for the 10th time, I am not a medical professional. I am simply sharing an experience that worked for me. If you have any PRE-EXISTING conditions that you are worried may be effected by Oil Pulling, please please please contact your GP. I have heard that there CAN be adverse effects with Oil Pulling, so if anyway you are wary I suggest researching further, discussing it with your doctor, or finding an alternative way to help you with the issues you are facing. ***

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