Oil Pulling: My New Morning Ritual
I’ve been intrigued by oil pulling for yonks. It is one of those health practices that just kept coming up for me, but I’ve had to wait until I completed two years of Gerson Therapy to give it a go (no oil except flax and castor on Gerson – I tried with castor oil but it was just gross). For the past week I have been pulling each morning religiously. Or, as my dad so humorously calls it, “having a pull”. We’re a classy bunch in our house.
After my morning meditation I come downstairs to the kitchen where my dad has already got the coconut oil ready to go. Since the mornings are starting to get a little chilly, we have to put the coconut oil jar in hot water for a minute so that it turns from a solid back into liquid. Dad already made the mistake of using solid oil once, which I won’t be repeating. I pour some oil onto a tablespoon, add a couple of drops of oregano oil (great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oil), and spoon it into my mouth. Then I swish the oil around my mouth for 20 minutes while I sit outside on my daybed and read a book. This is the best start to the day!
An ancient Ayurvedic ritual, oil pulling was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD. Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders.
Oil pulling has so many benefits. So many, in fact, that we bought a whole book on the topic called Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by naturopathic physician Bruce Fife.
“The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris,” says Bruce Fife.
“As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.”
THE BENEFITS OF OIL PULLING
• Brighter, whiter teeth
• Healthier gums
• Prevents bad breath
• Increased energy
• Clearer mind
• Decreased headaches
• Clearer sinuses
• Alleviated allergies
• Better sleep
• Clearer skin
• Regulated menstrual cycles
• Improved lymphatic system
• Improved PMS symptoms
HOW TO OIL PULL
Oil pulling is best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Spoon a tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed vegetable oil (I like coconut best) into your mouth, and swish it around for 20 minutes before spitting it out.
Never swallow the oil, as the swishing will render it full of toxins, and be sure to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards. I have a separate toothbrush that I use just for brushing my teeth after oil pulling, and I clean it each day with 3% hydrogen peroxide.
The first few times my gag reflexes reared themselves and it was a little difficult keeping the oil in my mouth, but I persisted and by the third day it was fine. If you have this problem too, I recommend sticking with it.
Some may disregard oil pulling because it is so simple (and we humans love to complicate everything), and some may under value it because it has not been scientifically tested. However, oil pulling is cheap, easy, and is backed up by so much anecdotal evidence that I couldn’t ignore it.
Already my teeth are whiter, and my head is even clearer. My sleeping is better too! My boyfriend owns a bar and doesn’t crawl into bed until two or three in the morning, and I don’t even wake up!
Have you tried oil pulling? I’d love to hear what you think of it.
Positive affirmation for the day: I am safe.
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