An ancient folk remedy that has detox benefits, improves oral health, and helps dry lips and throat, oil pulling has been the hot oldie-but-goodie health trend. You simply swish oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes, and the result is a milky white substance full of your toxins and bacteria. Are you intrigued? Maybe a little grossed out, but still intrigued, right? We are too, so we checked out what Food Matters had to say about the trending habit that can transform our health.
How To Oil Pull
The most effective oil pulling is done by placing around a tablespoon of cold pressed organic sesame oil into the mouth and swishing the oil around the mouth for approximately 10-15 minutes and then spitting it out.
Other oils such as extra virgin cold pressed coconut, sunflower and olive oil have been used, although sesame oil is considered one of the best oils for this practice. I recommend alternating oils every couple of days to get the full benefit. Putting high quality organic oils into the mouth has a multi-effect outcome.
First, the oils mix with the saliva, turning it into a thin, white liquid. Lipids in the oils begin to pull out toxins from the saliva. As the oil is swished around the mouth, teeth, gums and tongue, the oil continues to absorb toxins, and usually ends up turning thick and viscous and white. Once the oil has reached this consistency, it is spit out before the toxins are reabsorbed.
What Does Oil Pulling Do?
Multiple scientific studies show the efficacy of oil pulling therapy. One study shows that oil pulling with sesame oil can boost overall oral health. Specifically, using sesame oil as an oral health agent helps to reduce the amount of S. mutans (germ) count in both teeth plaque and mouth saliva. Scientists believe that the lipids in the oil both pull out bacteria, as well as stop bacterial from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.
Oil pulling may also increase saponification in the mouth, creating a soapy environment that cleanses the mouth as vegetable fat is an emulsifier by nature. Most interesting is perhaps the ability of oil to cleanse out harmful bacteria, as well as reduce fungal overgrowth. These oils also possibly help in cellular restructuring, and are related to the proper functioning of the lymph nodes and other internal organs.
Other possible benefits of oil pulling for oral health include:
- Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
- Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
- Prevention for bad breath
- Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
- Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
- Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area
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