The lemon detox diet, ballerina tea, avocado facials. There are so many fads out there it’s hard to keep up. Some stick, most are forgotten. But the latest one that has stolen our attention is oil pulling.
So, what exactly is oil pulling? Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health. Oil pulling is also meant to help whiten teeth, minimize bad breath, strengthen teeth and gums, help clear acne and eczema and help provide a better sleep.
Who wouldn’t want assistance with all of the above right? So I’ve been giving it a go for the past 6 weeks or so. Below is our recap on how I went and what you can expect.
First, pick an oil. Most people use coconut oil as it also has strong antibacterial properties and also has the most pleasant taste. However, you can actually use any other vegetable-based oil you have lying around the house (yep, that sunflower oil you bought once to make muffins? Use that!). I use VitaCoco Coconut Oil, purely because I think it has the best taste and is the best value on price point compared to other oils.
Take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. If you feel your coconut oil in the fridge or a cool place it will be firm which we found is better as it allows you to chew on it for a few moments and avoids you from swallowing it immediately! Be gentle here — no need to be as aggressive as you are with mouthwash, as you will be doing it for 20 minutes and don’t want to get a stiff jaw! The oil will almost double in size as it draws in saliva as well as the toxins. Be sure not to swallow as you will be taking these toxins into your body — the complete opposite of what you are trying to do. It is hard not to sometimes but just be wary of it. We found 20minutes is a longgggg time to be swishing oil in your mouth for (let alone not be able to talk!). I do this first thing when we woke up and did it in the shower…
Once the 20 minutes are up, spit the oil out into the trash (not your sink, where the oil may solidify and block up the drain, yep this happened to 2 of us so don’t get lazy with this!) and swish your mouth with warm water.
Finally, brush and floss as you normally would (don’t think this replaces brushing, ladies!).
So what did we think? I noticed whiter teeth but I also have whitened my teeth in the past so am not too sure if it is JUST from the coconut oil…
Let me know!