Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil Pulling

It's a bit hard to discuss oil pulling without making it sound sensationalistic, or without sounding like a huckster hocking the latest miracle cure. I'll do my best to ground myself here.

Oh, what the hey. If you have any sort of gum disease, bad breath, cavities, or tooth pain, you REALLY need to read this. This therapy will drastically help you! And if you have asthma, diabetes, arthritis, migraines, chronic sinus infections, or some other chronic disease, you still need to read this. You might find this a great help.

Oil pulling is one of the simplest natural health therapies I've yet discovered. Here it is in a nutshell: When you wake up, take 1-3 teaspoons of oil and put it in your mouth. (The most common oils recommended are sesame, sunflower, olive, or coconut.) Swish it around for about 15-20 minutes. Spit the oil out in the toilet or the trash once you're done, so you don't clog up the sink. (Spit ONLY in the trash if you use coconut oil, which solidifies below 76 degrees Fahrenheit.) Don't swallow it. If you want, you can repeat it again before meals or just before bed. That's it. Seriously.

Why in the world would you want to do this? Read on.

Oil pulling is a safe and effective natural therapy that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The successes that people have enjoyed from oil pulling are vast. Perhaps the most common one is the rapid healing of tooth, gum, and mouth diseases, such as abscesses, gingivitis, halitosis, and toothaches. Many have successfully used it to whiten their teeth. Some people have even claimed that unsightly tooth gaps have closed up as a result of oil pulling. But remarkably, if we believe the (literally) hundreds of testimonials about oil pulling, both online and in surveys done in the past, many other diseases and conditions far removed from the mouth have been healed by this simple therapy.

There's some positive scientific evidence for oil pulling, from studies that have been published within the past two years. The first study demonstrates that Streptococcus mutans, the bacterium responsible for tooth decay and cavities, is indeed significantly reduced after at least a week of oil pulling; this benefit is even more pronounced after two weeks. The second study showed that plaque was reduced, and gingivitis healed as well. Both studies were done using a chlorhexidine mouthwash as a control, and both studies showed that oil pulling produced beneficial results that were similar to chlorhexidine. (Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic agent very effective at killing Streptococcus mutans.)

There's also a wealth of evidence linking oral health to the health of the body. The mouth can indicate diseases ranging from heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome to AIDS and cancer - not just by appearance, but often by the bacteria present. And infections can spread quickly and easily from the mouth throughout the body. Dentists who treat patients with a history of rheumatic fever know this...they require that such patients take antibiotics before dental procedures to prevent life-threatening heart infections.

Oil pulling works simply. Consider that the mouth is the ideal place for bacteria to thrive. It's warm, humid, and at a constant temperature. In fact, the human mouth contains more bacteria than a dog's mouth, and more bacteria than the population of the whole world. Oil pulling dramatically reduces the bacteria in the mouth, much more than just brushing your teeth - and as the study above indicates, just as much as strong chemical mouthwashes. As you swish the oil in your mouth, it attracts the oily surface of bacteria away from all surfaces of the mouth and teeth. As it decreases the billions of bacteria in your mouth, the gums become tighter, stronger, and are less likely to bleed. The mouth becomes a stronger barrier against harmful bacteria. And as a result, the body can concentrate more of its energy toward eliminating infections and diseases that are harming itself.

Oil pulling is one of the very cheapest natural remedies for health. You could start today without even spending a penny on a kitchen ingredient you probably already have in your cupboard. Healing and even potentially cures from disease may come quickly or may take months; it often depends on how long you've been dealing with a condition, how severe it is, and how healthy your lifestyle is. But even if all you want to do is make your teeth whiter, you have nothing to lose! Here's to your health!

Other sources:
Oil Pulling Therapy, by Bruce Fife, CN, ND

Do you have health issues that aren't being adequately addressed by conventional medicine? Naturopathic care may be the answer you're looking for. Visit my website for more information about naturopathic medicine, and begin your journey toward optimal health!


  1. I thought this was a very informative article. Thanks for posting! -- Justin

  2. I wish there was a way to spread this information out so that more people could see the amazing health benefits of oil pulling. I also wish more scientific studies were done so that Western Medicine would stop looking at it funny. I suppose if there's no money to be made, it gets bad rep. Western Medicine would rather fill you up with drugs($$$$$) than show you the healthy truth.

    Thank you Dr. Scott,
    Austin K.

  3. I have been oil pulling for approximately 3 weeks and just love it!!!!! Not only does my mouth feel clean all the time, my teeth are whiter, my skin glows and my brown spots on my hands are fading. I also no longer get headaches from allergies. I feel more energized and don't craze sweets AT ALL!!!!! I'm telling all my friends, relatives about this amazing health benefit.

  4. Thank you for this useful blog information that gives some sort of health tips to individual. I would have to say that the Oil pulling is a safe and effective natural therapy that will give us some excellent health benefits. Just like having some Coconut oil remedy for dry mouth. A lot of people say that they were able to get the best results of using this kind of treatment.

  5. Most of the so-called natural home remedies are a result of pseudo-science; however, oil pulling is scientifically proven to provide various health benefits such as preventing microorganisms to cause bad breath, protection against plaque and gingivitis, teeth whitening, and dry mouth.