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Wednesday
Sep212011

Coconut oil for Oil Pulling

As I type, I'm swishing oil between my teeth. Yup, oil. Coconut oil, sesame oil, and spearmint essential oil, to be exact.

The idea behind oil pulling makes sense. My mouth is at just the right temperature to house billions of bacteria, multiplying constantly, and feeding on the egg salad, Brussels sprouts and watermelon I had for dinner. 

Inside my mouth-house are both good and bad bacteria. The bad guys cause cavities and gum disease; bad bacteria thrive on sugar, sugar is converted into acid, which erodes the enamel on teeth, and the end result are cavities. While sugar encourages the growth of this bad bacteria, my saliva counteracts the acid and gives me a more neutral pH balance. 

So how does swishing oil get rid of some of the bad bacteria?

The idea behind oil "pulling" is that the oil attracts the fatty membranes of the microorganisms and they come out of their hiding places between your teeth and around your gums. The longer you oil pull (20 minutes is recommended), the more microbes are pulled free and released from your mouth when you spit out the oil solution. You're getting rid of the bad stuff and freeing up your body to fight off any infections you might have. 

I personally chose this combination:

  • coconut oil because it really doesn't matter what kind of oil you use and I like coconut oil for its many health benefits, 
  • sesame oil because historically, sesame oil was used for oil pulling, and 
  • spearmint essential oil because I personally need a little gum-feeling action with this new habit

I'm now 15 minutes into my oil pulling. I occasionally get the "gag" feeling but when I get that out of my head, I'm able to get back to swishing and not think too much about it. After I finish, I'll spit out the oil and clean  out my mouth with fresh water (swish and spit, repeat) before brushing. 

My battle against the bad bacteria will be complete for the night and I'll repeat the fight again tomorrow. 

Note: the information above is my interpretation of Dr. Bruce Fife's book Oil Pulling Therapy. My amounts of oils are approximately 3/4 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and a drop of spearmint essential oil. At the time of publishing this blog, I've only oil pulled once a day for three days but I plan to continue the practice with the hopes of having fresher breath, whiter teeth and stonger gums. The practice will be easier when my children aren't asking "mom, what are you doing?" and "don't make her laugh!" while pulling oil. 

Have you practiced oil pulling? What's been your experience with it?

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    The idea behind oil pulling makes sense. My mouth is at just the right temperature to house billions of bacteria, multiplying constantly, and feeding on the egg salad, Brussels sprouts and watermelon I had for dinner.
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    Coconut oil for Oil Pulling - blog - MadeOn Hard Lotion For Dry Skin
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    Coconut oil for Oil Pulling - blog - MadeOn Hard Lotion For Dry Skin
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    Coconut oil for Oil Pulling - blog - MadeOn Hard Lotion For Dry Skin
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    Coconut oil for Oil Pulling - blog - MadeOn Hard Lotion For Dry Skin
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    Response: here
    Coconut oil for Oil Pulling - blog - MadeOn Hard Lotion For Dry Skin

Reader Comments (13)

This is so fascinating. I've heard of oil pulling but never knew exactly what it was. This is something I would certainly try (although I think my mouth might get tired before 20 minutes!). Thanks for sharing this, Renee :-)

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

I learned about Oil Pulling just 2 days before you first posted about it. {That was kinda weird.} I've been doing since then and I like it. It's easy, painless, and pretty inexpensive compared to other detox/teeth whitening/mouth rinsing methods. I like it!

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Hannah, the time goes by fast if you're doing something at the same time. If I had to stare in the mirror and swish, I'd only last a minute :)

Angela, are you using straight coconut oil?

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

funny, i tried that for the 1st time just a few minutes ago.... got over the sick feeling by concentrating on pulling through the teeth. i swear i feel just a little better already. used unrefined coconut oil for 20 minutes. i've heard the health benefits are amazing, and i have my own reasons for trying it.

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Renee, you're so inspiring! I've tried this once before..... and the only detail I can recall is I didn't want to try it again. UNTIL I read your post.... so last night I did try it. I'm also a coocnut oil fan, so I used coconut oil and a few drops of thieves essential oil.
I was tired (read: lazy) and didn't remember how MUCH oil to use, so I poured out an ounce in my little cup and added about 4 drops of EO. Boy, THAT was a mouthful!!! TOO much to swish; kids PLEASE don't try this at home! So, I finally released, uhm, spit out... enough that I could swish while I was watching tv. I can't believe how hard it was for me to not COMMENT on the show for 20 minutes! ...me and my big mouth....
But, after I brushed with ToothTruth (I think it's a baking soda based powder).... I'm 100% sure my teeth were whiter! What a great experience with a tad of a learning curve! I can't wait to do it again tonight: with YOUR measurements instead!
Thanks for sharing your experience so I could have another of my own!! :) Dawn in TN

September 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn J

I've never heard of this! However, I'm seriously considering doing it! My new dentist estimates that it will take $7,000.00 to fix my mouth - I'd much rather pay $25.00 for a jar of organic coconut oil and only 20 minutes a day at home instead of about 12 hours in his chair!

Question: is this safe for children? I don't know why it wouldn't be. I have an 11 year old daughter who is gluten and sugar sensitive and when she eats the stuff her body STINKS! I was just wondering if the oil pulling would help eliminate some of the toxins in her body?

Thanks for this post - I learned something new today and I'm so excited!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Looks pretty solid. I haven't encountered about coconut oils for dental health prior to this. I'll be checking this out in a while.
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December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUgraine Phelosia

Looks pretty solid. I haven't encountered about coconut oils for dental health prior to this. I'll be checking this out in a while.
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December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUgraine Phelosia

I think this is just the same as mouth wash but its more natural and without the sting from the alcohol. I'll try it out to see if this is effective

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December 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterglenn

You could also try using lemon extract for teeth swishing to make it clean and sparkling

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December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Oil pulling is incredibly effective in brightening teeth, healing gums, preventing bad breath, quenching inflammation, and healing oral infections. It is also effective in treating many systemic conditions throughout the body.
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January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I used this method for 3 weeks, religously, sometimes 3 times a day- I described my toothache to more than 20 people, they all said I needed a root canal. I have NO tooth ache NONE at all- The "bad" tooth feels better than my good teeth- I continue to do this at least once a week to maintain- At first it was weird but after a few days- it was actually somewhat enjoyable.

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I do not use any commercial products anymore. Using VCO or even CO is the best way to go!

July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHenry
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