Natural Detox II: Oil Pulling

by Ashley on May 13, 2013

Good morning! Monday again? The weekends sure do fly by! If you are a mom, I sure hope you had an awesome Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend the day with my mom, but according to my mom, “any day with my kids makes me happy, not just Mother’s Day.” Hopefully, she wasn’t just telling me that to make me feel better about not being with her yesterday.


Any who, the one thing I hope to always bring you through this blog is the feeling that you learned something new each time that you visit. I hope that every time you stop by you take away something that a.) you can apply in you life, b.) that you can share with someone else that may need it or c.) you just find it interesting and enjoy reading along. And today my friends, the same goes.

Last week, I talked a little bit about natural ways to detox, using foods to help the body. To go along with that topic, today I want to introduce you to another natural remedy to help detox the body. Yes, “food” is involved, however, this time your not going to be eating a thing.


According to many experts, our oral health is actually a picture of our overall health. Our mouths are one of the first lines of defense when it comes to fending off harmful bacteria. By not only brushing but also flossing our teeth, we can prevent harmful bacteria from developing and growing inside our mouths and entering our bodies via the bloodstream. Did you know that poor oral health has been linked to cardiovascular disease,  premature birth and low-birth weight pregnancies, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s among many other complications? Makes that toothbrush a little more precious, doesn’t it?

Other research has also linked diet and oral health, which you might have already realized. Healthy diet = healthy mouth. Poor diet = poor oral health. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, by decreasing the amount of sugary beverages, sticky foods, candies and starchy snacks (like cookies and cakes) and increasing fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources and whole-grains we can help promote our oral health. In combination with these good nutrition choices, another way to do so is through oil pulling.

Rewind. Oil what?

Oil pulling. An old Ayurvedic treatment used for many different remedies. Ayurvedic Medicine is an ancient Indian holistic healthcare system in which a balance between the mind, body, and spirit is strived for. My kind of medicine. Oil pulling is a very simple and harmless technique that has been used for over 5,000 years to help whiten the teeth, brighten the gums and freshen breath. It is also claimed to trap and remove toxins from with in the teeth and gums thus preventing them from entering the bloodstream.

So, how do you do it?

After waking, first thing in the morning, I rinse my mouth out with water and then place about 1/2 a tablespoon of coconut oil in my mouth (either still hard – remember, coconut oil melts at about 75 degrees, a few seconds after entering your mouth or if you don’t like the texture of the hard oil you can always zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to liquify it). Then, I swish it around in my mouth just like I would mouth wash, through my teeth and around my gums, for fifteen to twenty minutes (this may seem like a long time but multitasking while doing so makes the time fly by – make breakfast, hop in the shower or put on your makeup). After the time has passed spit (never swallow, remember the point is to remove toxins) it in the toilet (never in the sink, remember oil and the drains don’t mix well) and rinse your mouth out again and then brush your pearly whites.

And voila! Oil pulling.

I’ve also read that other kinds of high-quality oil work well too: olive oil, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, etc. so certainly use what you have on hand if you want to give it a try!

I’ve been doing this for about a week now, but according to the “Ayurveda oil pulling experts” this takes about a month or so to see any benefits, however some research out of India suggests that benefits can be seen as early as after two weeks of oil pulling.

While there is very little scientific research behind the Ayurveda concept of oil pulling, there is also very little risk involved. I am going to give it a try and will report back with my findings! Let me know if you do the same!

Good health!


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kat May 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Hey Ash,
I have been oil pulling for about 6 weeks now. I did miss a day or two due to early morning work but for the most part it has been every day. My teeth seem less sensitive and I don’t have the pain I used to in a couple of molars. I have heard that activated charcoal brushing can help improve oral health too. Any insight?
Peace&Love – Kat


Ashley May 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

Great minds think alike! ;-) It is such a neat concept! I have only read a little about activated charcoal, mostly through researching oil pulling. It seems to be good for removing toxins from the GI… I’ll keep researching! I hope you’re doing well! Thanks for reading along!!


Health and Fitness May 14, 2013 at 4:22 am

What great read for me! I just love your message. It was really a great post. From now on words should do Oil Pulling regularly. Please keep on posting articles like this. :)


Shashi June 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hi Ashley
I stumbled on your blog today and the heading on this post piqued my curiosity. I am from Sri Lanka and while I am not quite familiar with oil pulling, I remember my grandmother and other relatives engaging in charcoal brushing… which was a sure way to whiten teeth – according to them. I had completely forgotten about this till I read your blog!


Ashley June 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

Hi Shashi! I’m so happy you found me! Isn’t it fascinating!? I’ve heard a lot of good things about charcoal bruising! Sounds like your grandmother was certainly on to something! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!


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