Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy first mentioned in the early Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, which was believed to have been written approximately 1500 years ago.
A person “oil pulls” by simply swishing a tablespoon of oil (sesame, coconut and sunflower are commonly recommended) in one’s mouth for approximately 15-20 minutes on an empty stomach and then spitting it out. (For a “how to” video click here)
The Charaka Samhita describes oil pulling as effective for improving more than just oral health, but also 30 other systemic diseases ranging from headaches, migraines, diabetes, and asthma, as we are finding that dental and total body health are connected!
Modern scientific inquiry increasingly confirms oil pulling’s benefit to oral health:
- Proven to be as effective as the chemical chlorhexidine (as in Oral B mouthwash) for chronic bad breath (halitosis), but without the side effects.
- Proven to be beneficial in patients with gingivitis and can result in whiter teeth and pinker gums.
- Proven to reduce the cavity-linked Streptococcus mutans bacteria in plaque and saliva of children.
- Proven to exert antibacterial actions through emulsification and saponification.
WFP’s Take-Home Advice
We personally prefer coconut oil because it is healthy and versatile (e.g., can be used as a cooking oil and as a moisturizer for skin and hair).
- Put a few fingers worth (approx. a tablespoon) in your mouth and swish for 10–15 minutes and then spit it out. You can substitute this for mouthwash, as many of the brand names are not ideal in terms of toxicity.
- Try to perform it 3–5 times a week during your morning routine. Hope this gives everybody another tool for natural disease prevention.