Monday, September 19, 2011

Oil Pulling

Image from
I've come across mentions of the practice of oil pulling in the past few months and decided to give it a try.

The most recent article I read was here in Elephant Journal. I had tried it for a few days last summer with sesame oil and just couldn't stick with it. This article mentions using coconut oil and I do agree that it is a bit easier on the taste buds.

There are many articles (here, here, and here are a few) about the health benefits of the practice and I'll be the first to admit that some of the claims are rather...fantastical. But essentially the idea is that the sticky oil "pulls" the toxics and bacteria away from the surfaces in your mouth. You spit out the oil and with it? The icky junk. You are supposed to do this first thing in the morning before you eat or drink or brush your teeth so that you can get all that stuff that has accumulated in there overnight. It does seem to make some sense.

It's not for the faint-hearted, though. Recommended pulling time is 15-20 minutes, but I think any amount of time you do it will be better than not doing it at all. I'm allowing a minimum of 10 minutes in the morning and, if I can keep myself occupied with lunch packing or sorting out my attire for the day, I'll go longer.

The jar cost about $9 at Harris Teeter but it won't go to waste if I give up. It's a great massage  oil (no, it doesn't smell like coconut), or conditioner for the hair and can be cooked with at moderate temps.