By / 4th October, 2016 / Bowen Island, Yoga / Off

Oil Pulling for All-Natural, Deep Oral Cleansing

Nowadays, its hard to imagine how people coped before the age of toothbrushes and chemically formulated toothpastes. However, as with many other things, we are slowly rediscovering that Nature has provided us with everything we need to be healthy and glowing, if we just know where to look. A surprisingly simple yet amazingly effective all-natural solution for dental health comes in the form of an ancient Aryuvedic practice called Oil Pulling – all you need is oil. This is literally as it sounds – you take a swig of oil, usually coconut, sesame or olive oil, and swish or “pull” it back and forth between the teeth for a certain period of time, usually 5 to 20 minutes. It may sound strange but it can in fact become a very therapeutic, meditative daily practice. The idea is that toxins in the body are drawn out into the oil, providing a deep oral cleaning as well as a general detox. The reported benefits include excellent oral health, pearly white teeth, super fresh breath as well as a heightened sense of well-being, clearer skin and even better sleep. It can also reportedly help to improve sinus congestion, headaches, PMS, inflammation and arthritis symptoms, and promotes general good health. This practice can be added to your usual oral hygiene routine for a deeper, holistic cleanse that goes beyond the surface of the teeth and gums. Try it out using these steps:

  1. Choose a good quality oil with a taste that doesn’t offend you. Sesame, olive or coconut oil are the most popular oils for oil pulling. Coconut oil has a lovely taste and great antimicrobial properties, so that might be a good place to start.
  2. On an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning, take one or two tablespoons of oil in the mouth and slowly swish it from side to side across the teeth, taking care not to swallow it. If using coconut oil, you can first chew it a bit to melt it in the mouth.
  3. Keep this up for at least 5 minutes. Try 20 minutes for an excellent cleanse. During this time you can take a shower, do a little housework or simply sit in meditation, mindfully paying attention to the feeling of the oil in the mouth. You don’t need to stay in the bathroom!
  4. When you are done, spit out the oil into a garbage can and not the sink, so that you don’t clog up your pipes. The oil will have collected all sorts of toxins and germs, so be careful not to swallow it. It may have changed to a white colour with a thick constituency. Your mouth should feel wonderfully clean!
  5. Rinse out the mouth and follow with your regular oral hygiene routine. Some people prefer a salt water rinse to get rid of all remaining oil.
  6. Smile, and feel your teeth and whole mouth sparkling!

While it might seem like a lot of extra work to practise oil pulling everyday, its a great way to bring a bit of detoxing into your daily routine, something your body will thank you for! Give it a go and see how wonderfully clean the mouth can feel after the oil comes out. Starting the day with the freshest taste in the mouth feels lovely!