Oil pulling is the act of swishing approximately one tablespoon of oil (typically coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil) in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes and then spitting it out. Sounds fun, right? We’ll see.
If you can stomach it, oil pulling has a number of great health benefits. I, however, was only able to handle it for half the recommended time. Pull out your spoons and brace yourself for an experience that I can only describe as… interesting.
Before we begin, I personally recommend using organic coconut oil. I’ve tried it with sunflower oil, and coconut is definitely the lesser of two evils. Go ahead and pop that bad boy in, and let’s do this.
1. Oil pulling whitens teeth
Coconut oil has tons of natural antioxidants, and it’s a vegan and cruelty-free alternative to whitening strips.
2. It helps clear your skin
Removing toxins from your body at the source can help prevent those toxins from making it into places like your skin and bloodstream. Oil pulling attracts common skin irritants and removes them. Ironically, some users suffering from oily skin have claimed that oil pulling has noticeably reduced their breakouts.
3. It gets rid of morning breath
Thats right, having a mouthful of oil reduces plaque, bacteria, and can even decrease chances of gingivitis.
4. It can help reduce headaches
You’re probably rolling your eyes at this one, seeing how the act of oil pulling itself can cause what is known as a “detox headache.” Don’t worry, it will be gone within seconds of spitting out the oil. If you’re someone who constantly suffers from migraines, give oil pulling a try.
5. It’s a great hangover cure
We’ve all been there. It’s 3 pm on a Saturday and you still feel like roadkill. Hangovers are essentially a combination of toxins, dehydration, and low blood sugar. You can use oil pulling to detoxify, or eat a tablespoon because the healthy fats in coconut oil will re-stabilize your blood sugar.
6. It gives you an energy boost
Similar to the hangover cure, manually detoxing can save your body some much-needed energy.
7. It works as a natural sleep aid
There isn’t much science behind this one, but some people have claimed that oil pulling has helped with their insomnia/restless sleeping. Personally, I didn’t notice much of a difference, but maybe someone will.
8. It can relieve sinus congestion
By swishing, swirling, and sucking on the oil, you are creating a type of suction and circulation that can help drain your sinus, as well as lymph nodes in your face and neck.
Hopefully by now you’ve found at least one reason not to run to the garbage can. If you’re still not convinced, don’t worry — oil pulling isn’t for everyone (myself included).