Oil Pulling – The What, Why and How

Oil Pulling – The What, Why and How

With oil pulling gaining so much attention attention recently we decided to break down the what, why and how of this ancient technique.


Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach who claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders. There have been several scientific studies on oil pulling with the belief being that the oil help to reduce the amount of S. mutans (germ) count in both teeth plaque and saliva, while the lipids in the oil both pull out the bacteria and stop it attaching to the walls of the oral cavity. It is also believed that by using a cold pressed vegetable oil, the oil acts as an emulsifier in the mouth and reduces fungal overgrowth. It is also possible that the oil plays a role in cellular restructuring and may even help the lymph nodes and other internal organs.


There are reported several oral benefits to oil pulling including:

  • Overall strengthening of the teeth, gums and jaws
  • Prevention of diseases such as cavities and gingivitis
  • Prevention of bad breath
  • Potential remedy for bleeding gums
  • Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
  • Potentially whiter teeth

But the benefits can go beyond the mouth, other possible benefits include:

  • Migraine headache relief
  • Correcting hormone imbalances
  • Reducing inflammation of arthritis
  • May help with gastro-enteritis
  • Aids in the reduction of eczema
  • May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
  • Helps support normal kidney function
  • May help reduce sinus congestion
  • Some people report improved vision
  • Helps reduce insomnia
  • Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
  • Aids in reducing pain
  • Reduces the symptoms of allergies
  • Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms


It’s best to oil pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

  1. Start by spooning a tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed vegetable oil  into your mouth (coconut or sesame oils are best but you can also use olive oil). It’s ok if the oil is solid as it will melt in your mouth . You can also add a few drops of organic essential oils to your blend depending what you’re aiming to achieve. For example adding oregano oil is great for cleansing the mouth and helps with good lung function and fighting parasites. On the other hand grapefruit oil is great for treating hangovers and aiding weight loss. Or Peppermint oil is great for giving you a boost of energy both mental and physical, for treating bad breath and aiding digestive issues. Just make sure you read up on the essential oils before adding it to your mixture to make sure it’s the right addition for you.
  2. Swish your oil around your mouth for 20 minutes to allow the oil to break through plaque and bacteria without it being absorbed by the body. As you swish you’ll notice your oil will double in size and take on a thicker and milkier consistency with the addition of your saliva. Please note that when starting out you may struggle to go for the full 20 minutes as it is an unusual feeling, building up to 20 minutes can take time so just be patient.
  3. DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL. After 20 minutes the oil will be full of a range of nasty bacteria that you definitely do not want going into your body. Simply spit the oil into the trash when your done. If you spit it down your sink you may have problems with blockages as the oil will solidify again.
  4. Rinse your mouth out with warm water. Giving it a few swishes and spitting oil to get any remaining oil out of your mouth.
  5. Finally brush your teeth with a fluoride free toothpaste. If possible it’s a good idea to use a separate tooth brush for oil pulling that you do for general care.

Have you tried oil pulling?