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Green Living Guest Posts Healthy Living Toxin Alert!

Oil Pulling for Detoxification


Have you ever tried oil pulling? If not, today might be the day to try it. All you need is a good quality oil and a few minutes in the morning before eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. This guest post from Elizabeth Walling of Living the Nourished Life tells you how.

Detoxing is a part of the body’s natural process of removing unwanted and harmful substances. Oil pulling is one of the simplest detox protocols you can use. Using oil to remove toxins from your mouth gets at the root cause of many different health issues. But just like the health problems themselves, which take years to develop, noticing the effects of oil pulling can take some time and patience.  And unlike some detox protocols, you don’t need any preparatory measures to oil pull, you can just do it.

Regular oil pulling can provide great detox and health benefits for your mouth and teeth, as well as your overall health condition.  Learn how to prevent and remedy different health disorders by detoxifying your body safely, for pennies, in the comfort of your own home.


I like to keep things simple when it comes to my health and wellness. Less is more: that’s my foundational approach. Less ingredients in my food. Less ingredients in my health and beauty products. Oil pulling fits right in with my philosophy. It’s simple. It’s inexpensive. Anyone can do it. The problem is: most people haven’t even heard of it!

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling was traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for improving overall oral health. It’s recently gained popularity in the Western world as a natural health remedy for a variety of conditions. On a basic level, oil pulling involves swishing unrefined oil in your mouth for several minutes at a time. (I’ll give you specific instructions in a minute.)

Oil pulling benefits

The list of possible benefits from oil pulling touches on nearly every health condition known to man (including gray hair!). I’m not fully convinced that oil pulling can improve PMS symptoms (one of its alleged benefits), but its oral health benefits are hard to ignore. They include:

  • fresher breath
  • whiter teeth
  • decreased tooth pain
  • decreased gum bleeding
  • decreased tooth sensitivity
  • decreased oral infections
  • improved strength in mouth and jaw

I believe in the oral benefits of oil pulling, because I’ve experienced them myself. As I explained in a previous post I’ve written about oil pulling benefits, flossing directly after oil pulling was absolutely the best at-home plaque solution I’ve ever encountered. It even rivals a full dental cleaning.

Oil pulling experts like Bruce Fife believe that oil pulling actually draws pathogenic bacteria and toxins through the tissues of the mouth. This facilitates detoxification by eliminating these harmful materials from the body. These experts report that regular oil pulling can help with:

  • chronic headaches and migraines
  • neck and back pain
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • skin conditions (acne, eczema, etc.)
  • sleep disturbances
  • chronic fatigue
  • diabetes

Oil pulling instructions

Oil pulling is pretty straightforward and very simple to do. Following a few basic instructions will help you get the most out of your oil pulling experience:

  1. The best time to do oil pulling is upon waking on an empty stomach. However, this isn’t always convenient, so you may have to use a different time frame.
  2. About one tablespoon of oil is used. Some use a little more, some use a little less. This is a personal preference. Some find it easier to start with a small amount of oil and work their way up to a tablespoon.
  3. Move the oil around your mouth in a slow, methodical fashion. No vigorous swishing! Gargling is not recommended.
  4. Be careful not to swallow any of the oil. According to the experts, it’s full of toxins and should never be swallowed.
  5. Continue swishing for up to 30 minutes. Now, you’ll notice this really works out the muscles in your jaw and mouth. You may only be able to swish for a few minutes the first time. I’d suggest working up to at least 10 minutes.
  6. As you swish, you’ll notice the oil becomes far more fluid and even foamy.
  7. When you’re done, spit the oil out and rinse thoroughly. You can brush your teeth afterwords.
  8. Oil pulling is usually done once per day, but some experts recommend doing it 2-3 times per day if you are ill or need more substantial detox.

Oils to use for oil pulling

A variety of oils can be used for oil pulling. Sesame and sunflower oil are said to be the most traditional kinds. I personally choose only oils I already use in my kitchen because it’s convenient and I trust them to be healthy. To that end, I’ve only used coconut oil and olive oil for oil pulling. I’ve had a few readers ask me how to swish with coconut oil since it’s solid at room temperature. I simply take a solid tablespoon of coconut oil and chew it up in my mouth until it’s liquid (it only takes a minute or so). Alternatively, you can gently heat the coconut oil over the stove until it’s melted.


Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer and health blogger specializing in nutrition and wellness. She is a strong believer in real food and natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common health myths. Check out her blog www.livingthenourishedlife.com> to learn more.

Suggested reading:

Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by Dr. Bruce Fife

Want more information on detox?

It’s Time for A Fall Detox!

Want to Lose Weight? DETOX!

This post is part of Sarah The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Carnival.