Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

What in the World Oil Pulling Is and Why You Should Do It

Written by Eva Rawposa
Illustration by Yumi Sakugawa
When I oil pull, my skin feels softer. My feet are as soft as they could possibly be. It is really remarkable. I have always had to do these treatments with scrubs and lotions and what-have-you just to have okay feet—but even if I am not doing constant treatments, when I’m oil pulling consistently, they are ridiculously soft. My blemishes disappear. My teeth are whiter.

All of the mucous we store in our bodies is removed and I breathe perfectly clearly. Even now when the pollen is everywhere,  I have no sign of mucous in my nose or lungs, except in the morning when I spit it out after oil pulling. So what does it mean to pull oil and why do we do it?

Why Oil Pull
In alternative medicine, including in Ayurvedic texts, oil pulling is an oral and systemic remedy that is said to cure about thirty systemic diseases ranging from headaches to diabetes and asthma.

One theory takes into consideration that, sort of how the foot is mapped out for reflexology like a map, the tongue is also a map. In this way, just as the skin is an organ that removes toxins from our body, the tongue is also a key organ for the elimination of toxins.  Oil swishing eliminates toxins from every organ. It is thought that there are lots of not-so-good (and in fact really gross) bacteria hiding in our mouths. Oil pulling may effectively help to remove this bacteria quickly and “easily.”

A step-by-step guide on how to oil pull

1.       Get some sesame or sunflower seed oil that is not roasted or heated. It should say “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed.” If it’s organic, great!

2.       Put one teaspoon of oil in your mouth without swallowing it. Ideally, you’ll swish this in your mouth for 20 minutes or longer. If not, no sweat.

3.       When you’re almost finished, put some salt in a jar with hot water and shake it until the salt melts.

4.       Spit out the oil, then immediately swish with the salt water. This will get the oily taste out of your mouth and kill some bad guys in one fell swoop.

5.       Brush your teeth!

Some Extra Oil-Pulling Tips

▪        Really try not to swallow it, but if you do, the world won’t end.

▪        There will be more liquid in your mouth as you do this (from saliva and mucous), so if you need to use less than a teaspoon, it’s no big deal.

▪        Ideally, this would be done 1-2 times every single day to start noticing major benefits.

▪        This should really be done on an empty stomach, perhaps in the morning upon rising and just before bed.

If you’re out there swishing while you read, Happy Pulling!

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