Never one to stray away from weird shit. I decided to try oil pulling.
For those of you who don’t know what it is. Apparently it is an ancient art that Indians and Egyptians and Mayans and every other ancient culture used. You put a tablespoon of oil (coconut, sesame, olive, whatever) in your mouth and swish it around for 15-30 minutes. You don’t swallow it. You just swish it around and then spit it out when the timer goes off. Then you brush your teeth and go on with your day. Most people say you should do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and some people recommended swishing with saltwater in between the oil pulling and the teeth brushing.
There are lots of claims of what oil pulling can do for you. Everything from fresher breath and cleaner teeth to curing heart disease, diabetes, hangovers. Some people swear by it, others claim its a fake. Supposedly, as you swish the oil around your mouth it traps toxins that are floating around your body. As the blood pumps through your body and through your mouth the bacteria sticks in the oil and then you spit it out. In theory, it seems reasonable.
I wanted to find out for myself. I use coconut oil in tons of stuff around the house already so I figured, why not?
I oil pulled for about two weeks. Because it is physically impossible for me to do anything in the morning before coffee, I ignored the whole empty stomach thing. I would do my oil pulling in the shower or during Little Darlings nap. I set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes and would swish the oil all around. When the timer went off, I would spit the oil in the trash can (be careful if you spit it down the drain because coconut oil is solid at room temperature) and brush my teeth.
The first few days I felt like my teeth were getting a lot cleaner. You know the weird stuff the dentist skims off the back of your teeth when you go to a cleaning? The stuff that sticks there and makes your teeth feel all dirty and grimy and slowly makes you feel like you have one giant tooth instead of several teeth and then when the dentist rips it all off you can’t stop running your tongue over your new found teeth? Yea, that stuff. It felt like it was being dissolved away. But, I should probably be honest that that was just because I was actually taking time to make sure my teeth got brushed once a day. I have the WORST oral hygiene. It is seriously the first thing that gets left off my to do list. I am lucky if I get to swish Listerine for 10 seconds some days. It just totally slips my mind. Hopefully I can get my act together before Little Darling gets teeth (not likely).
I also felt like I had slightly more energy. There was one day where I didn’t even realize I hadn’t had coffee until almost 5pm. And when I realized that I had gone all day long without my life source, I didn’t even feel like I needed to go and get some. I was up until 3am and felt fine. That could have been a fluke, but it may not have been.
I also had a banging hangover the next morning after being up until 3am the night before. I oil pulled in the shower and almost immediately felt better. Shower? Oil pulling? It’s hard to tell.
I did not however, get skinnier, healthier, whiter teeth, less acne, better hair, better nails, or better sleep. Damn.
When my two weeks were up, I gave up on the oil pulling. I would probably still use it again if I had a bad hangover, but for a habit that takes away my ability to talk for 20 minutes and requires a phone timer, I don’t think its worth it on the daily.
Maybe its because I didn’t do it on an empty stomach, maybe its because it was coconut oil and needs to be sesame or something, maybe its an old wives tale that thousands of people are falling prey too.
Who knows, but I would love to hear some other peoples accounts with oil pulling and if it worked for them!