As bizarre as it sounds, oil pulling is simply the act of swishing oil around in your mouth first thing in the morning to remove toxins. Oil pulling is actually an Ayurvedic Therapy which can be traced back for thousands of years and works by acting on the removal of harmful bacteria in the mouth. It is widely known now the link between heart disease and gum disease, so anyway that we can improve the health of our teeth and gums can only be helpful to our long-term health. It is cheap and simple and available for anyone to do who wants to.
This practice has been known to dramatically improve many and varied issues and generally whitens the teeth, improves the breath and reduces inflammation of any kind in the mouth. A colleague of mine has been trialing the practice as he is booked in for wisdom teeth surgery and has been in a lot of pain. Since starting oil pulling he has reported a significant reduction in the pain.
Oil pulling is done first thing in the morning before putting anything else in your mouth targets and captures bacteria lurking there from the nights sleep. Since toxins and bacteria are the enemy of the thyroid this practice can only help reduce the toxic load in our body which in turn will help our thyroid breathe a little easier.
Firstly, you can use a few different kinds of oil such as sesame (traditional in Ayurvedic culture), sunflower, olive, or as most health practitioners use now organic extra virgin coconut oil. In cases of tooth pain, you could also add a drop of clove oil or oregano oil which is well known for a pain of this kind.
Every morning take a tablespoon of oil and start swishing it around your mouth, kind of sucking and slurping as you go. You want to try and reach all parts of your mouth and gums – imagine you are giving your mouth a good wash! You are aiming for 20 minutes in the long term, but just do it for as long as you can to start with.
Don’t forget to inform anyone you live with that you will not be talking during those 20 minutes! They will get used to it – even the kids do eventually. Makes for a very peaceful 20 minutes if nothing else.
IMPORTANT – Never Swallow it!
Do not swallow the oil when you have finished – and do not spit it down the drain!! It is absolutely packed with bad bacteria, so swallowing it would just undo the effort you just put in. Spitting it down the drain every day is going to cause a build up of oil in your pipes, so that is not ideal long-term either!!
I was getting into a great habit of doing this for a few weeks, then one morning I started to cough and I half swallowed the oil! In my horror, I tried to spit it out at the same time and started to gag uncontrollably! I’m sure, to the cat who was watching me rather intently, it must have been hilarious!! I have to admit, I have not worked up the courage to do it again since, but I am working towards it, as I have so many colleagues and friends who continue to sing its praises.