Thursday, February 20, 2014

where my oil pullers at?

just kidding, i don't think that anybody who reads here is an oil puller. but you never know!

i first heard of this practice - oil pulling - a few years ago on a facebook for hippies site called "tribe," where a lot of alternative thinkers would post questions and solutions, most with a decidedly natural bent.  i was looking for carcinogen-free toothpaste recommendations and saw a post about oil pulling. it was interesting but i did not try it.

fast forward to last fall when i was becoming aware of the wonders of coconut oil. i was fighting a cold and there was a recommendation i saw online for mixing coconut oil with eucalyptus oil and putting it on the bottom of your feet to clear sinuses. it seemed like a better (less malodorous) idea than the bowls of chopped onions i put around the house last year. the same thread mentioned oil pulling. several commenters chimed in with anecdotes of oil pulling easing everything from tooth decay to rheumatoid arthritis - head colds, blood sugar stability, cramps, asthma, back pain, skin problems, the works.

i bought a jar of unrefined cold pressed virgin coconut oil and was happy with how it plus eucalyptus helped my cold. 

i figured the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling might be worth a shot.

basically you put a tablespoonful of oil (unrefined coconut or sesame seem to be the most popular) in your mouth and swish it around for 10-20 minutes, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  i floss my teeth beforehand so the space between my teeth is bigger. after swishing through your teeth, you spit it out in a jar or trash can *NOT DOWN THE DRAIN* and rinse with warm salt water and then brush your teeth as usual.

it supposedly works like an intense mouth wash - the coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and it collects all your mouth germs and then you spit them out.

bonus is the lovely trippy layered tiers of half solidified - half liquid coconut oil collected in the jar!

i have been doing this for 2 months now. i can report my mouth feels terrific! i cannot attest to any other health improvements at this point, though i usually have a sore throat/ear pain at least every other week in the winter, and i have not had a hint of either since starting.  considering i spend many hours per week in the germ nest of thrift stores, and we went on a floating petri dish carnival cruise, i am pretty happy.

it seems that western science has proven oil pulling to have a positive effect on oral health, though the other hundreds of benefits have not yet been verified scientifically. i have a baby tooth - a molar that doesn't have an adult molar to push it out - and i would like to keep this baby tooth as long as possible before i need an implant. i am hoping oil pulling will at least help in this endeavor.

i will keep you all updated on this riveting oil pulling journey. i have my 6 month dentist appointment in april and i am interested to see if the hygienist can tell a difference.

at the bare minimum, it serves as a kind of meditation. for 20 minutes every day i am not talking.

as an aside: how great is talenti gelato and sorbetto? the mango is out of this world!


shuds said...

so long chopped bowls of raw onions!

Anonymous said...

Are we related?
Can't stop laughing at the visuals...
How awesome are the Heels?..Too good


Anonymous said...

Without putting words in your mouth...can you say oil pulling also acts as a whitener? There could be big money in this. Even better than having Beatles cards.

skippy haha said...

@MOM - you would know better than i do if we are related! yes, a person may look chipmunk-ish while oil pulling. i would not suggest looking in a mirror or you could spit all the oil out laughing. should probably wear one of those rubber baby bibs in case. the heels are VERY AWESOME! let's keep this train going til april!

@AnonDAD - i can say i THINK oil pulling also acts as a whitener. i think the oil might pull coffee/wine stains off over time. and immediately your teeth will look shiny. which may be interpreted as whiter.

A Day in the Life of One Girl said...

I have heard this! I have been tempted to go with the oil facial cleansing every day too. I'm not sure if they still use soap but I want to say you just clean your face with oil...can't remember,
Does it get tiring to swish for that long?

skippy haha said...

@JessicaU - I think the oil is instead of soap - I think they just rub the oil in, and then rub it off, maybe rinse with water? I use oil to wash my face - no soap - it's a mixture tea tree and lavender oil, i put a couple drops on a cotton ball along with a couple drops of warm water and just use that. no soap. but i dont use makeup so i am not sure. i think coconut oil can be used to take off eye makeup even - it should not irritate your eyes. try it!

it doesn't get tiring to swish for that long - it's less of a swish and more of a sloooow pull back and forth all around. not vigorously swishing like with mouthwash.