Oil pulling isn’t a novelty, but it sure has been a trend for the past few years, so chances are that many of you have already tried (or even heard about) this technique and its benefits. If you follow me on Instagram, you also might have seen that I’ve been trying out some oil pulling products, so I’d like to share some of my thoughts about these products and oil pulling in general.
Why you should try oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic technique of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for a certain amount of time (usually, 10-20 minutes). Different oils can be used for this process, however, coconut oil is preferred mainly because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits and a kind of neutral and pleasant taste, compared to some other oils.
The main benefits of oil pulling are as follow:
- oil pulling helps to better oral health, which means it keeps gums healthy, prevents cavities and bad breath
- whitens teeth
- boosts immune system
- clears sinuses
- and overall, detoxifies the body.
Based on its long history and the benefits that this technique promises, it’s a great additional step to include in your dental hygiene routine. I can not comment on any prevention benefits or immune system boost, but what I like the most about oil pulling is that it really makes a difference in how fresh and clean my teeth and my mouth in general feels after swishing with oil. Most of all, I was hoping for it to whiten my teeth and it did lighten them in about 2 shades after 4-5 uses. This wasn’t dramatic, but is more than I could ask for from a natural product.
How to oil pull?
1. take 1/2 or 1 table spoon of (preferably, organic) extra virgin coconut oil (don’t worry if it’s solid, it will melt in your mouth);
2. gently and slowly swish the oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes;
3. spit it out;
4. brush your teeth as usual.
This is the most basic guide, but there are many approaches to oil pulling technique. For example, you can swish the oil for longer or shorter periods of time, you can oil pull in the morning or in the evening, or even during the day. So it’s best to try different things and see what feels comfortable and what does not.
A few tried and tested tips for oil-pulling
Some of my thoughts and advice on oil pulling. Maybe you won’t experience any of these problems, but if you will, I want you to know how to overcome them since I dealt with them personally.
- Your stomach can get upset.
I’ve started oil pulling several times in the past, but the reason why I didn’t keep it going was because my stomach would get upset every time I would put oil in my mouth. If this happens to you, it could be for several reasons, but try to make these changes first:
a) take less oil – if you know that your stomach is sensitive, start with less. Maybe a usual amount of oil is too much for you, so try the tea-spoon amount instead of the table-spoon amount and build it up when you’ll get more comfortable;
b) don’t swish in the morning – though, it’s mostly suggested to oil pull in the morning, this does not work for me at all. I get nauseated easily, so it’s not pleasant for me. However, if I do this in the evenings, everything’s perfect.
c) don’t do it right after your meal or on an empty stomach – oil pulling on an empty stomach works for many people, but if you’re like me and you’re feeling uncomfortable or sick doing it, change the tactics. Like I mentioned previously, I like to oil pull in the evenings, right before going to bed, and since you shouldn’t be eating 1-2 hours before bed anyway, here’s a perfect solution.
- Your jaw can feel uncomfortable and stiff
Though, oil pulling seems like an easy task, believe me, it’s not! After 5 minutes (could be more or less) your jaw starts to feel seriously tired and uncomfortable. That’s why it’s important to do it gently and not to overdo it. The recommended 5-20 minutes are exactly that – recommendations, so if you feel like it’s enough, then it’s enough. The goal of oil-pulling is consistency, not force or time length.
- Avoid spitting the oil in the sink
Trust me, this is an advice that’s widely given, but often overlooked. The oil WILL harden or thicken, regarding on what oil you use, but all of them will clog the sink in the long run (FYI, the same goes for the toilet). I just spit it straight in the trash bin (how lady-like of me) as recommended or spit it out in a napkin and then throw it away.
Oil Pulling products that I’ve been using lately
ORGANIC COCONUT OIL
A very basic oil-pulling ingredient that works well. You can use any of your favorite unrefined coconut oil for this.
- Price: because coconut oil is one of the most popular oils, most of us already have it for some other purposes (cooking, beauty) and even if not, you can find a variety of extra virgin (and organic) coconut oil in most convenience stores for a good price.
- Doesn’t contain any additional beneficial ingredients such as essentials oils: coconut oil is great for oil pulling on its own, but if you want additional benefits, such as pleasant flavor, healing, refreshing or whitening extracts or essential oils, coconut oil might not be enough. This is very debatable, but, technically, you could mix in additional essential oils or extracts yourself (there are lots of recipes online for that). I was considering doing this myself, BUT I didn’t for this one main reason: safety. Essential oils is not something to play with if you don’t have a solid knowledge about the right amounts, etc., so at the end of the day, you can do more damage than good;
- Not travel-friendly: if you want to get consistent with oil-puling and permanently include it in your routine, using coconut oil from a jar is not very travel-friendly.
Colorful oil-pulling pack with a refreshing and vibrant flavor.
- Different flavors: whether you use coconut oil for a longer period of time or you just don’t like the taste of it that much, flavored sachets give a variety and choice. Also, flavored coconut-oil is more refreshing and is better at fighting bad breath. I’ve enjoyed using this gentle Citrus Burst flavor because it’s exactly that: refreshing and delicious. Other flavors available: Morning Mint, Vanilla Coco Cinnamon, and Lucky Dip (includes all three flavors);
- Contains safe-to-use essentials oils for additional benefits: like I mentioned before, it’s a personal choice, but I prefer to use products that I know contains safe amounts of essential oils and were tested (Keeko does not test on animals);
- Travel-friendly: these sachets are small, compact, and easy to fit in any travel toiletry bag;
- One sachet is enough for 2 uses: this might not be the case for everyone, but for me one sachet of this oil pulling treatment is actually too much for one use, so I split it and have enough for two days.
- Free worldwide shipping: I’ll say no more!
- Price: 2 week course (14 sachets; 10ml each) costs $29.23 / £22.09, which isn’t as cheap as buying a jar of organic coconut oil but, in my eyes, the additional benefits are worth it. Just so you know, you can save 10% if you buy 2 packs at once + the delivery is free.
- The packaging is not recyclable: the packaging is made from foil laminate, which is not a recyclable material. According to Keeko, this type of material is used due to safety and hygiene reasons, so the product could stay sterile.
Ingredients: Cold Pressed Coconut Oil*, Chamomile essential oil**, Myrrh essential oil**, Lemon essential oil**, Lemon Lime & Pink Grapefruit Natural Flavour *Organic **Certified Organic.
Glamorous oil pulling pack with peppermint for a refreshing experience.
- Beautiful packaging: I wanted to avoid comparing packaging at all, but OSHUNwhite sachets came in such a luxurious pearly box, which needed to be mentioned (such a lovely packaging actually makes a pretty good gift, if you ask me). A nice touch is days marked on the box, so you could keep track;
- Travel-friendly: definitely. Easy to fit in any travel toiletry bag;
- Different flavors: peppermint flavor was a nice change from an unflavored coconut oil. The peppermint tastes more herbal than, let’s say, a peppermint gum would taste, but that’s because the oil pull contains natural flavor. Other OSHUNwhite flavors: Spearmint, Crushed Lime, and Wild Cherry;
- One sachet is enough for 2 uses: like I mentioned before, for me, 10ml is too much for one use, so I like to split it. However, this might not work for you since everyone’s experience is different;
- Free worldwide shipping.
- Price: 2 weeks (14 sachets; 10ml each) costs $26.47 – £20. However, considering that I use one sachet for two days, it’s not that high at all + free worldwide delivery. Also, you can get them on Amazon (this is where I got them from) on sale for $21 / £15.97;
- The packaging is not recyclable: again, for hygiene and safety purposes to keep the product sterilet
- Coconut oil is not organic: though, virgin and unrefined.
Ingredients: Virgin coconut oil, natural flavoring.
Have you tried oil pulling?