Wellness Wednesday: Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling

Today I want to share a practice that has done wonders for my dental and oral health, oil pulling. This ancient Ayurvedic practice known as kavala or gundusha, helps reduce bacteria and plaque in the mouth as well as strengthen teeth. I started oil pulling a few years ago and have been doing it regularly for the last year. My last three dental visits were amazing and my teeth are super sparkly.

Oil pulling is super easy. Swish 1-2 teaspoons of  coconut oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and spit it out. The oil pulls out the toxins stored in your salivary glands. The less toxins you have in our mouth the less bacteria and plaque will accumulate.

Oil Pulling

There are many folks out there that make all kinds of claims about oil pulling. Traditionally it was done with sesame oil but I prefer coconut oil as it has so many antibacterial and antiviral properties. Here are two studies one regrading gingivitis and this one on microrganisms that go into more detail. I’ve tried all sorts of seemingly odd health remedies and oil pulling has worked really well for me. Oil pulling along with daily flossing, brushing, and morning tongue scraping has my dentist asking me what I do. I actually educated him on oil pulling a while back and now he’s recommending it to his patients!

The first few times I tried oil pulling I couldn’t do it for more than ten minutes, my jaw was tired and I was scared I was going to swallow all of the toxins back down. Now I can do 20 minutes no problem. It’s totally fine to work your way up. If your jaw is exhausted you are probably swishing too hard, slow and steady here! The oil will get thicker as you swish (it doubles in size) and according to Dr. Bruce Fife it takes about 20 minutes for the plaque in your mouth to breakdown. Not to worry though, that isn’t long enough for the body to reabsorb the toxins.

Some folks prefer to start with melted coconut oil. I use it as-is, it will melt quickly in your mouth. Whatever you decide be sure to purchase high quality, raw organic oil.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has become part of my morning ritual. I like to do it after I meditate while I am making my breakfast. It’s important to spit out the oil into the trash as it can eventually clog the drain. Afterwards I rinse my mouth well with water and brush my teeth. I oil pull about five times a week and that has worked well for me, it is safe to do everyday if you like.

Have you tried oil pulling? I’d love to hear your experiences below. Wishing you a gorgeous day.


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Ashley Neese is a bold soul who empowers women to take good care of themselves. Her nutrition programs, yoga classes, and lifestyle blog guide wellness seekers towards bringing their whole being into each moment so they can heal and be at peace. Ashley works with clients all over the world and runs a life changing online Sugar Cleanse. You can find her sharing healthy recipes and self-care tips on her website, www.ashleyneese.com.

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  • Lexie

    Love this post, I’ve been oil pulling for about 2 years now, probably about 5 times a week give or take, followed by tongue scraping. My new dentist was so excited when she looked at my teeth the first time and they had no plaque or discolouration, she actually hugged me when I said I oil pull and got the student nurses to have a look. My mouth just doesn’t feel clean now unless I oil pull. And I have grown to love the ritual, I sit in bed with my eyes closed and I have to be quiet for those first 20 minutes of the day!

  • thebodybook

    Thank you for your feedback Lexie! What a wonderful way to start the day!

  • Ashley Neese

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this practice Lexi! I love hearing inspiring stories like yours! Isn’t taking that time for yourself in the morning amazing?! xo