We all have that one friend who is always on top of health trends. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise you to wake up from a sleepover one day and find her swishing something in her mouth for 10 minutes. If she’s as trendy savvy as she usually is, then she’s probably trying out oil pulling.

What Is Oil Pulling?

Your friend is practicing an ancient Indian remedy known as oil pulling. Oil pulling or oil swishing (Kavala Graha) is derived from Aryuvedic medicine and came about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. The process of oil pulling includes swishing, or holding a teaspoon of oil in your mouth for 15 – 20 minutes and then spitting it (and the toxins) out.

Oil pulling is known to provide many benefits to the oral cavity, mainly targeting bad breath, plaque, and gum health. Individuals who have tried this remedy have reported success, resulting in whiter teeth and a reduction of plaque.

Some studies show that not only does oil pulling help with dental hygiene, but it also helps the body release harmful toxins. With regular practice, studies have shown oil pulling to reduce the effects of asthma, hormone imbalances, arthritis, skin conditions and many other health concerns.

What Is the Best Type of Oil?

When choosing an oil for oil pulling, you have the freedom to pick whatever oil that you want. It’s recommended, however, that you avoid oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and chemically-treated oils, such as canola oil. You want to make sure that the oil is 100% natural and organic.

Sesame oil is very popular among individuals and was the oil that was originally used when the oil pulling technique was discovered. Coconut oil is gaining popularity due to its natural teeth-whitening properties. Sunflower seed oil is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the bacteria present in the mouth.

How It Really Works

Swishing, or holding the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes, allows the oil to seep into your gums and start working on killing bacteria. Sesame oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help facilitate this process.

Keeping the oil in your mouth for an extended period of time allows the antibacterial properties to work on your gums and oral cavity for a longer period of time compared to simply brushing.

Tips for effective oil pulling

Tips for Effective Oil Pulling

  1. Make sure you do oil pulling as soon as you wake up. It needs to be done before you eat or drink anything to be most effective.
  2. Measure how much oil you are going to pull and don’t go overboard. The recommended amount is 1 teaspoon.
  3. Time yourself. Oil pulling only needs about 15 – 20 minutes of your time. If you are new to oil pulling, it is recommended to start with a few minutes a day until you are comfortable with holding the oil in your mouth.
  4. Whatever you do, do not swallow. Make sure you are prepared to spit the oil out once you are done. Avoid spitting out the oil in the sink or bathtub as it might clog the drains. A trash can will do just fine.
  5. Brush and floss your teeth after you spit out the oil. Do not skip this step as it is important to maintain regular dental hygiene in addition to oil pulling.
  6. Continue to go to your dentist for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. The dentist is still your teeth’s best friend. It is always important to continue to do your research when trying out new health trends. Oil pulling is safe and easy but should not be a replacement for your usual dental regimen.

Go ahead and try it out! You might see some whiter teeth in a few weeks.

The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.


Mama, K. -. (2018, January 11). Oil Pulling: Benefits of & How to Do it | Wellness Mama. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from https://wellnessmama.com/7866/oil-pulling/
Oakley, C. (n.d.). Should You Try Oil Pulling? Retrieved March 14, 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oil-pulling
(n.d.). Oil Pulling For Detoxing? No, But Helps With Gum Disease & Immunity — Natural Health Newsletter. Retrieved March 14, 2018, from https://jonbarron.org/article/oil-pulling-detoxing