Oil Pulling: Ancient Secret for Optimal Health

oil_pulling_benefits
By  Sayer Ji

Contributing Writer for  Wake Up World

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Indian folk remedy first mentioned in the early Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, which was believed to have been written approximately 1500 years ago.

One oil pulls by simply  swishing a tablespoon of oil  (sesame, coconut and sunflower are commonly recommended) in one’s mouth for approximately 15-20 minutes on an empty stomach and then spitting it out. [For a “how to” video see below]

The Charaka Samhita describes oil pulling as effective for improving more than just oral health, but also 30 other systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma.

Modern scientific inquiry increasingly confirms oil pulling’s benefit to oral health:

  • Proven to be as effective as the chemical chlorhexidine (as in Oral B mouthwash) for chronic bad breath (halitosis),[i]  but without the side effects
  • Proven to be beneficial in patients with gingivitis[ii]  and can result in whiter teeth and pinker gums
  • Proven to reduce the cavity-linked Streptococcus mutans bacteria in plaque and saliva of children[iii]
  • Proven to exert antibacterial actions through emulsification and saponification[iv]

Because oil pulling positively affects the composition of bacteria in the mouth by killing pathogenic microorganisms, it makes sense that it would be beneficial in other seemingly related health conditions. When the gums or teeth are infected, bacterial cells  and/or their highly  immunogenic  components, e.g.  lipopolysaccharide, can more easily  enter the blood wreaking widespread inflammation. Insofar as oil pulling nips the bacteria-associated cascade of harmful, inflammatory reactions in the bud, it may reduce the toxic load on the entire body.

Root Causes: How Infected Teeth Damage Your Overall Health

One common cause of this ongoing bacteria-mediated inflammation is the presence of a root canal. There are  many reasons to avoid root canals, and  common sense would dictate keeping a dead piece of your body attached to living tissue is a bad idea, but millions undergo this procedure under the advice of their dentist or endodontic specialist without fully being informed of the deleterious health consequences.

The reality is that there are miles of maze-like microtubules within the dead tooth, a perfect breeding ground for anaerobic oral microorganisms that secrete potent endotoxins.   It is simply impossible to completely fill these voids with dental compounds.

Case in point, a 1998 study published in the journal  Annuals of Periodontology  titled “Anaerobic bacteremia and fungemia in patients undergoing endodontic therapy: an overview,” found that endodontic therapy (root canal) is associated with high rates of infection (up to 54%) with anaerobic bacteria. More recent research confirms this finding. A 2005 study in the  Journal of Dentistry  also found “Detection of bacteraemias during non-surgical root canal treatment.”  View article here.

Unfortunately, root canals lead to the secretion of endotoxins directly into the blood, and while oil pulling may reduce some of the fall out from having an infected tooth, it will not resolve the underlying issue. Often, removal of the canaled tooth is the only permanent solution.

The good news is that oil pulling is an easy to perform intervention with a high margin of safety. Many report significant mitigation of seemingly unrelated health issues following its regular practice. Often the best proof is first-hand experience. Give it a try and please report your experiences below in the comments section below.

For additional research on the value of oil pulling visit our page on the topic:  Oil Pulling.

Article Sources

[i]  Sharath Asokan, R Saravana Kumar, Pamela Emmadi, R Raghuraman, N Sivakumar.  Effect of oil pulling on halitosis and microorganisms causing halitosis: a randomized controlled pilot trial.  J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2011 Apr-Jun;29(2):90-4. PMID:  21911944

[ii]  Sharath Asokan, Pamela Emmadi, Raghuraman Chamundeswari.  Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.  Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;20(1):47-51. PMID:  19336860

[iii]  S Asokan, J Rathan, M S Muthu, Prabhu V Rathna, P Emmadi, ,.  Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study.  J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. PMID:  18408265

[iv]  Sharath Asokan, T K Rathinasamy, N Inbamani, Thangam Menon, S Senthil Kumar, Pamela Emmadi, R Raghuraman.  Mechanism of oil-pulling therapy – in vitro study.  Indian J Dent Res. 2011 Jan-Feb;22(1):34-7. PMID:  21525674  

Further articles by Sayer Ji

About the author:
Sayer-JiSayer Ji is the founder and director of www.GreenMedInfo.com and an advisory board member at the  National Health Federation, an international nonprofit, consumer-education, health-freedom organization.

He co-authored the book  Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure, and is currently co-authoring another book with Tania Melkonian entitled  EATomology: An Edible Philosophy of Food.

Check out Sayer Ji’s new collaborative project  EATomology.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  • http://www.dancingtheworlds.com mary sky

    Began oil pulling over past few months. Always and I mean always had bleeding gums which has absolutly gone. As in completly. Gratitude… M

  • http://Website Name (required)Di

    I started oil-pulling with coconut oil a few weeks ago and found that even my dry skin has improved!

  • http://Website Natasja

    I started oilpulling 2 months ago and my teeth are whiter, my skin really cleared up, less headaches and an overall increased wellbeing. I use sunflower oil. I can recommend this to everybody!

  • http://helpyourcellves.com/ Sara Gibbons

    This is a great technique and really works. I like to rinse my mouth out and then brush my teeth afterwards to get rid of any residual bacteria etc and my mouth feels really clean afterwards. My dentist has noticed the difference.

  • http://Website Diane

    I tried oil pulling but did not do it long enough to see a difference. I have had a lot of dental work including numerous crowns and a few root canals.. My husband was worried about the “pulling” doing damage to my crowns.. Anyone have any knowledge or advice about this?? Thanks.

  • http://Website Gail Molinaro

    I’ve been pulling coconut oil for about a month. I have noticed a huge difference in the severity of the migraines that I’ve suffered from for the last 40 years. I weaned myself off of my daily med (head FINALLY out of the clouds) and I when I do get a headache they seem less severe and, most importantly, they go away. And, for all who haven’t tried it yet, it’s not as gross as it sounds.

  • Aliv

    Actually a drop of oil pollutes 1000 liters of water and you say about clogging… SAD !

  • Regis

    It does not seem to say how many times a week should we practice oil pulling?
    Thanks

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