Every so often the internet buzzes with a new “cure all”, right now oil pulling is the thing. So what is it? And should you be doing it?
What is “Oil Pulling”?
Oil pulling comes from Ayurveda where rinsing the mouth with oil is recommended for keeping teeth and gums healthy.
Why you Might Want to try it…
If you want white healthy teeth forget harsh oral bleach and get yourself some sesame oil (not the toasted type, just plain cold pressed oil and organic if possible). By using the sesame oil as a mouthwash you can improve the health of your gums and teeth and help detox the upper part of your digestive system.
Earth Clinic gives details on the benefits of oil pulling and recommends using sesame or sunflower oil for detox benefits. Since Ayurveda favours sesame oil for oral health and as an antidote to the drying effects that ageing has on the body, that’s what I use and recommend.
How to Try Oil Pulling for Yourself
First thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, take a small measuring cup and measure about 15ml of sesame oil. Pour the oil into your mouth, like you would a mouth wash, and begin moving it around, drawing it repeatedly between your teeth and making a chewing action with your teeth and jaws.
Keep actively working the oil around your mouth for a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Longer is better if you can. After 10-15 minutes the oil will become thin and white as it emulsifies with your saliva.
Then spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water and clean your teeth using a small amount of natural toothpaste. If you want to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper you will thoroughly remove toxins from its surface and stimulate your digestive system too.
If morning times are busy for you, you could practice oil pulling while showering, or doing other morning activities, so it doesn’t add minutes to your routine.
Bed Time Brush Up
Ayurveda recommends massaging the gums with sesame oil before going to bed to prevent or help receding gums. For a quick night time boost to your oral health, you could pour a little oil onto the bristles of an electric toothbrush and then massage around your gums and over the surface of your teeth. For maximum benefit don’t rinse afterwards, just leave the oil residue in your mouth to work while you rest. It’s not unpleasant and makes your mouth feel very clean.
Sesame oil works as a great natural lip salve too, dip your finger into a small amount and rub it gently into your lips morning and night to protect them from chapping.
While the oil’s out why not spend a couple more minutes really looking after yourself?
Sesame Oil De-stress Routine
To ease anxiety and improve sleep pour a little oil into the palm of your hand and massage into your forehead and temples. Rubbing warm sesame oil into the area between your eyebrows in slow gentle circles is particularly good for calming your mind and improving the quality of sleep.
Finally use a little more oil and massage it into your feet. Work up and down the instep to release tension from your spine, and across the soles of your feet to relax tension and help you feel grounded as you settle down to rest.
If you’re worried about getting oil on your bed linen you could sleep with cotton socks on which will also help keep your feet warm and draw tension from your head down into your lower body.
Photo by daxiang stef
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