Oil Pulling :: what it is and why you should do it

I began oil pulling for a very specific reason about 2 years ago —

I had just returned home from a blogging trip hoping to get in some snuggle time with my babies. Instead, I was hit with a nasty sinus infection, most likely due to flying. After three days, my sinus infection exacerbated an infected tooth and I was in so much pain it hurt to think. Nothing would ease the pain, and believe me, I tried everything.

Thank God I remembered a conversation I had with a couple of friends, a few weeks before, about oil pulling. I asked Ray to run to the Health Food store to buy me the biggest jar of organic unrefined virgin Coconut Oil he could find. I was going to try this oil pulling thing. I just knew this was the last chance I had for some relief short of a trip to the ER.

what is oil pulling

The biggest thing I remembered about oil pulling, when I was in so much pain, was that one of the greatest results of doing it is improved dental health. I had read that teeth become whiter, gums pinker and healthier, and breath fresher. If oil pulling would relieve the pain and help fight the infection in my tooth, you bet I was gonna try it!

I knew that it was super easy to do this oil pulling, in theory. All I had to do was swish unrefined coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes. I figured I may have some issues, mentally, with having oil in my mouth for that long, but the pain was so overwhelming I would do anything.

I swished that oil in my mouth for 20 minutes, twice a day, until the infection cleared up. Not only did it help with the pain, but it got rid of it completely!

oil pulling with coconut oil

What are the benefits of Oil Pulling?

The health benefits don’t stop at oral health. While you are swishing that oil in your mouth it is literally pulling the toxins and bacteria from your system through your gums and salivary glands. Oil pulling has the potential to help with just about any illness or chronic condition.

In addition to acting as a pain reliever for me, I noticed that I slept better at night, and had more energy once my infection cleared up. I did go through what I’ve come to know as a “healing crisis.” After my sinus and tooth pain subsided, my body began to detox. For about 4 days, I experienced horrible pain in my neck and hips (my fibro hot spots), I felt lethargic and achy, I couldn’t sleep, and I just felt crappy.

After the first 4 days, I felt better than I had in ages! I slept like a baby (not really – we all know babies don’t sleep well!), I had lots of energy, I kicked my caffeine habit with ZERO side-effects, and I felt less stressed (in spite of having teenagers!)

I have to confess that, in spite of all of these great benefits, I fell out of the habit of oil pulling daily. And, boy, has my body noticed. I am convinced there is tons of value in doing it daily, so I am committed to picking it up again. Do you want to try it with me?

How to oil pull:

  • First thing in the morning, before drinking or eating, place one tablespoon of oil in your mouth. I use organic unrefined virgin Coconut Oil, but you can use any unrefined oil. 
  • Swish the oil slowly in your mouth for twenty minutes. Suck and pull the oil through your teeth. This process makes the oil thoroughly mix with your saliva. Swishing activates the enzymes and the enzymes draw toxins out of the blood. As the process continues, the oil gets thinner and white. 
  • DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL. It has become toxic. 
  • Spit the oil from your mouth into the garbage. Do not spit in the sink, as it will clog the pipes.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth.

You can do this 2-3 times a day, on an empty stomach, but I have found that the oil pulling gives me extra energy, so I can not do it in the evening if I plan to sleep.

Try it and let me know after a bit if you notice any benefits.


  1. Laura says

    You said you had your husband buy clove oil also. What did you use that for? Was it part of the oil pulling process also?